Whereas I usually adapt the natural literary technique of letting a rambling of recollections and thoughts dictate my blog posts, this one will be focused toward an anecdote regarding a specific local I met while abroad in Florence, Italy. It was just before 8am– the heat not yet enveloped the city just yet– and I was conducting my daily routine in which I go for a run up to the top of one of my favorite destinations in the city: Piazzale de Michelangelo. Upon reaching the top of the hill, I carried my breathless and sore body to a nearby bench to stretch, cool down, and take the opportunity to journal in my notebook in a time of absolute solitude and tranquility. However, this solitude was somewhat disrupted by a middle- aged, olive complexioned man, jogging, who stopped to sit down on the bench next to me and initiate a conversation. Admittedly, had this circumstance regarding a grown male stranger occurred in the US, I probably would naturally assume a defensive position and inquire about his intentions. However, it was becoming increasingly clear to me so far in my time in Italy that the cultural differences warrant it not only socially acceptable but actually commonplace to engage in casual interaction with strangers for no particular reason or motivation at all. So, I allowed for my structured morning routine to be messed with and consequently had a nice chat with the runner. I learned he was born in Sardinia, has since then lived in a multitude of locations in Italy, has 3 kids and a wife at home, and jogs in the same place as me every morning at nearly the same time. He gave me recommendations for Italian cities to visit that are unknown to most tourists, and seemed to genuinely try to facilitate that I make the most of my time in the country while I’m there. This experience was menial in the grand scheme of things, but ending up demonstrating to me that a closed- minded approach to life while abroad prevents new insights from occurring, and an open mind allows for unprecedented memories.