How to Meet People on the Road: A Conversation with Rene Morales

Below are segments of a conversation that I recently enjoyed with Rene Morales. He was happy to share his thoughts on what it’s like and what can happen when you are open to meeting strangers. I enjoyed our conversation and his entertaining stories of meeting people so much, that I asked for his permission to write a few of them down to share with others. He kindly agreed.

The motorcycle is just another method of travel. – Rene Morales

Rene is a motorbike enthusiast who has traveled thousands of miles by motorcycle and met countless people along the way. He lives in Calgary, Canada. We had this chat on January 22nd, 2021. Enjoy.

Tony: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, Rene. You told me before that you’ve met lots of people while out on your motorcycle. I’m keen to hear about your experience.

Rene: There is this concept that you need to go to exotic locations to have these experiences. But it’s not just exotic locations. What I have learned in talking with people who have travelled for years around the world is to go out there with an open mind and an open heart. That will change how you see things.

Tony: I agree. There are opportunities to have adventures and to meet great people right here at home as well.

Rene: People have different personalities. In the last 3 years what really helped me was mindfulness. I practice meditation on demand, as needed. It increases awareness. It can be a walk in your neighbourhood, or a walk in your park. Be present and be there. Put your phone away, and say hi. Say good morning. That goes a long way when you meet people.

If you start your day with gratitude you start to see something positive in everything.

Tony: I couldn’t agree more. The more present you are to your surroundings, the easier it is to meet people. That’s how we notice what’s going on around us.

Rene: It’s great to observe with curiosity and wonder.

I have talked to people who have said that they are introverts. They say to me, I’m a nerd. So I ask questions, “Like what do you do in your spare time” “Oh, I play the violin.” and I’ll respond, “Wow. That’s so interesting!” And then we are able to talk about that, even though the person tells me they are an introvert.

Tony: Curiosity goes a long way when meeting people and can help you figure out what to say. It’s great that you do that.

Rene: If you trust that everyone has a story, you will meet people.

I always tell people to network with meaning. Be interested in their personal lives. Then the work or what they do will come up. Be interested in their passions and be humble. Even if you know about the subject, just listen.

They might have a different opinion, or they may have different life experience or be from another country, like me.

Even if you don’t agree with them, learn about them and be curious about the why. I think that goes a long way.

Tony: I think that’s one of the most wonderful things about traveling – abroad or in your home country – is the diversity of people and perspectives you can experience if you talk to the local people.

Rene: And you can keep a record of who you meet out there. Keep a journal of your experiences.

This one time, I was pulling into a campground west of Yellowstone National Park and a guy comes up and says, “Oh, it looks like you’ve had a long day.” I was tired and covered in dust from the day. “Do you want to come over for supper with our family?”, he asked. l’m like. “I’m by myself. Why not?” One family was from Utah and the other was from Tennessee. They were the average family and they had a very strong opinions about the current political situation in their country. I didn’t agree with some of their opinions, but it didn’t matter. They shared their food with me and we had such a great conversation.

Oh, and here’s another story. I was in a small cowboy town in Wyoming, USA. I found this small coffee shop that had just 5 tables. I sat at one table. And this rough looking guy came in but there were no tables available. I offered a seat at my table, and he sat down with me. Even though he didn’t seem so friendly we started talking. The man told me that because he thought that banks were corrupt, he kept his money and savings in gold at home. He was curious about me and kept asking me all kinds of questions. I was happy to speak with him.

As I didn’t know of anywhere else to go the next day for breakfastI asked the waitress, “What time are you open tomorrow?” She told me, “We open at 7 am.” And would you believe it? That same guy was there before me and asked me to join him for breakfast the next morning. This time, he was much more friendly and we had another great conversation.

There really are good people out there. You just need to talk to them.

I’ve been so lucky to experience so much of the world out there, and to be healthy. I know a lot of people who don’t have the confidence, and I believe that everyone can connect with someone else.

Tony: Thank you, Rene for this conversation. I agree that there really are good people out there, and that you just need to talk to them.

What Can We Learn From This Conversation?

We can all learn from Rene’s openness to connect with people when he’s on the road to do so ourselves. He sets a strong example of how we really shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. It’s easy to expect that people don’t want to talk to us in public based on how they look, but we are often mistaken with that assumption.

Above, he shares how he has been able to repeatedly connect with strangers with various life experiences and to enjoy conversations, adventures and meals. You can follow Rene’s adventures on Instagram @reneYYC.

How might you become a little more open to speaking with people in your day-to-day? At a time when many people need to stay close to home, is there someone who you could simply allow a conversation to open up with?

Happy connecting.

Tony Esteves is an international facilitator, coach and circus performer who is passionate about creating human connection. He holds a B.A. in Communication Studies, intentionally meets new people regularly and loves to play and improvise. Tony is based in Calgary, Canada. 

He is the author of the book, Talk2MorePeople: Change Your Life by Meeting People which is based on how he once met a stranger every day for a year. This book teaches the benefits of meeting people and how you can do it too.

He shares the mental health benefits of connecting with people in his workshops, presentations and through coaching. For free tips on how to meet people, and for more stories like this, join Tony’s newsletter at