Do you remember the conversations you’ve had while traveling? Featured contributor Leon McCarron recalls some of his most memorable encounters and the impact they’ve had on him, years later.

How do we measure what makes a good conversation? Is it by how long it lasts, or how many times we laugh? Or is it marked by how we feel afterwards—how deeply the words of who we’ve been speaking to have affected us?

Mark Twain once famously said that “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” He was correct, of course (perhaps that’s why this is one of the most over-used quotes in travel writing). And I take it to mean that it’s from talking while traveling—or more often, from listening—that we learn the most.