Conversations are my main form of acquiring information on my journey.

Each day I would interview people on the road, and later write up interesting comments that came up. I had no digital recorder, though aimed to report these stories and insights as accurately as I could. Generally speaking, I’d ask every person the same question: what is life like here? Open and broad, it resulted in all kinds of responses.

greenBut before I left, I decided to think about a number of other questions that might open up conversations with strangers. My models were things things like the Proust Questionnaire and Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies card game. A previous job coordinating activities in a brain injury support service had allowed me to test out many of these questions in daily discussion groups I organised. They’re shared below in case anyone’s interested in attempting something similar.


  • Tell me about yourself, and where you’re from.
  • What inspires you?
  • What occupies you during the day (work, study, retired), and why?
  • What does identity mean to you?
  • What does community mean to you?
  • What does freedom mean?
  • What issues or problems affect where you live, and why?
  • What changes would you like to see?
  • What obstacles stand in the way?
  • What’s the basis of a good life?
  • What lessons has life taught you?
  • If heaven existed with certainty, what would it be like?
  • If you had a time machine, what moment would you return to?
  • If you became Prime Minister for a week, what would you do?
  • If a doctor deemed you had 30 days to live, how would you spend them?

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