Some cities are full of newcomers, people from all over the world who come there for one reason or another. Other places have a more settled population, with most residents living in the area for their entire lives.
No matter where you live, there's a simple question that can open up a great line of conversation:
- "How long have you lived in...?" or
- "Have you always lived in ...?"
This can be followed up with questions about why a person decided to move, questions about their hometown, questions about other places they've lived, stories about your hometown (or the fact that you've always lived in the same town).
This is a topic that should allow most everyone to talk comfortably about themselves and let their guards down.