There is just something amazing about spending time with people who just get you, where you can talk or do something together and everything just fits. There is also something amazing in talking with and doing something with someone who is completely different from you and thinks in ways you haven't before. I love meeting people I can talk with and learn from, and while I am constantly learning from those who are similar to me, I cannot imagine a life without the richness I have gained from those whose background and experiences vary from my own.
This applies particularly to reading about people and their ideas, which feels a bit safer than just heading around the world and striking up conversations with strangers in a pandemic. Books allow us to deeply explore or just skim the surface, and sometimes more than just sharing ideas they tell us how those ideas developed. In addition to works of nonfiction, exploring the fiction from different cultures gives a sense of what values are important in those cultures.
Try exploring this Around the World list. It includes a variety of formats, original languages, people, stories, and times. Who will you meet today?