As a veteran of the small talk wars, I like one of Gretchen Rubin's suggestions:
For example, if you ask, “Where are you from?”
an interesting follow-up question might be,
“What would your life be like if you still lived there?”
This interests me because I cannot answer it for myself. What would my life have been like if I had grown up in Maine (my birthplace)? Or Canada, or Vermont, or Texas, or South America? Would I have liked small town living? Would I have lived in the same place and gone through school with the same friends?
I am still (mostly) living in the same country I grew up in (mostly), although in a different town. And it is the life I like best, for now, this going between worlds, getting at once the best and worst of both.