Saturday, May 21, 2011

Conversations with Strangers

Today was like any other Saturday for me. I got up, went to the gym, and after class was over, headed to my car. The difference in today was when I walked out I met a nice gentleman, named Terry, who noticed my "I Love London" shirt. He proceeded to ask me if I had been there in person, then to tell me all of his travel adventures he's had with his wife, Mary. How they've been to the New England states 3 or 4 times. How St. Martin, in his opinion, is better that St. Thomas. How I must absolutely, positively go to York the next time I'm in England and visit this little hole-in-the-wall pub.

While he spoke I mentally took notes of everything he said. He then told me more about his life, and his wife, who's a teacher, and how they live a good life, but one that can afford them to travel and have these adventures because they buy used cars and live with only what they need. In the span of 30 minutes I knew more about Terry than I do about some people I've known for years and I made myself a new friend. We parted ways and promised we would update each other on our travel journeys whenever we bumped into each other again at the gym.

Funny thing about this, I thought I was in a hurry today. I thought I had a busy day, with no downtime, but the truth of the matter is that I was right where I was suppose to be. I know that because I normally don't leave the gym at the time I did today. Something in my gut said it was time to go, and so I went. Had I stayed I probably wouldn't have met Terry at all.  This moment, this exact conversation, is what I love. On every single trip I've taken I've found people who I can connect with and who leave me a better person after having spent brief moments of time with them. A man in London told me all about Paris and how I must positively, absolutely go there sometime. An adorable women in Zurich came up to me at the grocery store and shopped with me for a little bit, pointing out how to use the scale and what fruits were ripe. A nice lady in India helped me cross the street and spoke to me through her motions, rather than words. This, this is what I love.

It fascinates me how so many of desire to see the world and accept it, learn from it, change because of it. I attribute this to the fact that as adventurers, we all have one major thing in common: We respect each other, the places we're going, and the people we'll meet. We don't have to look the same, act the same, or believe the same things. We just have to be kind to one another.

It really is that simple.

Has a stranger ever had a positive impact on your life?

Related Posts
It's a Beautiful Day and I Can't See It
Pay It Forward
India - Part 1: The People You Meet
Strangers...Are Kind of Awesome Sometimes


Anonymous said...

if you wouldn't have been wearing that shirt, would you have had that convo?

Chantelle Says said...

I doubt it. It was the shirt that made him approach me and bring up the subject of travel. My guess is we would have said a friendly hello in passing and that would've been it.