Some people come into our lives just as quickly as they leave. Passing through a moment in time where, for whatever reason, our paths cross and conversation is started. These brief interactions bring so much to our lives, if even for a minute.
People that know me would likely classify me as an introvert. At a party, I am more likely to be hanging out with those I came with, rather than mingling around the room to meet new people. To me, I have always seen it as a chore to meet new people. The idea of starting a conversation with a random stranger, with no context, is admittedly daunting – to me at least.
Something changes about that when you are on the road traveling alone. Maybe it is the innate need for human connection, and in the absence of the usual friends, one is forced to seek it out. Or maybe it is the kindred connection amongst travelers, that context missing at the party, found in the similar lifestyles of those you meet on the road. For me, it may also be the fact that when out on the road traveling, I feel like I have an interesting story to tell, one that, typically, people are interested in hearing.
Yesterday, on the recommendation of some folks on Instagram, I took a drive up into the mountain town of Idyllwild. This town sits in the mountains south of the Palm Desert area. At around 5,300’, this little town boasts beautiful scenery, tall pine trees, and a cool reprieve from the heat of the valley. The people I have met here have all been so friendly and welcoming. Sitting outside the coffee shop the past couple days, working away at the laptop, numerous folks have stopped by and struck up conversations. Then last night I stayed in the campground here in town and met a very friendly couple – snowbirds from Canada. They invited me over for a beer, a thank you for taking the spot I was hoping to grab. I would go on to spend hours chatting with them and sharing in the joy of their campfire.
I don’t know that there is a point to all this, other than the simple fact that when out here on the road it is becoming increasingly clear that strangers have the ability, if you let them, to be a momentary friend. A friend that, while just for a short time, will gladly share this time in their life with you. When you realize that every minute is one less you have to live, the willingness of a stranger to share that time with you, I believe, is truly amazing.