You never know whom you will meet along the way as you venture through life; traveling is no exception to that. I am an introvert- I regain my energy (or charge my batteries) by spending time alone, away from others. Those closest to me know I enjoy the quiet and my alone time. I rarely open myself up to others until after knowing them for quite sometime and talking to a stranger would never happen. Until recently.
I’ve learned that my shyness and quietness comes off as cold and snobbish, although it is not intended to be that way, I am working on making it a point to engage in human beings and take an interest in others to say the least.
Working up the confidence and courage to have more human interaction, especially with a stranger has been challenging; however a challenge, it has always been rewarding.
I find my favorite places to meet people are in airports, perhaps in the small bars that are scattered throughout. Sometimes people are more interesting while sipping a bourbon or tequila; I’m curious to find out who they are, wanting to know where they are going and why, making time to stop and actually look up out of my own world.
My most recent engagement with a stranger occurred at Javi’s- a Mexican, tequila bar at the John Wayne Orange County airport. My flight was delayed about 2 hours, and what better place to read or work on the computer than at a bar sipping your favorite spirit.
With the bar portion being quite busier than I am used to, I unintentionally fell back into my old habit of finding a lonely, quiet spot at the end. Little did I know that this “lonely, quiet spot” was the beginning of a small enhancement to my life.
“She didn’t ask me for my I.D.,” a gentleman to my right exclaimed, jokingly of course, as I was carded for my tequila on the rocks. A small glance and snicker from myself opened me up for the possibility of conversation. I took out my phone and my current novel, The Lost Girls, with the full intention of reading while I shoot my tequila, however that gentleman to my right wanted to get to know a stranger.
My shy self was hesitant to talk and open up at first, but I ignored that old habit of being in my own world long enough to enter into somebody else’s.
We spent about an hour talking about pretty much everything, “You can be incredibly honest with a stranger because you will probably never see them again.” One of his famous quotes from that day, and we were, incredibly honest.
He’s an extrovert, historian, writer, dad of one, loving husband AND an individual that hopes to get your mind thinking. We talked about music, wine, travel, life, our purpose, happiness and death- no kidding we got real deep. He inspired my writing and I in turn inspired some of his.
It was by chance I had a life changing experience and a story to tell in hopes of helping others to enjoy the beauty of traveling and meeting a stranger.
A simple lesson learned of letting down your guard.
– The Naked Bohemain