Travel connections

It has dawned on me that travel makes you pretty good at connecting. And disconnecting, too, if necessary. Apart from the obvious (flights, transfers, tours etc.) there are the connections you make with other people while you travel.

It could be a chat to someone while waiting for a flight, or while taking photos in a mosque, or when walking along a beach. Or a local vendor who makes your lunch for a couple of days, or fellow travellers who share a country with you over hours, days or weeks. Or a tour guide who makes an historical site – or a country – come to life. Or a couple you share a table with to eat street food at a night market, or at a buffet table on a cruise around the Greek Islands. Or the person who picks you up from the airport, or carries your luggage into the hotel, or brings your tea at breakfast, or finds you a charger for your iPhone. Someone you sit next to on a plane, or while waiting for a flight in an airport. Someone with whom you share the pain of flight reroutings, missed connections and lost luggage. Someone who you fleetingly, momentarily connect with in a bier hoi in Ha Noi, Vietnam; in the old quarter in LiJiang, China; in a mosque in Bursa, Istanbul; on a beach in Athens, Greece; or a street in Crete, Greek Islands.

What travel has taught me – more than anything else in my life – is that it’s ok to connect with someone for a just a few seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks. Connections don’t have to be long term to be authentic, memorable and meaningful.

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