During my travels, I have noticed that one of the best places to meet new people is in an airport or on a plane. I think this is because airports and airplanes are one of the last places left in this world that are not as mobile-friendly as literally everywhere else. It forces (or rather allows) people to unplug partially or completely for a few hours, and gives them a chance to better take in their surroundings. Of course, this is only what I have observed myself. I know there are ways for the average Wi-Fi fiend to plug in anywhere and everywhere if the motivation is there.
For the commoner, such as myself, who does not care enough to pay $30 for 30 minutes of airport/airplane Wi-Fi, I am left with the options of listening to music, staring at my internet-less laptop, reading, or talking to people. That being said, I usually only approach someone to talk if their body language is open and welcoming, otherwise the headphones go in.
I have always been fairly perceptive of the body language of others, and I can tell after a moment of eye contact whether I will be comfortable around any given person. In my experience, this feeling of 'knowing' is similar to that of meeting an old friend. Like two halves coming together who have known each other for years, decades, or more and picking up right where they left off. I have had hours-long conversations with complete strangers, but in my head I was thinking 'Where have you been? It's been so long!’
*This is where the blog takes a turn into the weird part of my brain.
So why was I so drawn to these perfect strangers? I have never met them before in this life, but it seems like I have known them forever. Like our past selves once crossed paths and we're finally greeting each other with the warmth of friendship that only grows with time. I wonder how and when I knew them in a past life, where we lived, what we looked like, and what drew us apart. I think about all of the events that occurred in each of our lives leading to the exact moment we met, and if we will ever meet again. It is as if our paths have been slowly, constantly ricocheting off of one another forever. Then, maybe one day, our paths will finally align and we will walk side by side.
The more logical train of thought explaining these encounters would probably go something like 'because we have similar personalities' or 'we each set the intention to meet someone new today,' but where is the fun in that? Sometimes I just stand and wave as the logical train goes speeding by. It makes things more interesting. Besides, I don't care much for riding trains; they tend to make me sick.
Old, young, male, female, or transgender; this is irrelevant. What matters is what we see at the core of every human being, their light within.
Author’s note: I experienced the ‘knowing’ feeling today at the airport Qdoba when talking to the cashier, and it caught me a little by surprise. I believe it was the first time I further thought about this topic. I began to wonder if the cashier felt the same way, and if other people experience similar encounters. As I write this on the plane heading towards Pennsylvania, I am sitting next to a middle-aged man. He has his headphones in, iPad out, and totally removed from his surroundings.