As someone who travels a lot, I finally decided to get one of those travel credit cards that gives you a membership to the airport lounge, a luxury I never afforded myself before. I must admit, I am so glad I did.
One reason I’m glad is for the yummy soup and fresh fruit (and candy). But also, I have had some lovely conversations there, including the conversation with the woman who chose the soup for the lounges.
On a recent trip, I was shocked at how crowded the lounge was. Not an empty seat or table in sight as I dragged my bag in search of a spot.
On my second loop, I saw a table with only one person and an extra chair. I rolled over and asked, “Can I share your table?” I felt a little bit like a middle schooler in the school cafeteria. But he was quick to move his bag and offer me the space.
There was a football game playing on the TV, which immediately caught my attention – and wrath, it has not been a good year for the NY Giants. As we were both watching, I must have mumbled something about the game out loud (I do that sometimes). He responded, and soon we were in full conversation. It was refreshing that the conversation didn’t stay at the casual chit chat that often happens with strangers. We really talked.
Flight delays gave us time to learn a lot about each other’s work, families and more. We compared travel destinations and parenting tips. He even texted his wife an idea for a parenting technique since his kids were younger than mine.
After my trip, I emailed him about a project he was working on and asked if there was someone I could connect him to in order to help.
As I always say, be open to connecting. Wherever you are, whoever you’re sitting or standing next to, challenge yourself to strike up a conversation.
These are the moments — sitting in an airport lounge, standing in line at the supermarket — where we can choose to feel lonely, or we can have a moment to connect with someone else.
So go on, connect with someone. Make a new friend.