Stepping into the airport headed to a new place, I’m amazed at the things I see and the possible people I could meet. Scanning the crowd, I wait for my boarding call. Each traveler in the boarding area has a story: the person catnapping after multiple hours and flights; the family with two small children sharing a breakfast of yogurt and bananas; the elderly couple, together requiring assistance to their seats. Everyone coming from somewhere . . . and going somewhere else.
Once on the plane, I find my seat amongst the rows of As and Bs and Cs. Someone settles next to me, scrunched into the compact seat just like I am. We share space, handing each other packs of peanuts and complimentary drinks across our laps, helping load and then unload our carry-ons that may have shifted during the flight. In that finite amount of time and space, we have the opportunity to learn about each other’s lives. And if it’s a long flight, we might even become friends.
There is something to this compact traveling thing beyond the annoyances of cramped spaces and uncomfortable travel . . . it’s the opportunity to connect.