Breakfast with friends I don’t see very often is a refreshing opportunity. Thanks to FaceBook we already have an inkling of each others’ lives and adventures. Better in some ways than FaceBook, we enjoyed the taste of a delicious repast accompanied by a boost of caffeine, friendly body language and warm hugs.
Travel will take one or more of us to a coast–Galveston and Port Aransas on the Gulf Coast and/or Santa Barbara and Pacific Grove on the Pacific Coast; to Alabama, North Carolina, Ohio, New York, or Massachusetts; to Italy, Switzerland, England, China, or India. We have been so blessed with one or more of these opportunities, past, present, and future, to encounter other parts of the planet we share with several billion people. Culture shock can take us by surprise even within the United States. Such a large country inevitably has a wide range of weather, customs, and dialects.
Ranging further afield, there are challenges of language, history, and currency, to name just a few. Life and the world look so different from the U.S., the U.K., Europe, and southern Asia.
The Lonely Planet’s guide to India tells me that I’ll be bamboozled by the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and atmosphere (not to mention the driving) that will wash over me from every side. For my own bamboozlement I’ll be glad to be part of a group of 12, two of whom hail from India though they now live in the States.
My friends and I also talked about family members, politics, and family members who are politicians. Elections, health care disparities, and the State of the Union all played a part in our conversations.
These kinds of interactions crop up on FaceBook, texts, phone calls, on the Net, and browsing in libraries. One idea draws us in unexpected directions. Ideas multiply exponentially whenever one more point of view is added to the mix. That’s a benefit of community, strengthened by every encounter and blessed by every smile. :~)