Let me tell you a story about a trip to Florida. We arrived on Tuesday, checked in to our hotel and immediately noticed the sign across the street that said "best tacos in town." Well if you know me that is like a dog seeing a squirrel - I honed in and made a bee-line right up to the bar. I did not order food first, or even a drink, I asked the bartender what her name was. And that was the beginning of our vacation. That conversation brought us back later that evening for margaritas and a pool game, where we met a local and chatted up the northeast, he was from Pittsburgh. The next day we came back and met the new bartender, Jamie, and another vacationer from Canada, Jeff. Through conversation, Jamie directed us to one of the best sushi places I have ever eaten at. Jeff later spent the day with us at the beach and invited us to his home for a visit in Canada. Towards the end of the vacation, we decided to check out a new bar, and much to our surprise the bartender was the local from Pittsburgh we had met two days ago, he remembered us and made us some special drinks. It seems like our entire vacation was based off our first conversation, and it only got better. The first day on the beach we spoke to a couple from Ohio, it was their last day, so they gifted us their boogie boards (which make excellent drink holders in the gulf), we later gifted them to a couple with kids when we left. We met and chatted with every Uber driver. We made friends with another Jamie, the front desk greeter at the hotel, who later saved a fresh banana for me as I wanted one without brown spots. And so on and so on.
The point is, everything we need is right in front of us. Connection! I used to be one of those people who sat in the corner and refused to talk to strangers. My vacation was meant only for me, time to relax and find peace and quiet. What I was really finding was isolation. I discovered more than ever on this last trip that the gift we can give ourselves and each other is connection. Talk to people. Ask questions. Get curious. Allow the universe to introduce you to new people and things and then happily receive all the toys, food, drink and kindness that comes your way. Simply by starting a conversation!