One of the things that I enjoy about traveling is the opportunity to observe people. I like to imagine what their story is and why they are traveling.
That older woman there with hair the color of peppermints carrying the beautiful Vera Bradley bag? She is a recent widow on her way to visit her daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren. That beautiful bag contains hard candy and her current knitting project. She’s feeling somewhat lost in this huge airport as well as in the life she is forced to build for herself now.
Do you see that other slender woman sitting by herself over there? She’s got her laptop out and she’s deep in thought as she taps the keys. She’s a writer on her way to a destination she has never been before to do research for her latest book. Now and then she looks up from her laptop and out into a space that we cannot see as her imagination takes her far away from the hard plastic chair she is sitting on.
See that young girl with hopeful eyes and chestnut hair pulled back? She has a book and a highlighter on her lap; she is fiddling with her iPod right now. She’s on her way back to university after enjoying a Christmas break at home with family. There is a young man she’s looking forward to seeing back at school, and she wonders if she’ll find the nerve to try and get to know him better this semester.
I could go on but the point is that everyone has a story, and in thinking about the stories of others we can find inspiration for our own stories. And maybe, if we’re fortunate, a measure of compassion for those other weary travelers.