Single serving friends for a week of travel

It’s been a long week for blogger Grant. Last Monday morning I woke up in New York at 4AM and headed to my Detroit bound flight only to find it and the next overbooked. I naturally volunteered for both and collected 600$ in vouchers in addition to 20$ in food certificates.

Usually when I get food vouchers in the morning, I don’t have much use for them because I don’t get hungry in the morning. So standing in line at Burger King for some 2$ tater tots I started asking people if they wanted some free breakfast. The guy behind me thought I was completely crazy and wouldn’t even talk to me, but the fella in front was totally into it and ended up giving me ten bucks for all of the breakfast that I bought him. Now that I think of it, I’m sure that the two sausage and egg croissants with orange juice that I bought him cost less than that.

Dave was on his way back to Lansing to work on his barn remodeling business. He had been in New York City visiting his girlfriend on central park with whom he apparently had plans to move in with and continue the business from the city. Apparently, even near Manhattan there are barns to repair.

On the way to San Juan on Friday I was sitting next to a guy on his way to a conference from Stanley Security, who after lunch plugged in his earbuds and started singing Indian music. Not singing quietly to himself, singing to the entire front cabin. He was having such a great time though I couldn’t ask him to step it down a notch. He was staying at the Ritz Carlton in Condado for the entire week, enjoying the Caribbean and getting away from the kids in Indianapolis.

As with most passengers I encounter in first class, the guy I’m currently sitting next to doesn’t want anything to do with me, perhaps because he looks just like Stephen Colbert and doesn’t want to have “that conversation” again. He had been reading and annotating an inspirational book for the past two hours and just recently switched to a Macworld and his I-pod which he is seriously rocking out to, albeit silently. The only words that he has said to me so far have been “We need napkins. The world needs more napkins.”

My point is, getting out and traveling exposes you to a fresh round of faces that you normally wouldn’t get in the office working sixty hours a week or staying in and watching NASCAR all weekend. You don’t even need to make friends to appreciate the value of another human being on the road – the inspiration that they supply through their small nuances and behavior make creativity flow through your veins that stays with you long into the workweek.