I met Randy in Nice, he was traveling with a group of friends, they were exploring the south of France before continuing on their journey on a river boat cruise down the Seine. We met in an Irish pub, the place I go to whenever I'm in the mood for conversation. Pubs are watering holes that guarantee if you belly up to the bar or sit at a community table, by the end of the evening you will have made new friends. I had been traveling alone for a week so I welcomed the invitation to talk over a pint and join their group for dinner.
These new friends were from Cape Town, South Africa, so there was no language barrier between us which allowed the conversation to flow. We ranked our favorite places we had traveled so far. Randy's was Agua Calientes, Peru at the base of Machu Picchu. Mine was Queenstown, New Zealand. Both declarations were prefaced by "my favorite... so far" knowing there is always some other place we've yet to visit that will capture our hearts.
After dinner the group strolled through the old town and Place Massena and Randy said something to me I'll never forget. "Do you see all these people? They all have stories to tell, and we will never hear them."
I think about his observation when I'm sitting in an airport waiting for a flight, when I'm stuck in traffic, or when I am any place where hundreds of people are gathered in one spot. They all have stories to tell, and I will never hear them.
My hope is that in this forum, we can slowly, one person at a time, one story at a time, prove him wrong.