“Parlez vous anglais?” Those words started a friendship between two women on a train in Southwest France. Missing my connection in London had me on a new chain of transportation to my destination, St. Antonin. Along the way, I relied on strangers for help as I navigated buses and trains. In asking for assistance, the kindness I experienced proves that people are not only willing, but also happy to help. The generosity I encountered affirmed what I know to be true about travel. Travel connects people.
The world is not so big.
After asking a woman if I was on the right train, she asked about my American accent. I was surprised to hear hers as well. On the previous bus ride I listened to her converse in fluent French. Our conversation began there and didn’t stop until I reached my destination an hour later. Her stop was at the next town. We discovered we were both from California and that our paths had most likely crossed a few times. We also recently relocated to small towns far from the west coast, me to NY and she to France. Being about the same age, we shared similar life experiences.
We are all connected.
She came to visit me in St. Antonin a couple of times. We shopped, visited the markets and drank café au lait in cafés. Over long lunches and Rosé, we became fast friends. I’m certain we will remain in touch and that our paths will cross again during our travels.
It was a funny coincidence that two California natives met on a train in France and that we had so much in common. Our bond was our love for travel. Meeting others during my journeys, I’ve realized that travelers understand these truths: The world is not so big. We are all connected. People are kind. There is more good than bad. Travel unites.
Photo credit Corrina Tough Photography