Oh the People You’ll Meet!

I boarded the plane this morning in a tizzy because I almost missed my first flight due to the Monday-After-Thanksgiving travel traffic I wasn’t anticipating, and then I was waiting on hold for 20 minutes to discuss activating a roaming plan for my phone, and dropping the call as I was boarding the plane. I slept through the 6am flight without a problem and was hoping to sleep through the second one (which was bringing me to Aruba) but that didn’t happen. As I was sending last minute and frantic texts to those who I assume will contact me while I am abroad to alert them of my Google Voice number in case my international plan wasn’t activated, small talk was started with the woman sitting next to me. Three and a half hours later, we had landed in Aruba and never stopped talking.
Our conversation began because I saw an ad for a new Fuji camera that represented the photographer for the beautiful Ballerina Project. I encouraged her to check it out if she enjoys ballet or photography which led us to discussing photography and my time in the Peace Corps. She kept wanting to see more photos which led us both to sharing stories of our past. We talked about the history of our names, and our family members’ names, and what brought us to Aruba. After I told her about My Maria, she told me about her first grade teacher who she will never forget (and bonded with over sharing the same birthday) and then we discussed rings and travel. She told me how her father used to spell her name with an accent at the end (Bette) and her grandkids, and loves won and lost. Finally, she encouraged me not to stop taking pictures.
I truly believe we meet people in our lives because they are needed at that time. I’ve tried so hard to turn photography into a “stage in my life” but she told me I need to keep doing it- and what a better place than Aruba to fuel that fire. I can’t wait to get out and explore the island with this rekindled excitement and I can’t wait to share it with Bette, my new friend. If we never meet again, I hope she knows the impact she had on me. I love sharing the stories of the photos I take and the people I meet, especially when others appreciate them as much as I do, and I love hearing the stories of others because everyone has a story to tell… What’s yours?

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