FP Stories: Making Connections

Consider it better to take a chance on the seemingly endless connections around you…

We’re always told that making connections is important, but do we ever actually listen? It’s a new age, full of disengaged strangers stuck in a daily dose of scrolling as they wait for their morning coffee. Have we developed an intimate addiction to an inanimate object, or do we bury our faces to avoid interaction? I’ve learned that it’s better to step out of your comfort zone and take advantage of the endless connections around you…

When our car broke down and an iced coffee was in order, my boyfriend, Dane, and I wandered into a shop in Santa Barbara, CA.  As we took a seat outside to slowly sip on our drinks, we couldn’t help but notice the ’69 lime-green Volkswagen van pull into the parking lot. Our curiosity and excitement was undoubtedly leaking through our mile-wide smiles as two twenty-somethings stepped out and sat at the table next to us. Before I could think of what to say, Dane turned around and said, “Hey man, is that your van?” One topic led to another and, within the next five minutes, we all turned to face each other, with genuine interest in learning what made us all tick.

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Santa Barbara is known for its epic views and abundant rock formations. Our new friends were en route along the gorgeous Pacific coast, in search of ascending the most renowned nearby rocks. Without hesitation, they invited us to join them. Although inexperienced, we couldn’t say no.  When they picked us up, we were met with a huge mound of harnesses, shoes, ropes and carabiners in the back of their home on wheels. They drove us through the Santa Ynez Mountain Range and showed us places that we’ve never wandered far enough to find. We hit Gibraltar Rock, The Brickyard and various other spots during our two days together. We ended our journey with a colorful vegan meal and then parted ways. Our adventure will forever be engrained in my mind as the spark that ignited my love for rock climbing and vintage VW vans.

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Truthfully, I learned something very important through this experience that I will always hold onto for the rest of my life. One unexpected interaction and two bright smiles led to something exciting and novel in my life. Instead of checking notifications from Instagram, we decided to engage with two amazing strangers. And, although we may never cross paths with them again, people have a way of lingering in your mind. The memories we hold onto are made beautiful because of the people in them. Cherish that, and aim to make more connections with those around you. Any random stranger may hold the catalyst to a new dimension in your life.

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Comments

  1. Glad they weren’t serial killers! JK that’s just the New Yorker in me speaking. Sincerely very inspiring article! Thank you for taking a risk on an adventure! What a meaningful lesson! Beautiful post and great photos, wowzers ! :)

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