As a solo traveller specific experiences unfold. For example, having a ‘table for one’ at a cafe might invite people to think you’re alone, lonely, or, they might view it as an opportunity to connect. In Byron I was at one of my favourite spots enjoying a turmeric tonic between the raindrops and a lovely dear woman turned up and asked if she could join my oversized table. I instantly made space and in true local fashion she revealed her knitting project while her coffee was being prepared. We shared a smile and pleasantries and were each happy with the quiet space we held until overhearing people moaning a bit of the rainy weather. “Well, I reckon its good weather for rainbows!” I offered. And my table mate quickly squealed with delight as she pointed to one emerging just over our shoulders. As her local crew arrived I made more space and eventually stood up to leave. As I departed my sweet new friend said rather loudly – “Keep helping folks find their rainbows!”
The next day I was frequenting another fave eatery and I enjoyed a truly connected and alive conversation with the girl taking my order. She was simply present and so real and warm that it was natural to feel our lengthy conversation unfold. She made me smile and my chai tasted extra rich knowing that some bond had been woven. Post yoga I found myself back at the raw food mecca, ravenous for lunch. Much to my delight the same girl was working and she immediately took her lunch break to join me in my meal. Again we spoke richly of life and crossroads and shared juicy bits of our own journeys. I left feeling like the planets had once again shifted in my favour and gratitude coulored my day.
And today the sun decided to shine for nearly two consecutive hours so I raced outside for a run and then a meandering beach walk. Along the way I noticed a joyful creature wading out into the waves, clothing held high to avoid the wet. She galloped along and our hour long walk seemed to both meet and diverge with our own early morning thoughts. As I reached the lighthouse at the headland I turned to retrace my steps. As I looked out to the sea and the sun she was standing tall amongst the waves and simply held her hand high so not to be missed and offered me a jubilant wave of knowing and greeting.
What gifts! For people to share your day – even a minute or a meal or a silent walk. We can each approach others with the gift of kindness wrapped in nothing more than our precense. A smile, eye contact, a simple wave or invitation can equate to real JOY for not only yourself but others. So please, don’t hold back, offer a little act of kindness to the next solo traveller your meet.