Stranger danger - an alien concept to me. Rather than proceed with caution I throw caution to the wind and view strangers as an exciting prospect, another person with whom to converse, a potential new best friend.
My predilection for acquainting myself with the unacquainted started at a young age. With four of us in my family, seating on board planes set out in rows of three could have proved problematic. But it wasn't: I always insisted on sitting apart from my kin as I knew there was somebody in row 15F that couldn't wait to meet me - they just didn't know it yet. Such was my youthful exuberance, mettle and delusion.
Looking back I reach out to those poor, unsuspecting souls and ask their forgiveness for the onslaught of incessant chatter and prattle which invariably followed our encounter.
Whilst age and maturity have marginally tempered my unbridled zeal, my compulsion to engage random people in conversation is a trend which continues to this very day.
This is me with a Brazilian guy that I met on the plane to Peru in 2009.
This is me with two Brazilian guys that I met on the plane coming back from Peru. (Is it just me or does anyone else have the sudden urge to up sticks and move to Brazil?? Love you Craigy Boy. xxxx)
This is me and Tyler. We were on the plane together on our way to Denver, Colorado in 2012. He was the perfect southern gentleman and held my hand when turbulence hit.
And just in case you're thinking the GW only bonds with strangers of the male persuasion, here I am with a lovely group of girls that I met on a flight to Arizona in 2006.
Let it be known throughout the land that the GW loves strangers of all shapes, sizes, ages, genders and backgrounds!
If I didn't have a mortgage, bills and baking ingredients to pay for I think I'd seek employment as one of those greeters you find at Disney or at Walmart. You know the ones - the people who meet you at the gate/door and welcome you with such warmth and affability that they make you feel special, like you're the only person they have encountered that entire day. I can see it now. No, really. I can see it now, arms outstretched ready to embrace and envelope!
When all is said and done people are generally good, kind, friendly and willing to talk to you if you're willing to talk to them. So don't delay, Warriors! Engage a perfect stranger in conversation this very day. At the very least you'll end up exchanging pleasantries about the weather but you could also find in that person a life-long kindred spirit. You just never know until you try.