It’s a Small World
When going on vacation, one of the things I look forward to is connecting with other people. Hearing their story. It is amazing when you show someone you are interested and invested in the conversation, how much she or he will open up and share life experiences, the joys and the hardships. After all, we all have a desire to feel like someone is interested in us, our story. One of the places I have found to meet a diverse group of people with unique stories is when we vacation at DisneyWorld. And this past trip to Orlando did not disappoint.
At the Animal Kingdom resort, we met a lovely young lady from South Africa. Graduating from high school she chose to delay her post secondary education, leave her family and friends for a year to join in the international program. What a journey! She has spent the year meeting people around the globe and sharing her passion for animals with Disney guests. Not only gaining leadership and communication skills, it has given her direction when she goes back to South Africa to pursue a career related to her passion of educating others.
On the other end of the spectrum, we met an employee that has been with Disney for 40 years. Now that speaks volumes to job satisfaction. And you could really tell how much he enjoyed what he did. To stay in the same job for that long is becoming much more rare. Imagine all the stories he could tell from his days at Disney.
Then there was the little boy that came up to me. I was sitting in the lounge with my husband and this little guy walked right up and just looked me in the face and stared. I gave him a little smile and that was all that was needed. He spent the next while sharing with me all the things he was good at doing. Looking up at his smiling mom across the room, I got the impression that maybe others did not always give her son the opportunities to carry on such lengthy conversations. We spent the next while talking about what he liked to do. When it was time for him to leave, we said our goodbyes and I continued on conversing with my husband. After a few minutes, this little guy came running back up to me all out of breath. He hands me an origami washcloth snail and was beaming. “This is just for you!” My heart melted. I gave him the biggest high five and thanks, he skipped off to his waiting mom. She mouthed “thank you” to me and off they walked.
Another evening, sitting around the bonfire, we met a comical crew from southern Louisiana. They were a retired group of four, off on an adventure. Well, they kept my daughter and me in stitches for the entire visit. Not only was their accent a little hard to decipher at times when they talked quickly, but they also all talked at once! They were a hoot! I will admit there were times when I just had to smile and nod, not fully understanding what they were saying and hoping I wasn’t agreeing to something I would regret. After we left them still sitting at the bonfire, walking away my daughter leaned over to me and said, “That was the show, now time for dinner!”
So this was just a little snippet of amazing people I chatted with during vacation. My life has been enriched by the people I meet on my journeys. Listening to their stories allows me to be a better writer and hopefully a better human being. The world doesn’t seem quite so large or so scary when you take the time to connect with the people around you.
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