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I Don't Count Sheep

I've always loved the idea of meeting someone on an airplane. Every night as I settle down my mind, I begin to imagine boarding a plane and I see someone I know. It's either someone I have been wanting to talk to or someone I miss very much. And sometimes I imagine meeting someone completely new-with some intriguing story-they worked for the secret service or edit Ed Sheeran's music videos or created Nike or committed their life to serving others. It could be anything - maybe they are just a fellow student heading to or from an adventure and we hit off like we have known each other for years.

I don't exactly know how or when this ritual began, but it has become the recipe for a good night's sleep for me. Instead of counting sheep, I talk to people on planes. Odd as it may be-I think there is something deeper to these imaginary meetings. Maybe I thirst for an uninterrupted conversation in the chaos and attention hogging digital age. I don't think any of us wish to be second fiddle to a news feed or an e-mail refresher.

But maybe it is even deeper than that-a longing. A longing to hear people's stories woven into the excitement of heading somewhere new. Travel isn't for everyone I have learned, but for those that it is, it is the most enlightening, blissful experience. And it is often filled with sharing stories with strangers with vulnerability and honesty. True travel lovers are open to new experiences, new people, new conversations.

For a suspended moment on a plane, you may be next to someone you will probably never see again to share and compare life or talk about the future. There is no pointless gossip or babble about other people, because you don't know each other's people. You can talk about great ideas and stories. Those are conversations I don't want to just have with people on planes in my mind. I want to have conversations like this-actively listening and putting away the worries and the business of the world and focus on the stories, on the life, on the moment.

So here is to more conversations with people on planes.

I am going to sleep now, maybe I will talk to a publisher-they love my idea to write a book about people on planes.

Small minds talk about people.

Average minds talk about events.

Great minds talk about ideas.

Eleanor Roosevelt

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