My dear friend, Paul, introduced me to his friend Julia, via email. Julia happens to live pretty much all over the world, and right now she is actually in Florence. We made tentative plans to meet up today & I took a long walk from San Miniato out to her home in the Florentine hinterland. The views were unreal! 

Julia was unable to make the meetup so I was able to continue my stroll out of her neighborhood and down into the nearest town to catch a bus back to Florence. I loved every single minute of the walk. It was exactly what I needed to recharge after feeling so drained from the hustle bustle of the program.

I couldn’t believe that in all of the world, I was going to meet Paul’s friend, Julia. I met Paul online in 2013 & I consider him family at this point. I walked home thinking how great it is to be able to live in a time where friendship and connection and networking is not confined to your specific geographical area. The world is getting smaller every day through these types of relationships. It’s a wonderful thing. I’m a huge believer in the power of plurality.

And then on the bus ride home…

The gal to my right asks for help figuring out if she’s one the right bus or not. I do have to say I’m pretty proud of myself for being able to navigate the transportation app and send her on the correct way. But that’s beside the point. 

She says, with a pretty awkward Italian accent, “Where are you from?” When I replied, “Texas,” she lost her Italian accent real quick and said “Oh I love Texas! I’m from Boston and I studied in Texas!” When I asked her where she studied at, I just bust out laughing. 

“Oh – a little town called Temple. I am a medical student. I studied cardiology disease as part of my focus studies. Do you know Temple?” 

“Oh yes,” I said, “I know Temple. I live there!!” 

We sat on the bus and talked for about an hour. Both missing our stops several times. It was just so nice to talk to someone without the need for awkward pronunciations and strange gesticulations!! 

She’s taking a summer off from school to travel before diving into her medical school program. She’s young, highly educated, ambitious, and unafraid of the world she travels through. She easily represents most of the millennials I know – and I honestly find her generation exciting! 

And — she lived in Temple for the last two years. But we met on a bus in Florence.

The world is a small place. Treat those around you with kindness and respect. When things don’t go as planned, embrace the opportunity for something unexpected to occur. You never know when and where a connection will be made! If I had been annoyed with the meetup getting cancelled I would have walked home in a sour mood and first – would have missed this amazing sunset. And I’d have never met the girl abroad from Temple! 

Yesterday, I wrote of being drained by the extroverted requirements of this trip. Today, the long solitary walk and the little connection with a fellow Texas local, was exactly what I needed to recharge!