Airports are the new dating services! More and more people are reporting meeting potential mates while waiting for planes than ever before. It’s probably not such a new concept, but one that is getting a lot of press recently.

As a business traveler I’ve been privileged to meet many extraordinary people in ordinary circumstances. It truly does seem that everyone has a story.

I met Pete, the 50 something Health care professional who left his mom today for the last time. He confided in me that his mom was probably going to die later on today and that he said his last goodbyes. Tears welled up in me as I heard him tell the story of how his mom told him that she could see his dad and her sister at the end of her bed. His dad had died in 2003 and her sister years before. He told his mom that they were waiting for her and that it was okay to go. He comforted her by saying that everyone who was still here was going to be fine and that she would be missed.

I met Maria, the long time public school PE teacher who now worked in a non school environment who now bubbled with passion over the non traditional way of allowing kids to learn what they want when they want. She assured me that kids have a natural desire to learn and that in time, they all accomplish the things they need to learn in order to be successful.

I met Nathan, the 26 year old fast tracker in the financial industry who looked like the perfect crisp fraternity boy who had success written all over him. He was charming and humble and curious what life would bring. He was a swimmer in high school and recently ran 10K without training and it gave him a run for his money. He reminded me of another friend in the financial industry and so I promised to introduce them with the hopes of my friend Brian who is a fast track executive in the same industry.

The list of interesting people that I have met on the road just goes on and on. It’s true that every single person you meet has a story. It’s usually a really interesting story too, and at some point throughout the conversation, you can usually find how you’re connected to the person, by race, religion, region, friend, industry, or interests.

I’ve found that we are naturally connected to everyone. What gets in the way of any meaningful relationship is ourselves. In 99 times out of 100, if we get our own egos out of the way, our own fear of talking with others, then we can share of ourselves, and experience the true joy of being connected to another.

The stranger is no longer a stranger. They have now become a friend.