I'm doing something I've never done before: I'm riding atop a double-decker bus on the way to Manhattan.
I'm with complete strangers. But here's what I know:
The woman beside me was homecoming queen, and I know the whole story about the boy she met when she was 14 who visited, only in the summers, his grandparents who were her neighbors. I know about their long distance relationship, the time they broke up after they already paid for airline tickets to visit Chicago, and how, even though they doubted the other would actually still go, they found each other in that city and fell in love again.
I also watched a storm brew through the windows above my head with the older man next to me. He has a hearing aid, and I'm not sure would speak if I engaged him, but when that storm barreled in, he glanced at me, looked back up at the dark clouds, again at me, and then back again. We both saw it happening, and this was important.
I had 15 minutes at a truckstop, and I was late because I was listening to a man describe his writing project. The bus driver came in to find me. He looked down at me, shook his head, and smiled.
For the woman who hates to travel, I'm learning to find buried treasure in the people around me. I'm having the time of my life, and we are just in New Jersey.