The Empty Table / by Krista Boivie

One of the most interesting parts of international travel is the people you meet along the way. This trip to China I have been traveling with my nephew and many people have confused our relationship and thought we are a couple. Some have even thought I was younger than him--flattering, but untrue. Our unusual relationship has seemed to baffle our travel companions and has caused some communication problems.

Normally when I take an organized trip I have no trouble forming instant bonds with my fellow travelers; however, this trip I have not had the same success. I think this is the case for a couple of reasons. First, I normally am not traveling with someone else and so I actively spend more time chatting with the other travel members. Second, there has been no formal 'get to know you' activities, which means I have to go through the laborious process of the basic introductions with everyone--multiple times.

We are only three days in our tour, but the writing is in the wall and I fear I will not be able to reverse the trend. Today at breakfast and lunch, Scott and I were the only people eating alone in the room. I could easily spend the rest of the trip just hanging out with Scott and not feel bad, but I think the trip would be more interesting with broader interactions.

As I prepare for dinner I will have to put on my extroverted hat and see who I can get to know.