Traveling is a great opportunity to meet new friends. I found there are three different types.
There are the folks you meet for 20 minutes or so, trade travel tips and stories, then go on along your way, unlikely to cross paths again.
Occasionally you can meet someone you know will become a life long friend such as Herbert and Christl, the Bavarian couple we met on a Panama cruise last year.
The last type of encounter is meeting someone you can only hope to meet again. This is Gerhard; the charming man we met in Weisenheim am Sand. He was sitting near our table in a coffee shop and Bill asked him if he might know what happened to the Neckerauer Winery and our friend Arnd. Gerhard proceeded to call a local winery, get the phone number and contact Arnd to create a magic reunion for us.
During our conversation, Gerhard shared a little about his life and asked us to do the same. He was fiercely proud of the local wine industry and nearing the end of our visit he jumped up, told us to stay put and walked around the corner to his friend’s winery, returning with two bottles of wine. The kindness he shared with us will long be remembered. Until we meet again, Gerhard.
As you travel far and near, look around; is there a Gerhard waiting to chat with you?