“Hi, I’m Kara,” says the short brunette lady standing in front of my husband and me.
“Hi Kara. I’m Jessica, and this is my husband Kaleb,” I respond with a smile.
“Is this your first time at our church?” she asks.
We give what’s becoming our standard answer: “We’re new to the Boston area and will only be here a month or so for Kaleb’s job. We travel the country so he can help open new Chick-fil-A locations for Chick-fil-A’s corporate office, and we like to find a church to attend in each new place to help us meet people.”
Further into the conversation, she mentions that she is newer to the area too and wants to explore the city more. I immediately jump in and say, “Well, we should explore together then! I usually explore alone when Kaleb’s working long hours during an opening, so I’d love to have someone to check out the city with.”
To her credit, she offers to exchange numbers with the overly-eager stranger she just met. On our way out the door, my husband and I laugh at how our constant traveling has completely changed our approach to making friends.
Moving to a new city or state every 3–9 weeks means you don’t have time to form relationships slowly — or even at a “natural” pace. You either take initiative and get to know people right away, or you don’t get to know anyone at all. If you fall anywhere in between, you’ll find yourself having to move again after your very first get-together.
As a classic introvert, these kinds of surface-level friendships and repetitive explanations of why we’re there and what we’re doing drain me. But as a human who needs connection with other humans, these same friendships are also my lifeline.
“There’s always room in the heart for one more friend.”
Before becoming a full-time traveler, the thought of intentionally building a friendship with someone I’d leave in a matter of weeks seemed counter-intuitive, pointless even. And doing that over and over sounded exhausting.
Would that even be a true friendship? What if we rarely talked again after we parted ways? What if we never even saw each other again? Wouldn’t that be a waste of time…