We ate in awkward silence for many minutes, trying to ignore the desire to connect. She started playing with her phone and I suddenly felt cut off, technology putting up yet another wall between us. But instead, she expectantly turned her phone to face me, turning it back to herself once more before I could see, double checking what she was showing me. In the translator app on her phone, she had typed “Has someone told you you are beautiful?”

With one translator app, she tore down the barriers between us as if they were nothing but curtains.

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Do These Ridiculously Easy 7 Steps to Make Friends Before and While You Travel

Making friends is undoubtedly harder the older we get. But friends make life last longer. Literally. An Australian study found the survival time of older people with a circle of friends significantly enhanced. Harvard showed that a large social network provided a protective influence on cognitive function. So really, it’s not only a fun way to travel, but healthy too. One of the best ways to make friends is to find something in common. Traveling in itself is already something in common with fellow travelers. Using that jumping off point and these handy tips, get ready to meet people, find new travel buddies, and make lasting friendships!

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