Can XM bond humans together? I have always thought so, but now I am convinced of it. In what other world but one positively influenced by XM can a lone traveler move through three different hemispheres and never once worry about how she would find lodging, food, transportation, or companionship?

I recently trekked across the globe for #IngressMissionDay Johannesburg. This took me first through Frankfurt, Germany, then to South Africa, then back home to the US via Zurich, Switzerland. Unlike most travelers, I purposefully picked 7 to 10 hour layovers so I could have the chance to explore these wondrous new places.

 Frankfurt at a glance...

Frankfurt at a glance...

Frankfurt, Germany - Friday, March 17, 2017

The Enlightened Frankfurt Guest hangout discussed who could meet up with me for several days before they found me, what I would call, a perfect match! 

I was pleasantly surprised when I was met by Agent Saskia at the airport with a handmade welcome sign and huge hug...and of course we were instant best friends! For the next 3 hours, she took me through the winding streets of Frankfurt, surrounded by ancient cathedrals, lumbering brick buildings, and gorgeous plazas before we met up with her beau, Agent Aradiv.

We finished two murals (note: it is much easier to complete missions with passphrases when you have locals who speak the native tongue along), bought truffles at a boutique candy store and rewarded ourselves every time we finished one, strolled across their iconic "lock bridge", and wound our way through sculpture gardens and museums before having Schnitzel with Green Sauce at Frau Rauscher tucked down a narrow cobbled alley. It freaking good.

They both saw me safely to security in the airport and as we hugged we were already planning her very first trip to the US in the fall of next year! They both waved until I disappeared behind the frosted glass of customs and I couldn't help but feel rejuvenated somehow by whole the experience.

Now I'm on a plane headed to South Africa wondering at the magic of it all. Seven hours ago they were virtual strangers and now they feel as if they are my closest friends. Is it humanity's need for companionship or are greater influences at work, drawing us together towards something more profound? 

saskia and I