One of the things I enjoy about my annual storm chasing trips is experiencing other areas of the country, solo, without a safety net. I try really hard not to play it safe; one of my fondest memories from my trips is sitting with a bunch of strangers at a bar, eating supper and having a beer or two, in Liberal, Kansas. I chatted with the bartender, a couple of guys next to me struck up a conversation, and while they clearly thought about the country from a different point of view than the way I see the world, it was still a good conversation. They were cordial. They quickly figured out I was from out of town and when I told them I was from the Lake Ontario Snow Belt they were curious about that part of New York State. I was curious about their corner of Kansas.

It’s good to get outside our bubbles. It’s good to hear the viewpoints of others. It’s OK to have conversation.