Social Networking That Started at 14,000 Feet

It was a chilly day in Peru that September. I could almost see my breath as my friend Dimple and I boarded the train to see Machu Picchu. We took our seats across from a father and son, who were also excited to see the famous site. Naturally, we struck up a conversation with the pair during the 3 hour long ride. Antony, from New Orleans, was taking his father, Stephen, on this trip for his 65th birthday. All of us got along famously and were deep in dialogue until Antony received an emergency call from his wife. Their home had been flooded from hurricane Ike and needed information from him. While Antony was on the phone, Dimple and I continued to chat with Stephen to keep him company.

By the time we’d reached 14,000 feet, the air was thin and considerably cooler. I threw on my jacket and stepped out of the train as Antony was still talking with his wife. We carried oxygen shots and stopped occasionally to catch our breath as we walked around the ancient, breathtaking city. Antony finally caught up with us after everything had been taken care of, and the four of us toured, talked and took pictures together.

At the end of the day, we exchanged information and vowed to meet again in the States and I friended him on Facebook as soon as I got home (ha!). A few months later, I found myself in New Orleans for New Years Eve and we met up and had a great time together. We continued to keep in touch, and six months later when Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference was held in New Orleans, we were able to connect again. Since then, he’s visited my friends and me in Seattle, and I’ve gone and stayed with him and his family at his new home in New York. According to Facebook, we now have 17 mutual friends (and counting) across the country. Not only are we now personal contacts, but we’ve also been able to leverage our business relationship together as well.

Who knew that one cold day in Peru would unfold like it did. Antony and I could have sat in different seats, or simply not even made the effort to keep in touch, but we did. Whether its friends, customers, or random people you meet on trains, your true social network is about real people who believe in real connections.How many people are in your true social network?-   Posted by Pankaj Jindal

Pankaj Jindal, President of Aditi Litehouse, has 2251 Facebook friends and over 2000 LinkedIn contacts.  According to, Pankaj is the 394th most networked person in the United States on Social Networks with friends in 26 countries, covering a distance of 6,960,416 kilometers.

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