(CNN) — British college student Laura was scrolling through social media one day in 2014, when a Tweet caught her eye, and changed her life.

One of her favorite Twitter accounts, which posted updates about singer-songwriter Tori Amos, had just retweeted a post from someone called Sara.

Sara clearly shared Laura’s passion for Tori Amos’ lyrics.

“I was like, ‘Oh, she sounds interesting,'” recalls Laura, who was in her early 20s at the time.

Without thinking too much about it, Laura hit the follow button.

Sara, a then-24-year-old Australian studying for her master’s degree in Sydney, saw the notification and followed Laura back.

Over the next several months, the two women occasionally spotted one another’s updates in amongst Twitter’s melange of photos, news headlines, life updates and gifs.

“We just started noticing each other more,” Sara tells CNN Travel. “There was no real catalyst of anything that really stood out, except we both ended up getting a tattoo around the same time — completely separately, obviously, completely different countries, completely different things.”

Then one day, Laura saw Sara Tweeting that she thought no one would notice if she disappeared.

Laura reached out right away.

“Even though I don’t know, I’d really miss you,” she wrote.

A connection was formed.

Constant messaging

Laura and Sara, who have asked only to be referred to by their first names for personal reasons, started communicating more and more, bonding over their love of the Guillermo del Toro movie “Crimson Peak.”

Their Twitter direct messages (DMs) gradually progressed from occasional to regular to everyday.

“We just started talking, and we did not stop,” says Laura.

“We literally broke the Twitter DM limit,” recalls Sara.

They switched to messenger app Telegram. Sara, the more natural night owl of the two, began staying up late so she’d be online for as long as possible during Laura’s daytime.

Soon they were peppering their text chains with occasional voice notes. Then they were speaking on the phone whenever they could.

The obvious next step was to video call.

As they made plans to Skype for the first time, playing on Sara’s mind were the potential consequences of taking this connection to this next level.

She figured seeing Laura’s face fill her laptop screen would cement something she increasingly suspected — that she was falling hard for a girl who lived on the opposite side of the world.

“I think we both sort of knew that we liked each other, but didn’t really know how to navigate that,” says Sara.

“There was no way that we could have been speaking as much as we were without liking each other,” adds Laura. “But obviously, when you’re in that moment, you’re still terrified that the other person won’t feel the same way.”

But by the end of their first video conversation, both Laura and Sara had been honest about how they felt, and it was clear they were on the same page. They decided to try and make a cross-continental relationship

This year’s class of Plastics Hall of Fame inductees have all traveled to dozens of countries and many were still on the move even as they have entered retirement.

They flew for work, trade shows, conferences, speeches and pleasure. That is, until early 2020 when they were put on “house arrest,” as Vince Witherup said during a recent interview with Plastics News.

The coronavirus pandemic grounded or reduced most airline travel, which was one of the reasons the Plastics Academy Hall of Fame ceremony was delayed alongside NPE2021. The ceremony will now take place in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Oct. 7 during the Plastics Industry Association’s annual meeting and fall conference. All inductees intend to make the trip.

Each of the 10 inductees were interviewed by Plastics News for the special issue and are featured with their own story and video.

While each inductee is unique in their plastics knowledge, they all share a common thread: travel. I’ve gathered some tidbits.

For Sal Monte, the stories go on as long as the miles. He traveled to give lectures and enlighten the masses to broaden material use.

“I talked with all my heart and soul to spread my mission to teach people how to use raw materials more efficiently using titanium,” he said.

He said he and his wife, Erika, had visited 52 countries and plan to be on the move again when the world opens back up.

Suresh Shah, who was born in India, spent much of his time traveling in the 1990s for General Motors/Delphi. He said he greatly benefited from working with people across different cultures and comparing them in the U.S., Europe and Africa.

“I really like Europe, Germany in particular, where they take one-and-a-half-hour lunch breaks, you come back more energetic,” he said. “And here we are, we are workaholics, we were so much.”

Peter Neumann, former CEO of Engel Holding GmbH, which is headquartered in Schwertberg, Austria, was inspired to focus on expanding the business to the world market after a trip to Asia in the 1970s. Neumann’s profile was written by my colleague, Plastics News Assistant Managing Editor Steve Toloken.

“As a student, I was traveling a lot,” he said. “I was traveling through Thailand and China, and at that time, it was not so open as it was today. I was so fascinated about the culture, not the historical culture but the business culture and the way people are working and hardworking.”

Neumann has slowed down in recent years but enjoys trips to the Mediterranean Sea to go sailing. He also spends time skiing with his twin 7-year-old grandsons.

German machinery executive Ulrich Reifenhäuser enjoyed building friendships with people he normally wouldn’t contact: “It really enriches my life and gives me new inputs and new ideas on what I can do better in the time to come.”

He particularly liked international sales and the entrepreneurs he would meet and build friendships with around the world as the industry globalized, whether that was

Nothing gets Americans on planes during a global pandemic like holidays and Mother’s Day weekend has been no exception.

On Friday, a record 1.7 million people were screened at security checkpoints, rewriting the record set just 24 hours earlier, when about 1.64 million people were screened at U.S. airports Thursday, the busiest day for air travel since March 2020, the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

The previous pandemic high for air travel was reached just four days earlier and with the Mother’s Day weekend not yet over, the record could be reset yet again over the next few days as travelers return from their trips.

Air travel has yet to return to anywhere near the typical levels seen before COVID-19 brought flights almost to a standstill. In April and May, airport crowds were down about 40% compared with the same period in 2019, according to figures from the Transportation Security Administration.

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Airline traffic began to pick up at Thanksgiving and Christmas last year and then began to register a sustained uptick in bookings around mid-February, which they attribute partly to the nation’s massive vaccine rollout. Leisure destinations such as beach towns and mountain regions have been the most popular, while cities favored by business travelers have lagged behind.

Airline stocks rose Friday, with American, Delta, United and Southwest all gaining between 2% and 3% in afternoon trading.

Contributing: Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY