New friends are like new adventures. You never know what lessons they will teach you

We are Ipsita Dey, postdoc at the University of Pittsburgh and Mara Cetty Spinella, postdoc at IRB, Switzerland. We both attended Cytokines 2023 in Athens and didn’t know each other before then. Through the ICIS email we were put in contact to share a double room at the Divani Caravel Hotel. In this way we were able to save on travel expenses and meet a new person who does the same job as us but in a completely different Institute and continent. Of course we both were anxious about sharing room with an unknown person for 4 days. But it was immediately a perfect match, we immediately felt at ease and it allowed us to network with other interesting people and learn a lot about ourselves too. We shared our stories and cultures. It was a bold choice, which we would both make again and we recommend all students/postdoc to try it because “A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.”