We had a few travel days, which are always busy, but a fun way to see things and meet people.
So I wanted to tell you about some of the people you will meet if you travel.
You will meet fellow travellers (FT). These are some of my favourite people. There is an instant connection when you start to talk to fellow travellers about the places they’ve been and the experiences they’ve had. Sharing funny stories, and finding out that you aren’t the only one to feel a certain way about something in another country brings a certain camaraderie about. Even simple things like talking about food. Funny story: I was telling my brother and sister in law the other day how much I miss cheese since we’ve left Europe. (I get food homesickness every once in a while, and this one just happened to be cheese). No joke, we were sitting in the train station yesterday waiting for our train to Malaysia, and the FT couple we were talking to asked what food we had enjoyed the most since leaving home. He then said that he missed cheese……instant bond right there 😉
I have found that you have to have to have a certain kind of humour to get through long term travel, and we have discovered that to be true with pretty much every other long term FT we’ve met. These last couple days we met a group of Americans at the train station (at 2 in the morning btw), who asked if we were waiting for the bus to get to the ferry. We told them no, we were waiting for our train that had been delayed an hour and was now coming in at 3am. No point in getting worked up about it, we both just laughed and made jokes about the situation, and how sleep is overrated anyways. Two other FT’s (two separate people) had been in a scooter crash earlier that day. Luckily they were okay, but they had both had to pay hefty fees to get their passports back from the rental companies. I’m sure at the time they were upset, but when we met them, it was a good travel story, and they both reminisced about it and chalked it up to experience. On one of our cruises, an FT got taken by a tuk tuk driver to the driver’s home. The driver called his kids out, and told the passenger he needed more money to support his family. Another chalk it up to experience story that was shared over a cup of coffee. These are the nitty gritty stories of real world travelling, that usually only FT’s will understand. (Also, please don’t think I’m making light of these situations, as I know they could have gone horribly wrong, and sometimes do; I know that you have to go into travel with your wits about you, and keep your smarts about you too. But there is also with a certain sense of humour/attitude that when you’ve travelled for so long, you learn to kind of just roll with the moment and whatever comes your way. It’s an adventure. Always be on guard, but know that you’re gonna have an amazing time, and some awesome stories to share.)
You will meet local people (LP), who are so proud of their hometown and country, and will go out of their way to make you feel at home. We have met a lot of these people through Airbnb, a home rental site for short term or long term rentals. It takes a special person to host travellers, and make them comfortable in a new and foreign place. We have also met a lot of these people just walking around and taking local transit. I shared our Italy bus story with you, and it is still one of my favourite memories. A local person saw us standing at the exit to the train station, while Nathan was trying to get the internet working on his phone. The gentleman asked us what we were looking for, and when we said “taxi,” he said, “don’t take the taxi, use this app instead….much cheaper and faster.” You will meet local people who offer their cell phones for you to make a local call. This happened twice that I can remember, when we didn’t have a cell plan…once in UAE when Nathan asked a janitor in the mall where a pay phone was. The janitor just pulled out his phone and offered it to Nathan. And our “Grab” driver (like Uber), offered us his phone to call the host of the Airbnb once he dropped us off outside the apartment here in Malaysia. We also had a taxi driver in Bangkok pull over and ask where we were going. When we told him we needed two taxis, he got another taxi driver, and then we said we weren’t sure what time the place we were going to was open until. He asked the other driver, they used their cell phones to look it up, and when we found out it was only open for another 40 minutes, he said we probably wouldn’t get there in time. It may not seem like a big deal, but he could have taken us for a ride and made money if he wasn’t such a nice guy. I seriously could go on and on about local people and how awesome they are.
That being said, you will also meet local people who aren’t that friendly, and will ignore you, or walk away when you ask them something, or yell at you about something. (One lady was pretty ticked at us in Greece that we didn’t speak Greece….and I totally get it 😉 ) It has been our experience that these LP are few and far between, and the nice LP outnumber the grumpy ones by miles.
I have always been a bit of a skeptical person…especially after researching and reading about travel scams, and people who have been ripped off by locals and transit drivers. This trip has taught me that there are far more good people out there than there are bad ones. You still have to be on your guard, and travel smart, but it’s nice to know that most people are willing to help if you need it, and all you have to do is ask.
Anyways, those are just a few stories I wanted to share….I could go on and on, but will stop there. Thanks for reading. We love you all, and are excited to be on the home stretch of the trip 🙂