Wild Child Lessons From The Road: Part 3 - About Strangers, Waiting, and Being Stingy AF
Three things you are guaranteed to have to handle if traveling: Strangers, Waiting, and Money. Here are some thoughts on each.
Smile. Make friends. Be kind. You truly never know who you are talking to. I have found out mid-conversation that I was talking to a CEO, or a news anchor, or someone with a sweet boat. My most recent encounter with an awesome stranger was in the Key West. My boyfriend and I were whining about not wanting to go home, and a friend we had just made offered to let us stay on their boat. If we had kept our heads down and not had such a willingness to make friends and interact, we would have been on a return flight home a whole lot sooner.
Go with your gut, but most people are genuinely willing to help you out. Use your manners, ask for recommendations, and invite others into your beach volleyball games.
About Waiting + How To Pass The Time
Part of traveling is waiting. At some point you'll be in a car, on a train, on a plane, or simply stuck waiting to check into a room. The best thing to do in these moments: be productive or play like a child. I have experienced a train delay in Paris where 60+ people started singing and dancing. We spoke three different languages, and we were all different ages. Some drunk girl from Seattle rallied everyone. She started by blowing kisses to those stuck on the train (we were on the platform), and we were laughing. Then we started to whip, nay nay, dougie, soulja boy, cha cha slide and more. It's amazing how much fun people are willing to have when they have nothing better to do!
Other options that keep me occupied are my journal, books, listening to music, or sleeping. The memories are made when you're acting like a goofball, asking questions with the curiosity of a child, and making friends with strangers. I promise.
About Being Stingy AF
There have been several instances where being very brutally honest about my budget has led to free beer, amazing food, or discounted lodging. I have walked up to food trucks in Portland and said "I have $10. What can you make me?" and the chef made up something completely special for me. I have also been at a bar and had a beer, but didn't order a second one and someone said "Why don't you have a beer?" and I simply said "I ran out of beer money," and another cold one was in my hand in minutes. (This might work for women and not men, I'm not really sure.) Back to my Key West example, we stayed on a houseboat and were supposed to fly home after 4 days. On day 4, we got offered another house boat but it was $400 a night. We told the guy our budget and he ended up giving us 3 nights for $400 total. He said it was $400 he wouldn't have if the boat was empty (which it would have been).
I have also used coupons, asked for discounts, or looked for cheap options all together. One of my favorite traveling meals was $2 (vietnamese lettuce wraps). Sometimes it's the little things. You don't have to live like royalty everywhere you go. Remember that.