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What's Happening

European Hospitality

Apr 11th, 2009 by WanderingSean | 2

Yup… we’ve been slacking on the posts lately–big time.  I think the last 18 months are starting to catch up with us.  We are constantly tired no matter how much sleep we get.  Still, it’s tough to face going home eventually.

We haven’t written much because we’ve been bouncing around Europe.  Travel is very easy here and more like vacation than travel.  Don”t get me wrong, we’ve been having a blast but I don’t think our readers enjoy hearing that as much as the funny, crazier, things that happen outside of the Western countries.

“WD ate lots of pain au chocolat in France.  WS stuffed his gut with bangers and mash in England and washed it down with several pints.  We both wandered the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa.”  See what I mean? snooore…

So this post is more of a thank you to all our European friends (which may still be boring unless you are one of them).  If you look back at our FAQ you’ll see we had no intention of traveling Europe due to cost.  But, the many new friends we have made along the way made it a possiblity so we scratched the loose plans for an African safari for some much needed sweet European travel.

I’m amazed at the trust and hospitality we’ve encountered in our travels.  I’ve had people I’ve known for only minutes hand me their Ipod for a day or lend me local currency with complete trust.  In the case of these friendships, they later evolved into entrusting us alone in their homes and even lending us their car.

A big thanks to our friend Gerald in Spain.  Starting out I would have never thought we would make a new Austrian friend in Ecuador, travel to Peru together, meet up again in Japan, then visit him at his home in Barcelona.  Crazy huh?  Maybe the world really is shrinking.

Gerald, WD, and WS 

Thank you to our Costa Rica kiteboarding UK pals Alex and Catherine for a wonderful time and for educating us in traditional English food and pub culture.  We never thought we’d see Stonehenge, Bath, or the British Museum let alone with some great friends.

 Alex and Catherine

And last but of course not least, a big thank you to Pete and Anna.  You’ve helped slim down our horrible geography knowledge to include the beautiful city of Cambridge (maybe my favorite place in all of England) and the picturesque village of Stanford.  We never could have predicted a visit to Sweden too… just wonderful.  Seeing you again was like meeting old long-time friends.  We hope the jobs work out and you find a happy balance between the UK and Sweden.  Next time we see you we hope to be less “daft” and speak more “proper” English–you muppets!

Pete and Anna 

I realize as Americans how fearful we are of things that have never even happened to us.  How many readers out there have had their material things stolen or their homes robbed?  Sure it happens, but it’s the exception not the norm.  Constantly looking at life through lenses like this only robs us of potential kindness and new friendships.  I think somewhere along the line we’ve slipped from awareness to paranoia.

I hope one day we get to a chance to reciprocate some of the kindness and hospitality we have received these last 18 months–I’d be embarassed not to.  I don’t care if the chance happens this year or in 20 years our door is never closed and the weather is always nice.  Thanks again friends.

2 Comments on “European Hospitality”

  1. Graham said:

    I couldn’t agree more with your second to last paragraph. Very observant and very astute. I have way too many American friends back home that are too paranoid to connect with all the wonderful people out there while traveling. Some don’t even travel at all! They think I’m totally crazy when I CouchSurf on a complete stranger’s couch but to me it’s an incredible show of generosity and trust that I only hope I can return in the future.

  2. nomadicmatt said:

    i’ll be knocking on ur door

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