When I was in the Bahamas a local family hosted me and my friends for dinner. They served us booze and beer, fish and rice. It was an amazing experience for me – these people were not getting paid – they only wanted to host open-minded people who visit their country. It was like we were old friends passing through town on a visit, truly people helping people (you can read the full story here).
The whole concept inspired the hell out of me, and when I returned to the United States I wanted to get involved in something similar – something that connected people through a medium other than money.
CouchSurfing.com is one of them: It allows people to offer their couch or spare bedroom to a person passing through town, sort of like an abbreviated exchange student visit. I could pass through Roswell, stay with a host and ask them about all the extraterrestial tales in the area. I could sit at the table and have a conversation, tell them about myself and what I’ve learned thus far in my journeys. Or I could stay at a Holiday Inn and watch television until I fall asleep.
I’m being an ass, but you get my point. The glimpses of community give me hope that we can work through our differences as we push forward into the future. I am unfortunately having trouble finding hosts due to the short notice of my arrival, but I’ll let you know how it is when/if I’m able to make it happen (although it’s only a matter of time, be it this trip or the next).
Another reason I’m inspired: One of the corporate shops wanted $75 to help me with the bearings in my trailer tires, but a private mechanic (Rob LoMonaco of 4 Wheel Drive and Fabrication) helped me for a handshake.
He’s an interesting guy – he loves restoring old World War II vehicles – and we had a conversation and I asked him questions about installing the wheels on the trailer, and he laughed when I told him I am towing her across the country without the slightest knowledge of how to install them (but I know now!)
(Did I mention that that I’m towing a boat on the upcoming trip? Yeah – that’s something I can’t leave behind in California. I have too many good memories – it’s so much more than a boat.)
Cheers Rob – keep leading by example. I didn’t only walk out of your shop today with three working tires, I left with a life lesson.
Nothing left to do except to pay it forward.