Traveling Entrepreneurs Won’t Starve In The Street
I arrived in Ha Long bay two nights ago with no place to stay. With $100 in my pocket, visiting a touristy hotel wasn’t the plan.
I was hoping to find a hostel but this was the ‘expensive’ part of town. It was time to ask for help.
Upon entering a nearby restaurant, I asked a young Vietnamese couple if I could spend the night on their floor. They said that their house was too full to have an extra visitor.
When I left the restaurant I asked a woman I saw on the street for help. She took me around the neighborhood until she found someone with an extra bed.
She brought me to a group of locals who sat around a tea vendor. One of these locals was a 25-year-old bank employee named Truong.
I spent two nights sleeping on the spare bed in his studio apartment. He invited me to visit his hometown and this weekend has been spent throwing back unknown 40-proof Vietnamese liquor with the adults and selling hand-sewn pants with his family’s kids.
Generosity is everywhere. You just need to go find it.
Three years ago I was on a trip through Spain.
Sitting on the train to Pamplona to run with the bulls, I frantically called hostels only to find that due to the holiday, they were all booked.
I quickly made a friend on the train and he invited me to stay with him and his group in their apartment. The first person I asked for help gladly provided assistance.
We’re used to never asking for help and we forget that we can.
A warm room is usually just one ‘hello’ away. It’s easy to forget this, however, when you’ve booked every trip in advance for the past 10 years.
Showing up to a place you’ve never been with $100 in your pocket may be the best way to ‘nudge’ yourself into speaking with that local you may otherwise have avoided.