Traveling Entrepreneurs Won’t Starve In The Street

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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.

 

When you need help and ask for it, you may be surprised at how quickly a stranger becomes a friend.