A stranger set me straight today after I said ‘I’m not bad thanks’. He said if I am not bad then I am obviously good. It is also quicker to say I am good so there is no excuse for a little more optimism.

Don’t be like me. Be like stranger. He is more optimistic. 

I’ll try my best to change.

The further you travel, the closer it is to home

I must have been one of the first people they had spoken to since arriving in Europe. Travelling all the way from Lubbock TX, they were delighted when I told them I once lived and worked in their city. For them it was a huge coincidence. For me, in a job that involves speaking to many international travelers, it was a matter of time.

Not to take anything away from the chat, it was great to meet them and brought back some awesome memories. I remember being in their shoes in their home city. It was just as much of a surprise when a guy at the bar recognised my accent and told me how he went to school in my hometown. It was very funny to hear how we brought back the northern English accent that had clearly faded over time.
It was also a surprise when I bumped into a friend in New York City, checking into a hotel as I was checking out. Being so far from home, it took a while to sink in. We crossed paths like we did at college and the local store. A couple thousand miles did not change anything. 

The more I travel, the more I have these experiences. 

I hope I’m not the only one!

A lady with no arms inspired me today 

This evening I watched a wonderful woman check into a hotel, wide smile and full of energy. The weather is freezing so it didn’t surprise me to see a large coat covering her. Her sleeves were loosely swinging so I assumed her arms would be inside the coat.

‘I have no arms, but you can pass me the keys’, she says as her foot leaves the shoe and makes it’s way to the top of the reception desk. The receptionist placed the room keys between her toes like it’s second nature. Then, the receptionist finds a low table for her to sign the registration form. One foot used as a paperweight, the other signing with more grace than I have with my hand.

The pair converse in typical fashion, talking about the weather and plans for the day. She smiles and they both exchange a goodnight. ‘See you at breakfast!’ the lady declares before disappearing into the elevator.

A lot of my night has been spent thinking about their conversation. The wonderful and friendly vibe despite the horrible nature of her condition. I could not tell if this was from birth or after a more recent event but regardless, it didn’t affect the high spirits of both individuals. 

I have heard many complaints in hotel lobbies. Complaints that really do make me question people. 

‘There are no beans for breakfast!’

‘My mini fridge hasn’t been replenished!’

Complaints delivered with enough anger to suggest that they are of much more importance than they are. I cannot imagine being so miserable about such petty things. I watch the news as a reminder that my little problems are a blessing. The day I make a fuss over such little factors is the day I lose my humanity.