Having a positive attitude when traveling brings many benefits – this inspiring travel experience is an example of one of them. The lesson I learned is: be open and let good things happen.
On May 17th, 2009 I was visiting a castle in southern France, it was late evening and I was walking inside the perimeter of the fortress looking for a good place for sleeping only in my sleeping bag without a tent.
Out of nowhere, a man that seemed about 10 years older than me passes by and suddenly says in a strong northern European accent “Are you looking for a place to sleep? Come with me.” – at first glance he did not seem trustworthy, but around us was full of people sitting at the tables of the bars and pubs within castle’s walls, enjoying the evening and having a good time, and in less than a second I thought it could not happen anything bad in such a crowded area so I trusted my instincts and decided to follow him for a while.
Shortly after, we arrived at the place where he was staying. It was a hostel. At the reception, he said “Look, today is my birthday, and it would be my pleasure to celebrate it by paying for your room. Maybe we can share it… also in sexual terms.”
When I heard this, I don’t know why but I wasn’t surprised at all, to me it seemed a conversation as normal as any other, so I replied “I am not gay, I am definitely straight, but I thank You for your generosity – I have slept outdoors so far, and certainly I will not have trouble finding a place to sleep also today 🙂 ” to which he replied that he would be happy to pay half of the price for a single room for me anyway.
I did not want to spend money for accommodation at all, so I replied “Look, You’re really nice, but I cannot accept, I have nothing against gay people, I consider myself with open heart and mind so since it’s your birthday I can accept to have a drink together and converse, but paying me half of the price for a room would be too much”.
Then he invited his three other roommates, brought snacks and various drinks and celebrated in the structure’s atrium. Finally, this guy asked the receptionist – who was gay as well – to allow me to sleep in my sleeping bag for free on the structure’s kitchen’s floor agreeing that in the early morning I would have left before his manager arrived. I slept there for the night and the next morning I left.
In the same place at the same time but without any other people around, probably I would have felt in danger and I would have walked away; but considering the context, I did not put myself in danger, I trusted my instincts, I gave a chance to someone, I let good things happen to me and I benefited from it.
To be open to people and to Life in general and let good things happen to us is something that can be applied also in everyday life, not only when traveling – as long as we trust our instincts and don’t put ourselves in danger, we will only benefit from having this positive attitude.
Written by Claudio Adriano Dobre; first in 2014, last updated in 2017. © 2014-2017