One of the things that we always reminisce about when we get home from a destination is the people. Whenever we plan vacations and bring it up to our friends and family, we constantly hear things along the line of “why there”, “is it safe”,”I’ve heard bad things”. We have been very fortunate that we have never felt as if we were in an unsafe situation, sure there are moments where you know you’re being had, but with that comes learnings.
The genuine goodwill and hospitality in people often comes out far more than the cunning and misleading. For example, Ray in Bangkok. Ray was genuinely amazed that we were the only westerners he had ever seen eat at the food stall we were “attempting” to order from.
Ray had a little more success ordering than us. While we ate our noodles we talked with Ray who was so excited to learn that we were from Florida, as his daughter had recently returned from a foreign exchange program in Tampa. After we finished our noodles Ray offered to take one more photo of us and introduced us to his daughter before we had to catch our ride back into the city.
The person who is our absolute favorite new friend from our travels thus far was Ara, from the Premiere Hotel in Johannesburg, SA. We had just landed after a full day of traveling for our honeymoon and didn’t feel like doing much in terms of dinner. We headed down to the hotel restaurant for dinner. We were blown away by the quality and price of the South African Wines, however we were more blown away by Ara. Ara was so excited to meet us and learn more about where we were from. We spent the entire night chatting about her home and ours. We told Ara that we live right by Disney World and to our astonishment, she had no idea where that was. We told her we lived by the big castle and Mickey Mouse. That’s when it clicked with Ara and she was genuinely fascinated. At the end of dinner we asked if we could buy a bottle of sparkling wine to take back to the room. Are returned with a bottle bucket and the bottle we had ordered and REFUSED to let us carry it back to the room, she insisted on helping. When we got to the room we hugged and said our good byes. Are asked if we could snap a selfie and of course we we were all to happy to oblige, no matter how tired we looked.