May on the Move- Stranger

I got inspired by the prompt on Instagram in the ‘May on the Move’ series. The prompt for 5th of May was #stranger

‘Trust a stranger’ It’s what my book Colours of a Cultural Chameleon is about, right?It’s not only what my book is about, but also my own motto in life. It’s my way of life & how I interact with others. Strangely enough I only realised this after I’d finished writing Colours of a Cultural Chameleon & wrote in the blurb✍

“Kamala’s motto became: trust a stranger & new doors open”

excerpt from Colours of a Cultural Chameleon

There are sooo many examples of me trusting a stranger which led to a wonderful experience; too many to jot down here.

  • at 18, with a friend I travelled to the UK and hiked Wainwright’s C2C. Midway through our coast to coast adventure we stepped into a bookstore in Richmond and got invited to sleep at the owners home. After his wife entered the shop, we didn’t need a lot of persuasion; sleeping on real matrasses instead of camping on the football pitch with partying high schoolers sounded tempting. We gratefully accepted their invitation and were treated to a refreshing bath, delicious wine, splendid view & wonderful conversations. Exactly what we needed to boost our energy for the second lap of our 190 mile trip through glorious fells & foggy moors.
  • solo travelling in South America. Feeling alone & lost in the city of Cajamarca I walked into a travel agency; wanted to travel to Keulap (an off the beaten track ancient ruined city ->), but didn’t feel confident going alone. The travel agent was in a heated conversation with a Spanish guy about the Incas & the Spanish conquest. Patiently I waited….
    1,5 hours! no one seemed to notice my presence. After a while I got chatting with his Peruvian wife. They were heading for Kuelap!
    Was it fate, chance, or luck that I bumped into them?
    I trusted these strangers, they adopted me as their younger sister & a lovely 1,5 weeks of travelling together followed

– Still solo travelling, now in Ecuador waiting in a bus station late at night, I chatted with a Chilean. There was an immediate connection with this sweet person; who I think was slightly older. It was also a great way to ‘not be alone at night’ in an unknown place. Just before she boarded her bus, she invited me to stay at her home whenever I might visit Santiago.
A few months later I did, with a friend (from back home) who joined me on my last leg of travels in Argentina & Chile. We stayed at ‘the stranger’s’ home. Her mother made the best Pisco Sour ever 🙂 & we joined her & many others in election celebrations in town

  • in Quito, exploring the city I had difficulty locating the Basilica on the hill (which I thought would be an easy one to spot). Wanting to ask directions (I knew I was very near), I asked a girl my age with a map (this was way before we had mobiles ;-)). A coincidence, she was on her way to the same touristic hotspot. Together we managed to find the place with splendid views & then we had lunch together, as we were both alone in the city. She had a job interview. I told her of my travel plans. Just before she bid goodbye, she told me I’d be very welcome to stay at her mother’s home when I visited her hometown (even though she would probably be out of town). Very sweet. I felt awkward when I called her mother a few days later & didn’t want to impose…but she insisted I visit. I ended up spending one night in their home and slept in one of the rooms that was ‘finished’, the little sister’s. A very welcoming family who owned a corner shop on the ground floor of their home-under-construction.

It’s wonderful to be invited into someone’s home. Exploring a city with a local is the best way to experience a place

Trust strangers & wonderful experiences happen. When did you last trust a stranger? Would love to hear

Published by shakti

Author of Colours of a Cultural Chameleon. Kindle & paperback available on Amazon

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