Two of my friends and I were traveling around Ireland in a camper van for a few weeks last March. None of us had a lot of money, so we would stay in the van every night and mostly lived off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and apples. Also, the campsites don’t open until the end of March/beginning of April so we would park on the side of the road, and we didn’t have anywhere to take a shower. We would just wash our faces and brush our teeth before we would leave whatever pub we went to that night.
So, one night in Killarney we parked in front of this really nice hotel. Out van looked slightly out of place (I should mention that it was painted with bright jelly beans on it.) So we went to a pub like usual and came back around 11. We were getting things rearranged to go to bed, and this Englishman and woman walked out of the hotel. “So you’re the people with the van!” They then asked us questions about the van and what we were doing in Ireland for about 10 minutes. It turns out they worked for a travel company in the states. So they finally said they were going back to their hotel (a different one), but offered to buy us a drink at their hotel’s bar because we “must need it after living in a van for a week.”
The hotel they were staying at was even nicer than the one we were parked near. They introduced us to a few more of their coworkers and bought us each a few drinks, while asking us more about our travels. The older man we had originally met by our van kept saying how he thought it was great and that everybody should travel when they are young. He worked in Italy for a few years when he was younger.
Well, he turned out to be the president of the travel company, and around 3 a.m. everybody decided to go to bed. As we were about to go back to our van, he stopped us and said “Go show your passports at the front desk. I got you, girls, a room. You can go back to your van and get anything you need. I have an early flight, but you don’t have to check out until noon, and there is a full breakfast included downstairs. It was very nice meeting you all!”
I have never been so excited to shower before in my life. And it was so nice to be able to sleep without a jacket on. Now I hope I get to do something like that for a stranger in need someday.
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