A Travelers Code

I believe God puts us in the right place at the exact right time. Our paths are crossed by people, and it is those crossings that change us forever. We as humans do not always know when these moments are occurring. Sometimes, it takes years to realize that one happened and others are figured out quickly.

God placed me in the path of some really interesting people in the course of the last year. Twice while traveling I was given a place to stay by complete strangers. Since the first time, I began to live my life by a code of understanding. Sometimes we get left behind, or miss a ferry, get dumped, or get hammered. It is in those moments that we as people need to step in and lend a helping hand. God placed people in my life when I needed those hands extended to me; therefore, when I see a person in need, I always extend my hands.

When Jacquie and I were in Oslo, Norway, our couch surfing host fell through for reasons that I am not going to delve into right now. If you do not know why, please click here. She and I had to rely on the kindness of complete strangers to take us in, give us food and shelter, and not kill us. That may sound like an exaggeration, but after prior events, she and I were no longer skeptical of anything. The gay couple who welcomed us into their home are forever on my mind. I smile often at the thought of the freshly baked cupcakes and homemade dips. They blew up a mattress for us and gave us pillows. We were safe. God placed this couple in our lives to protect us from one of the worst experiences of our lives.

About a month later, two friends from home were traveling through Ireland on their way to England. They had plans to catch a ferry to Wales and then a train to London but failed to check the full timetable. By 5.00pm on Saturday, merely hours before their scheduled check in time at the hostel, the two girls were in my house worried sick that they were going to loose their reservation. I lent them my wifi, phone, and ultimately my couches. There was no way the two girls were going to make it to London in time, and they had no where else to go. Of course I was going to offer them to stay with me. Only a few weeks before I had been homeless in a country where I didn’t speak the native language! God placed me in their path. He was there when they needed help through me.

In May, I visited Jerusalem, Israel. During my three hour security check wait-time, I spoke with the good looking gentlemen in line in front of me. Turns out, he had been in Tel Aviv visiting a friend and was on his way back to NYC where he lived. He was raised on the Isle of Man, had an accent, and was terribly cute. Unfortunately for me, he batted for the other team. In our long discussion, I learned that his two female roommates were from Georgia and had attended the University of Georgia! We were practically cousins! He loved southern girls and I loved men with accents. It worked out.

It was sometime during this discussion that I explained to him that I intended to sleep in the Gatwick airport before my flight to Dublin the next morning. We wouldn’t be landing in London until after 1.00am and my flight was at 9.00am. It wasn’t sensible for me to get a hostel, so I was going to sleep in the airport. He wouldn’t have any of that and decided to sneak me into his hotel room. His words were, “You know I’m gay. You don’t have to worry.” I chuckled at that because he had no idea the situation I had been in before.

Long story short (ish), he snuck me into his hotel room. It was a super swanky feather pillow airport hotel. I have no idea how much he paid for it, but he wouldn’t take any amount I offered him. I tried to go at least halfsies with him, but instead, he said some words that have never left me.

“I travel all over the world with my company and solo. I’ve seen people get into some horrible situations and I’ve been in some myself. When I see a traveler on the road struggling and in need, I cannot help but help them. It’s what I do. It’s what I want to do.” 

Eventually, I got him to agree to letting me take him to dinner whenever I am able to visit NYC and go see a show. You know who you are. Know I am planning a trip to NYC sometime this year. It’s a date.

God placed that gentlemen in my life to solidify an ideology that I was already in the process of forming. It’s an unwritten code for travelers to help fellow travelers. We give tips, advice, warnings, food, clothing, and places to sleep.

His words never left me.

Fast forward to last weekend. It was my sister’s 21st birthday night out with my friends. We were in a bar in town having a normal girls night when some guy walked up to our table. He was southern, tall, dark, and handsome. He started talking to us and quickly found out we were out for my sister’s birthday. Being the gentlemen he was, he bought her a shot and went back to his friends.

A little while later, I was sitting at the table by myself. I’m not too big on dancing and loud music and drunk people spilling beer all over me, so I had left my friends upstairs. This gentlemen saw I was sitting alone and came to sit next to me. He had a cup of water in hand, and we started talking about how we were both over the bar scene. It’s a money suck and not a good place to meet people you really want to invest in. Let’s be honest, you’re probably not going to meet your soul mate (best friend or marriage material) in a bar. We found out that we have a lot in common. Same age, both recently home from life changing experiences (he’s a Marine who did two tours in Afghanistan), and both of us are really lost in life. Oh! And we both wanted out of the bar. When my sister finally came back downstairs, I invited him to join us for pizza while the other girls did their thing. The three of us wandered to the other side of the square laughing and cutting up. An hour and a whole pizza later, it was 2.00am and we were getting kicked out of the restaurant.

The gentlemen had told his friends where he was, but that didn’t matter. When he left the pizza joint to meet up with them, they had gone. We met up again outside the parlor in the cold rain. He had a look of worry and confusion on his face as he tried desperately to get in touch with one of his friends. No one was answering their phone. The girls and I had ordered a cab to pick us up. After fifteen minutes, it was clear his friends were not coming back for him.

This is where Travel Morgan came out.

I cannot stand to see any traveler stranded. I have been stranded. It is NOT a good feeling to be lost and alone in a strange city. It was cold and raining. I was in no way going to leave this guy alone. He had no idea where he was nor where his friends lived. He was only visiting. So, I did the only thing I could think to do.

I offered him to come home with us.

I explained to him that I had been in a similar situation and believed in taking care of travelers. It is my duty to be kind to other as they have been kind to me. God placed each of us in each others life that night. I honestly felt safer waiting around for the cab in the middle of the night with him than I would have with him not there. He is a Marine after all.

Two of my girl friends, my sister, the gentlemen, and I all piled into a cab headed back towards my house. The five of us stayed up till almost 6.00am talking about Jesus and periods (he had some questions for us women hahahaha). It was the most unplanned random rescue of my life (so far), but I wouldn’t change my decision to let him stay with us.

God is weird like that. He puts us in the strangest situations and then takes care of us while there. He puts people in our paths to teach us something. I don’t know why that gentlemen was placed in my path, or maybe it was that I was placed in his. But I am forever thankful it happened as it did.

That is the code I live by. If you are ever in need and I can help in any way, please, let me know. I am more than happy to.

Morgan is a travel blogger and columnist who loves chocolate and a cheesy rom-com. She spends her time reading self-help books in attempt to reassure herself that she isn't all that crazy. Follow her on her wild adventures around the world.

7 Comments

  1. I agree, that’s what we do! I haven’t been into that much “trouble” thankfully although I’ve had my share and I’ve had many people come to my rescue. I’m happy to return the favour whenever I can.

  2. My best travel experience was when my friends and I trusted a random Slovakian cowboy with our lives. We stayed on his ranch, he took us hiking, etc. Our car got broken into and my purse was stolen, but he took care of us. He ended up visiting my friends and me in Budapest and even stayed at my place. I fully believe in being cautious, but it’s beautiful what can happen when you let people in.

  3. I loved, loved, loved this post! I agree! God is weird and amazing like that. I also loved that you had stories both about people helping you and you helping people. Thanks for sharing! I also love that you named it “a traveler’s code”.
    I have a story like this, it’s a bit long and even had to divide it into two posts, but if you are interested here it is:
    http://anewlifewandering.com/2014/01/15/divine-intervention-during-the-worst-missed-flight-experience-part-1/

    http://anewlifewandering.com/2014/01/17/divine-intervention-during-the-worst-missed-flight-experience-part-2/

What are your thoughts?