Friday, 22 July 2011

Gratitude on the Go

It's summertime (love!) and I've been doing some travelling recently. I took a road trip across three provinces and back. I was blessed to be able to stay at friend's and family's homes along the way. Yes, it saved me some money, but I was also really blessed to stay in other's homes and receive amazing hospitality.

It occurred to me as I travelled from house to house that there is such a thing as Travel Ettiquette. You have influence wherever you go. Here are a few tips/ideas for taking an attidue of gratitude with you on the road:

*Sometimes I arrive with a small bouquet. I stop at a road side stand or a grocery store on the way, and give the bouquet to the host as an initial thank you.

*Offer to help with meal preparation (from chopping carrots to setting the table). This is a kind gesture, even if they don't take you up on the offer. In this case, stay and make conversation. It can be tempting sometimes to take extra time to "freshen up" and steal some moments away, especially on long trips when travel can be tiring. Resist the temptation and take the opportunities to show you care and are grateful for the sacrifice they're making for you.

*Don't be picky. Whether it's with food or accomodation, don't stick your nose up. On the other hand, if your opinion is asked, be honest. Don't say "you're fine with anything" if you truly don't like one of the two options provided. No host wants to serve you something you won't enjoy.

*Upon leaving, I strip the bed and fold the sheets. If I stayed on a hide-a-bed, I put it back together. I fold the towels I used and place them beside the sheets. That way, it saves my host a little time when they clean up from my stay.

*Pack and give thank you cards. I keep a package in my suitcase, even when it's in storage, just so I don't forget. Whenever I leave a house after my stay, I leave a card thanking them for their generosity and hospitality. I place it on top of the folded sheets.

These are a few of my tips on how to be a good guest. Some I learned from my mother and cousin and others I picked up from guests of my own.  What would you add?

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

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