The Generosity of Strangers Has Made Our Travels Possible

Our travels have been made possible thanks to the incredible generosity of strangers from all over the world. To all of you, we want to say thank you.

When I say that our travels are only possible thanks to the generosity of some incredible people that we’ve met during our journey, I mean it. I have never in my life felt some overwhelmed than when I think of all the people who have opened their homes and their hearts to me and Luke on the road. From families in Poland to eco-lodgers in Costa Rica, we’ve been welcomed and supported by strangers from all over the world. It is thanks to you that we have been able to keep travelling.

Charlie and Luke in Quepos by Nate - Charlie on Travel
Photo taken by my best friend Nate in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Travelling in the UK

At the beginning of 2014, we travelled around the north of the UK. After a year living in Taiwan, we were set on exploring further in our home country. Fortunately, we have family and friends up north and over in Wales who were more than happy to have our stay for a couple of days during our trip.

Thank you to Luke’s warm-hearted relatives (there are lots of them!) who I met for the first time. You really made me feel part of the family. Thank you to Alice, who actually lives with people she met on Couchsurfing, for hosting us. Thank you to our friend Danny, who we met in Taiwan, and his lovely mum. It was awesome to see your home town and the beautiful Bolton Abbey. Thank you to my best friend, Nate, and her partner Kieran, for letting us crash in your Liverpool flat for ages! Thank you to my other best friend, Hannah, for being there with the wine on all the rainy evenings. Thank you to Ed and Annie, for the rainy road-trip in Wales, the nights spent in a caravan and hiking Snowdon in the cold.

Couchsurfing in Poland

Having spent a couple of months roaming around at home, we volunteered and travelled in Poland. We have never been to a country with such an amazing Couchsurfing community and were lucky enough to have Couchsurfing hosts for 75% of our journey around Poland. The Polish people were so amazing that we will definitely be going back to explore the rest of the country some time in the future.

Thank you to Martin and Goska, our first Polish hosts who cooked delicious veggie food. Thank you to my good friend Wojtek, who generously called up a friend of his for us to stay with. Thank you to the crazy, fun Agata, who was that friend. Thank you to Malgorzata and her family – the coolest kids you will ever meet. Thank you to Jowita, whose mum makes this scrummy apple salad. Thank you to Przemyslaw and Dorata – they cycled the whole way around South America on a tandem bicycle!

Working as Writers

After travelling in Poland, I decided for sure to pursue a career in writing. Starting out as a freelancer was tough, I worked a couple of average jobs for poor pay, but meeting Tim made it all worth it. Tim is mine and Luke’s super awesome boss. Our writing jobs mean we can work while travelling the world – and we feel so privileged to be in this position. Thank you, Tim. Everyone we work with is a superstar too.

House Sitting in Costa Rica

This year we took the step from small timers to professional house sitters – and it was all thanks to the trust of an woman called Jess. After chatting to us on Skype, Jess trusted us to fly across the world from England to Costa Rica to look after her 10 dogs in the mountains of San Jose. Thank you, Jess.

This led into our second house sit in Quepos, where we met Christiane. This is the first person I’ve met who drinks white wine with frozen strawberries for ice cubes. She welcomed us into her home and we’ve never stopped emailing since. Quepos was also where we met Os, our super friendly Spanish teacher, and his lovely girlfriend, Eli. Thank you for putting up with our shaky beginner Spanish and for being our first friends in Quepos.

Eco-Lodges in Central America

Through travel blogging, I have met some of the most inspiring people who have devoted their time to environmentally friendly and sustainable projects. We learned so much for each and every one of the eco-lodge owners we met this year and admire all of them.

Thank you to Jack Ewing from Hacienda Baru, a very intelligent man whose book – Monkeys are Made of Chocolate – taught me a lot about Costa Rica’s wildlife. Thank you to Mario and Manon from Tipi Jungla, who let us experience the alternative, eco lifestyle they have chosen out in the jungle. Thank you to Alberto and his family from Isla Violina, who live on an island in the Sierpe River and taught us all about their sustainable farm.

Thank you to Luis and Vero from Ostional Turtle Lodge, who hosted us during the absolutely incredible October turtle arribada. Thank you to Pepo and Sonia from La Kukula Lodge, who amazed us with their thoughtful eco-design lodge and who we will never forget for their friendliness. Thank you to Michel from Al Natural, who shared his not only his life story but also his own version of paradise with us.

Christmas in Panama

Like most travellers, Christmas is always the time when I miss home the most. When we were living in Taiwan, I had Luke but I still cried my eyes out missing my family. This year, Luke and I have been invited into the home of the most lovely couple and their three dogs in Panama. We have a home, a Christmas tree, and that family feeling. Thank you, Steve and Cathy (and Napa, Casy and Cody).

And, of course…

We wouldn’t be travelling at all if we didn’t have the love and support of our families. To my mum, my auntie Kim, and my grandparents, thank you so much for the little care packages that keep me going, for the emails and Skype calls, and for always supporting me in my decisions.

To everyone we have met during our travels, we send our love. In such a troubled world where we constantly see sad stories on the news, your kindness has given us confidence in the people of our world. We hope that one day we will be able to repay you for all of your good will and will always strive to pass that onto others too.

Charlie Marchant

Charlie is a long-term traveller from the UK who writes about simple ways to travel sustainably, including how to become a house sitter and slow traveller, eating local and vegetarian, and making responsible travel choices.

14 thoughts to “The Generosity of Strangers Has Made Our Travels Possible”

  1. Exactly that is one of the many aspects of travel and seeing the world that open one’s eyes to that expansive horizon!

    Thanks you two for great posts and pics—a happy Crimbo to ya both and an inspiring new year!

  2. Once I stop blubbing I will write you a proper email but for now my truly amazing niece no matter how far away you may be you are always close in our hearts and thoughts. Thank you for sharing your fabulous travels with us and thank you to everyone who has helped and cared for Charlie and Luke. Stay well keep safe and always be happy Merry Christmas we love you xxx

    1. Thanks, Franca! I was worried that to other readers it might be a kind of boring post – not that worried though, because it’s a subject that’s very important to me and I would want to share anyway – but actually it seems that other travellers have had very similar experiences with generosity from strangers and can really relate. Hope you both had a smashing Christmas too! x

  3. What a lovely thing to write, it brought a lump to my throat and has restored my faith in human nature and the kindness of strangers. I do believe that good people gravitate towards each other and I know that the both of you have given as well as received and long may your mutually beneficial journey through life and over land continue. A big thank you to you Charlie for being such a wonderful caring and talented individual. Finally, Happy New Year and a very big thank you from the Spencer/Marchant family for giving us peace of mind and keeping Charlie and Luke safe.

    1. Writing it, I felt the same way. I think you are right as we seem to continually meet complete strangers who open their hearts and homes. The world is full of kind, generous and amazing people – and travelling is a great way to meet them. Happy new year to you too!

  4. You are so charming couple! It’s natural that I’ll meet so many people who help you with pleasure. I can’t imagine it otherwise.

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