A Travellerspoint blog

Pay it forward

20181229_160439.jpg Anytime we travel we meet the most awesome people. Nowadays when you watch the news or anything on television you almost get paranoid leaving your house, afraid to run into all these crazy people. I can speak from my own experience and can say, that I have come across some amazing, interesting, intelligent, inspiring and super friendly and helpful people.
Don't be discouraged to travel and meet new faces, because the majority are just as nice as you are. Unfortunately on television the bad news get broadcast to cloud our minds and keep us in our bubble. Pop that damn thing and you will see that it's not all that bad.
We have met great people all over Europe and the States and I can't wait to visit the other continents as well.
Anyways...lets get to "pay it forward ".
It never fails and works just like magic. I will describe our latest experience to give you an idea of how things in our lives work. We plan our goals, but don't write them in stone, always leaving room for life to get in the way.
This Christmas was an emotional day. It was the first Christmas without our daughter, we were in an RV instead our house, we didn't have the traditional feast and I was worried that our 9 year old son would miss his old lifestyle. He seemed to be fine and happy as always. Landon was fine, but not his parents. 180_E7ACBE17E560CA2DB3049F4ED4973B33.jpg A quick decision was made and 2 days later we stood with our backpacks at the passenger terminal trying to get a flight out of here. We didn't catch a flight, other families had priority and we had to go back to the RV. Tony was about to pull the Jeep up to the front door of the terminal for me and Landon to get in when he spotted an old couple walking their luggage to lodging. We decided for me to stay put and him offering the couple a ride. In return, they invited us to stay at their home in Scottsdale Arizona anytime we are in that area.
Two days later we started talking to other travelers, while standing in line for the flight to Hawaii. We all exchanged tips and tricks for a successful trip to the island. By the time we landed, everybody rushed over to the front desk to sign up for a return flight. The sooner you sign up, the better the chance of flying back since your signup date determines your
position on the waiting list for roll call. Anyway, Tony skipped that part, and headed straight to Enterprise, but turned down the car due to the high price of $135 for one day. He returned back to me, to let me know that he didn't get the car. I asked him, how can we leave the terminal with all the luggage and not a clue where to go. Thankfully the couple that we talked to while standing in line at Travis offered to drive us to their hotel. Luckily we booked a room for 2 nights and arranged a car rental. 20181231_105001.jpg Our vacation started the second we arrived in our beach cabin on the other side of the island. Again we got lucky and one cabin was still available. We couldn't believe our luck and made sure to keep our place clean, to pick up washed up trash on the beach and recycle our plastic. The housekeeping definitely appreciated our involvement and I listened to their concerns as locals, asking me to make people aware of what effects tourism has on the Hawaiian community.
This is my moment to pay it forward- with the increase of tourism and high rise buildings the cost of living has skyrocket to the point that locals can't afford to pay for housing anymore. More and more tent cities are being established along various Beach parks where locals live, since they can't afford to pay rent anymore. Roads are congested, Waikiki overcrowded and the coral reef at Hanauma Bay is dying. Hawaiians are very much in touch with nature and are afraid to lose their homeland. They depend on the ocean and want to keep the islands healthy, fighting the city council from building a railway on Oahu to transport tourists.
I can see both sides, as a tourist it would be convenient to get shuttle service to various locations, but as a local I can understand the importance of keeping things the way they are. With every improvement in the infrastructure, taxes and living expenses get raised and land taken away. Locals are slowly moving away to different islands, where they might have other relatives to start over fresh. The lady I talked to asked me to make people aware of the situation, because they are tired of fighting for their land and rights, saying that tourists are welcome as long as they respect the land and the ocean.
Our conversation definitely stuck with me and I told her that I had a similar conversation with a Native in New Mexico. 20190108_175355.jpg
Ever since we have been on this Journey we have talked to many people, learning along the way. What we definitely learned is that as long as you are willing to listen and help, karma will find it's way back to you.
We were trying to fly back to California for about a week, every time we stood travel ready with our backpacks, hoping to hear our name called. That didn't happen for almost a week straight. After day 5 I got worried, by then we had already slept 2 nights on the lawn in front of the terminal and in the Jeep. We were exhausted and needed a real bed to sleep in. Since we still had our rental car we drove to the other side of the island back to the beach cabin, where I had the conversation with the housekeeper and promised her to write about what the locals are facing. They welcomed us back, and put us in a cabin overlooking the ocean. Finally we were able to catch up on some sleep. I sat on the beach praying to catch a flight by Sunday, our absolute deadline and walked the beach, when something shiny caught my eyes. I walked over and dug it out of the sand, holding a cross with scripture in my hand. I was overcome with emotions and peace, turned to Tony and said, we will make it back home. IMG_20190114_091935_219.jpg
We returned back to the terminal the next day, a flight was leaving for California with 19 seats. As we looked at the printout for roll call to find our name, a gentleman who we have been talking to for several days, pointed out that our sign up date is incorrect. That's right, we were signed up for December of 2019, which means we could have been waiting on a flight until Christmas. The year was wrong. No wonder we were always at the bottom of the list. The flight had to stop roll call to correct this mistake and reprint the paper. That pushed us up on the list. The man who caught the error said, that he is glad to help even though it pushed him further off the list. Well, our name did get called, but it was for the last 2 remaining seats. We are a party of 3 and did not want to split up. With tears in my eyes we gave up the 2 seats for someone else to fill. The gentleman who helped us got to fly home.
Like I said when you pay it forward, good things will happen.
The following morning we got on a flight and landed safely in Cali on Sunday. Everything worked out, we made wonderful memories, learned more about how to travel on a budget and most of all made new friends. 20190108_180250.jpg
Don't forget to pay it forward....

Posted by Meike Carter 12:25

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