The Generosity of Man (or Woman)

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Parliament building in Budapest
Parliament building in Budapest

A little over a month ago we visited Pompeii when we were staying in Naples. We arrived in Pompeii and joined a walking tour that we had booked. We walked around the ruins and enjoyed the amazement that was before us. On the tour there were close to 50 people in our group. I had noticed most of the faces but only spoke to a few while we were walking. On our travels back to Naples we were waiting on the train platform and  I noticed a couple that was also on the tour. As you know what I would typically do, I started a conversation.

Buda Castel in Budapest
Buda Castel in Budapest

I came to learn that Akos and his wife were originally from Budapest, but now live in Brussels. We started talking about our travels and that we would be in Budapest in about a month and that the best part of our trip has been engaging the kids with other kids their age. We did that in Greece and Turkey and it would be great to find a few kids their age in Budapest. Akos said that he had a good friend with kids the same ages as ours so I handed him my card and he promised to reach out. We have had similar conversations on this journey, some have lead to amazing experiences and others have not. Some people have followed up on their promises and other have not. This time Akos did follow up and introduced us to Andrea and her family in Budapest.

Weeks before we arrived in Budapest, Andrea was emailing us and asking what our kids liked and didn’t like, what we wanted to see and how we wanted our experience to turn out. When we finally arrived on Sunday Andrea was supportive in every way. We had some mishaps with our apartment and Andrea was there to provide suggestions. Remember, this is someone we have never met that was introduced to us by someone who we met for a mere 20 minutes. The world is an amazingly connected place and situations like this just make it clearer and clearer to me that we are all connected in so many ways.

St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest
St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

Last night we had dinner with Andrea, her husband Tamas and their two children, 15 year old Kitte and 12 year old Balazs. I don’t believe Balazs understood much of the conversation, but Kitte and her parents understood everything and it was like sitting with a family in San Diego and having a wonderful evening, yet we are in Budapest, Hungary. Andrea made an amazing dinner and we even took some home made strudel, which was delicious, back to our AirBnB apartment!

In the end, it is situations like this that continue to prove to me that it is the human connections with the right people that make all the difference. As humans I believe that we default to finding the situations that don’t work and complain about them rather than focusing our energy on those magical moments when the stars align and the world becomes small. It is these small things in life that bring joy and a deep connection with those around us. It is the gratitude that we show for these small moments that makes life amazing in every way. I want to thank Akos and Andrea for their kindness and generosity. It is people like you who make this whole experience that much more grand!

To a life well lived……

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