I just got back from the most amazing adventure I’ve had yet. Before I left, I put up a slightly hasty challenge to be nice for the week. I followed that challenge as best as I could, and I felt like the whole world was following it with me. Austria was full of wonderful people. But more on that later.
Before I left, I told my mom about my plans to hitchhike, couchsurf, and camp–some of the time all alone. She is a mom, and it is in her nature to worry about her little girl. (I can’t seem to convince her I’m not a little girl). In her worrying ways, she gave me a bunch of advice for the trip. Most of it seemed juvenile to me, obvious. A little girl may run out of money in the middle of Austria–but I’m no little girl–I didn’t need to be told me make sure I had enough cash. I told my mom that I was smart, that I wouldn’t jump into a car with someone that seemed sketchy, that I wouldn’t stay somewhere that had blood on the door, that I wouldn’t run out of money, etc.
And then I did just that. I ran out of money with no way to get more. I was on the train from Hallstatt to Vienna–a trip that costs 47€, and I had 40. I probably should have listened to my mom a little bit carefuller. I bought a ticket to some town an hour away from Vienna, and decided to figure it out when I got there. Fortunately, in my habit to not follow advice, I had been talking to some strangers before getting on the train. Two wonderful people from Portland. They heard me attempting to communicate with the conductor that spoke no English, and came over to me. They asked how much money I needed to make it to Vienna, and I offered to buy some Euros from them (I had American Dollars.) They refused to take my money, gave me 11€, and told me not to worry because I was a ‘college kid.’ I wasn’t lying when I said I met wonderful people.
Challenge #118, April 28, 2011: Often, it takes experiences to learn lessons. (Especially if you are stubborn, like I am). But if you don’t let yourself take advice from others, you may find yourself in some sticky situations that could have easily been avoided. Today, listen to advice that others share, even if it seems obvious and elementary. Maybe you are wiser or older or more experienced than the advice giver. Maybe you weren’t looking for advice, and someone offered it anyways. None of that matters. If someone has some wisdom to share, take it to heart. Like me on the train, you may regret not taking some seemingly simple advice.
P.s…Mom, I will never get angry at you for acting like I’m not smart again. It looks like I’m not quite as smart as I thought I was. I love you for caring about me. 🙂