Challenge #118

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. 🙂


About onechallengeaday

I am searching for nothing and absorbing everything. My eyes are open--I am wondering, I am wandering. I was made to run, to think, and to write. And that is what I plan to do.
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11 Responses to Challenge #118

  1. Hanna says:

    You know, this post is just for me. A hard challenge for me ^_^. Okay…. deep breaths… listen to advice :).

  2. marsanne howard says:

    Oh sweetie…I loved your blog. I am so emotional anyway, and reading that really made me cry. I was just telling Chris that you are experiencing so many…experiences, that I really have no stand to give you any advice and, believe it or not, I have really held my tongue in some cases. I do trust you and I think you are very smart. You draw positive people to you like bees to honey. Or is that bears to honey. But thank you for appreciating it. We are both really relieved that you are back in Poland. I am glad you will be spending time with a family in Norway and then with Joe and Darlyn. I really miss you but I wouldn’t want you to be anywhere else than where you are. I love you! Mom

  3. I think to our moms, we will always be their “baby girl” no matter how old we get. I am 27 and my mom still calls me her baby girl and tries to give me all this advice…some of which I don’t always “think” I need, but I realize it’s coming from love. I’m sure when I have kids one day, I will be the same.
    Glad to hear that you found a nice couple to help you out and that you had fun. I missed seeing your challenges every day!

  4. Stef says:

    In my brief time on this Earth, I have found that good advice can come from all forms and fashions of people. Four-year-olds to ninety-four-year-olds (and people of all ages in-between) have all given me sage advice, as have men and women, blacks and whites and latino/as and asians, catholics and jews and muslims and agnostics and athiests, and on and on and on. Wisdom transcends all of the age/gender/class/race/money/religion/status “stuff”; and when I get out of my own ego and am willing to learn from all of these others, *I* am the one to benefit. 🙂

  5. Matt Gio says:

    Moms are awesome!

  6. minnesotatransplant says:

    I just wanted you to know I enjoy your blog. I subscribe to it, and I don’t always complete your challenges, but I enjoy the little comments you add around the challenge about your travels. Enjoyed reading the background on this one, and then I loved your mom’s comment here (I’m 44, and I still love reading my mom’s comments on my blog — and her advice, for that matter!).

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