We have met some incredibly friendly, kind and generous people while we have been traveling full time and I wanted to share some of these stories because it is too easy to focus on the negatives in our world.
Mabel: We met Mabel while we were visiting Fernandina Beach (Florida), a beautiful and historic town I had read about in a guide book. We managed to find a place to park the Heffalump by the harbour and then we walked down the high street hoping to get some local advice. A well dressed rather distinguished looking woman walked out of a jewellery store and we stopped to ask her for directions to the historical homes and she immediately wanted to help us. When we told her that we were going to walk she insisted on driving us around to give us a tour. She was the owner of the jewellery store and was about to take her lunch break. After introductions we all climbed into her huge white Cadillac SUV and then Mabel spent the next hour entertaining us with stories about nearly all the historic homes. Mabel must have been in her 70’s and had lived in Fernandina Beach since her 20’s, she knew the dates of all the homes and some fabulous stories: “so and so was having an affair with so-and so’s husband and when husband found out he went and shot so-and-so dead.” “See that tree in the middle of the street? When the owner of that house found out that the town was going to cut it down, she sat on her porch with a shot gun threatening to shoot anyone that cut the tree down.”
Mabel must have spent at least an hour giving us a tour of her much loved town, it was such a random act of kindness yet it had such a big impact on us. It is people like Mabel that make what we are doing worth doing because seeing the world is not just about beautiful landscapes and incredible wildlife it is also about history, people and their stories.