Our long time friend Ellen has been generously hosting us for the past few weeks.
Guests: As travelers, how are we/ you guests that doesn’t wear your host out and you leave better friends?
Generally, we say, three days is our rule, but if the hosts are amenicable (amenable and amicable combined). Also, like us, without immodesty we are very easy guests. We have traveled a lot around the world and have had many guests at our home.
There needs to be a guidebook for many folks on what is a “good guest or not.” We have learned from the very best. Many decades ago, when i lived in Yemen, I met a traveler Duncan Stuart Broderick III. He traveled around the world for many years. He stayed with me for three days. I left in the morning and came back at lunch, he had made lunch and had swept and cleaned the house up. Then that evening we had dinner at the local cafe, he insisted on paying. We was the easiest guest I had ever hosted! Then on the third day he said, “Thank you for your great hospitality, but I need to be traveling on. I never stay more than three days anywhere.” I would have been happy to have him for another few weeks.
Good Traveler Guidelines:
Understand and by house rules. (We once had a guest who had drugs mailed to our house!)
Time Limits: How much time is appropriate to stay? Generally, we say three days is fine, but we have friends with an extra cottage or room, and we can stay longer. We know this works because we are invited back.
Gift: Bring a gift that is appropriate. Flowers, wine, cheese. What would they like? We once had a guest who brought us rut gut rum. Yet, there are no firm rules. In France it is rude to bring cheese and wine, as it says to the host do not know how to select wine or cheese. As a classical guitarist, I also play music for my hosts, and some places offer to teach their kids how to play music or do art. Without overwhelming your host – how is your visit a gift to them and a positive experience?
Keep clean and tidy! Where possible, cook a meal that your host would like, but often times we like to cook with other people. We were guests in Isla Negra in Chile and one of our best evenings was with a half dozen people from around the world making dinner. And for me, I have modest handyman skills and can fix many little things in the house. My aunt usually has a list of things she would like help with. In short, how do you help to make life easier and perhaps more fun for your hosts?
Keep Cheerful. Don’t burden your host. Be visible to help and invisible. Alone time. Be flexible. Be sensitive when it is time to leave
Be generous where you can, take your host out for dinner, lunch, or a treat. Be generous to a fault. But sometimes without money by cooking, cleaning, helping, or in my case playing music for people. If you have the aptitude for baby sitting, we let the parents go out for the evening, and we like to play with kids
What do you do to make your stays easier for your hosts? How would you want guests at your home?
What would you add to the list?