…..Hosting that is!
Charisma is something that I have always had since I was little.
I love helping people and being around them. So, it was never a surprise to my family and friends when I chose jobs in the areas where I could help: retail, tutoring, and teaching, in addition to volunteering.
In all of these areas I could talk to people, get to know them, and in the long run, help them out. I remember one time when my family and I took a trip all the way to London, England.
Since my dad was a mechanic and my mom taught at a small town elementary school, our traveling funds were limited. We decided to stay with a host in England to stay in our budget.
Once we arrived in London, we took a bus to the home that would be hosting us. The lady’s name was Leah. As soon as she opened the door, I could tell that she was going to be a good friend to all of us. She was sweet and kind and made the best chocolate chip cookies!
She guided us through her town and showed us the best places to visit and explore. Also, she told us where to find the best priced souvenirs in town! She and I would stay up for hours on end talking about her life in London growing up and I would tell her about my high school friends and crushes.
I knew after that trip that I wanted to be like Leah. I wanted to meet new people as they explored my hometown and make their dream trips possible. I decided in that moment that when I had my own place, I would become a host.
Years later, after I had graduated high school and was a sophomore in college, I put up an ad. I was open to host any family needing a cheap place to stay in the Virginia Beach area. The first family I hosted came from France. The parents did not speak much English but their two children Thais and Louis were nearly fluent. Thais was 14 and Louis 12.
We would have conversations all about what school was like there for them and how they had never seen such big cities. They had always wanted to come to America and see how wonderful it truly was.
Throughout their stay, I would take the whole family sightseeing and show them my favorite restaurants and shops in my town.
We went to the beach one night to watch the sunset over the pier. Louis stared in awe telling me how the sun was never this bright orange in their small town in France.
So many things were new to them and it was such a wonderful sight to see their faces light up when trying something new.
They would help translate many things to their parents and help to teach them a bit of English. On their final night in town, we all went to the local bowling alley and to the fair by the Oceanfront’s boardwalk. The kids were overjoyed by all the wonderful games and I treated them to popcorn and cotton candy.
Once we got home the whole family began to pack and then slept their final night in my little loft.
The next day we said our goodbyes and promised to keep in touch. I told them my home would always be open to them if they ever wanted to take another trip. I was sure I would see them again and then we could catch up again like old friends do.
Hosting is such a rich learning experience. I truly love getting to know each and every person I open my home to. You learn so many things from people of different backgrounds and it is truly an experience like no other!