Across America on an electric bike, part 5: how to make true friends
This is the fifth in a series of guest posts from Anna and Boris, who are crossing the USA on an electric bike.
Three weeks into our trip, we were in Wisconsin and riding high. That’s when disaster struck.
I (Anna) sustained an injury that prevented me from cycling for several weeks. We decided that Boris should continue, while I would recuperate and meet him in Denver.
Logistically, this would be tough. I would have to transfer the bike and trailer with all of my possessions to Denver and then store it there for almost 15 days while I flew back home to recover. Fortunately, we already had accommodations booked in Denver with a couple of Airbnb hosts, LJ and Kelly.
I contacted LJ the night before I was to depart on my 20-hour-long bus ride to Denver with what seemed like an endless list of last-minute requests. I was sure he would deny them all, from asking for accommodations several weeks before our actual reservation – complete with storage space for my bike and trailers – as well as requesting him to let me mail some personal items to his house.
Astoundingly, LJ said yes to everything. In addition, he made time to pick me up at the bus station the following morning and offered me breakfast.
Later that evening, LJ sensed how upset and frustrated I was at having to take a break from my trip. To cheer me up, he offered to take me to a tea house in Boulder – about 40 miles away. I met his wife Kelly on the drive over, and in that 40-minute period, I felt like I had formed two incredible friendships. In the tea house we talked about everything from bicycle touring to LJ’s life aspirations. We lost track of time wandering through Boulder’s pretty streets.
If it hadn’t been for Kelly and LJ, I might have brooded over my situation forever. But, overwhelmed by their kindness and sympathy, I had completely forgotten what was wrong in the first place. For the first time in a week and a half, I was finally able to relax.
Staying with LJ and Kelly quickly became like visiting old friends – the kind who are always there for you when you find yourself in a bind. And the feeling was mutual.
During our final morning, LJ cooked us mouthwatering hash browns and eggs, and circled the kitchen enthusiastically while asking all sorts of questions about the rest of our journey. It was sad to say goodbye to him, but uplifting at the same time, knowing that we might reconnect in the future.
We’ve talked with several hosts who have also reflected on the strong friendships they’ve formed with some of their guests. For them, us, and so many others in the Airbnb community, this is an opportunity to make memories – and friendships – that will last a lifetime.
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