Travel brings new stories and this is the reason why we travel. We have met amazing people regardless of where we were. You would expect that I’m going to tell you about a rich person I met, who has everything he wants in one of the 5-star hotels we’ve been to, right? Not this time. We were in a magical budget place, where the silver spoon is the last thing you could find. In the evening the bar was full of all sorts of guests, but mostly with people full of positive energy.
There was a quiet Arabian man, which could easily have been a Greek, Italian, Spanish or even Argentinian. I started a conversation with him and after a few beers, I got an insight into his incredible life story. He said that in his country, one hundred years ago, they were a small desert community where cannibalism was a reality and life was tough. After the oil boom, this new generation is born with a silver spoon in their mouth. However, he was born in this Middle Eastern country, where you don’t need to work. The government is wealthy from oil and residents there live like in a fairy tale. He retired at the age of 45.
The work got him to every part of the world and the salary was far from a disappointing number that barely gets you through the month. At the same time, he fell in love with antiques and started a successful side business, selling them to extremely rich people back home. Besides that, he has a successful business with horses, training, buying and selling them. It also happened that he was selling the best hay for horses that you can find in the Middle East. He still has the farm, which is more like a ranch, with 40 stables. One day, we will accept the invitation and visit it for sure.
Run out of the Desert, Man!
Despite all the money he has, he wasn’t feeling well, and his doctor recommended that he should travel. “This desert place is not for you” this was a prognosis for his situation – so he listened to him and hit the road. Now he is traveling around and exploring this new opportunity presented to him. After a short time traveling, his health became much better and he soon realized what this world can offer. One day, he met a girl who introduced him to the hostel life. He fell in love with the energy in those places and he changed from 5-star hotel to the budget hostels.
Who knows why and how we came across him in this special place, but it was hilarious listening to his stories and his habits fighting with life here. He couldn’t even touch a dog before, and now, there was one sleeping in his bed. Food was also a massive challenge for him: he can’t eat just anywhere and here in Asia, this can be tricky.
One day he found an ant in his black coffee in a second that he left his cup unattended. Let’s just say that he brushed his teeth like mad afterward – it’s hilarious but amazing. I believe that when you face your fear, life becomes more comfortable. Sometimes you also have to lower your standards for sure. Food is fantastic everywhere and it would be a pity not to try something new!
His love for antiques is still alive. He found a fantastic old Russian watch, worn by a local. He convinced him to sell it after ten minutes of intense negotiation. This watch is an amazing piece. I didn’t do research, but it must have been at least 60 years old. The best thing is that this watch looks futuristic, with a modern design back from the days. I fell in love with this watch and asked him to take a photo of this masterpiece. All I needed is one good shot of this beauty, so we hit the beach to take a few shots, and both of us ended having a great time.
I admit I was flattered when he complimented my photography skills. I shared with him a photo of our beach foto session as a goodbye gift. Before he got on the bus, he took down his watch and gave it to me – I still can’t believe that happened! I have now this amazing watch and it will remind me of him until we meet again. I know one day we will meet in the fairytale homeland that he was talking about.