We finally got to host our first cycle tourists this weekend! On Sunday around six pm I looked out my window and saw two fully loaded cycle tourists down a few blocks just off the main road. Though I felt like a bit of a creep, I kept checking back every few minutes to see if they were still there and after my tenth or so time sneaking a look I decided to grab my shoes and go meet them. After sprinting down a small path through someone’s backyard I ran across the street before calmly walking over to them with ever intention of politely introducing myself. Instead, all in one fast sentence, I said “hello I cycle tour too, do you need a meal and a place to stay cause I just cooked a lot of food and you should really come stay with me I live right up there I could see you from my window and you are our first cycle tourists to come over and we really want you to stay the night.” It turned out that they were indeed looking for a place to stay so we all started to make our way back to our house, as I was practically bouncing up and down with excitement that finally, after so many years of being invited into other people’s homes, we were the ones taking strangers home to ours.
Our guests were Jess and Maia from England (she is actually originally American) who are eight months into their year plus long tour. So far they have covered South East Asia, South Korea, and Japan, and are currently making their way from Vancouver south on their way down to South America! After living in London where they owned and worked for a jewelry shop, they are both happy to be living a simplistic life on the bike as back home they felt like they were actors in a role they hated. They are also now looking for a new home as they have no reason to return to London, so on their trip they are scouting out towns which they may someday want to make home. Though Jess has done a fair amount of cycling these last few years, Maia didn’t have any experience but like everyone else we have met, she now loves it and sees that no training or previous bike knowledge is necessary to complete this sort of trip.
Do you know the best part about hosting cycle tourists? They don’t mind eating on the floor when you don’t have a table or chairs to offer, they point out how lovely your hot shower is instead of complaining about how sporadically it squirts the water out of the cheapest nozzle ever invented, and they think a blow up mattress on our kitchen is comfortable and cozy instead of obnoxious and weird. It was refreshing to be with them as when we mentioned that we want to buy land and build a yurt, instead of the “that’s stupid just go buy a house like everyone else” reply we get from most people who live here, Jess pointed out that we should make our yurt out of hay bails (with stucco) as it provides great insulation. We compared stoves, poured over maps, and discussed different must-complete routes around the world. Though we have already been living in Astoria for a month now, I still haven’t found a single person I can really connect with, so it was amazing to spend the evening with a minded couple who has the same goals and lifestyle ideas as we do.
Now that we have our own place we hope to invite cycle tourists back to our place whenever we get the chance, in part because we feel as if it’s time we start repaying our debt to society, and in part because its a whole lot of fun!