2. Make an effort to get to know your hosts
One of my worst nightmares is having to force human interaction – be it at parties or Chinese New Year dinners with my extended family. Striking up conversations isn’t my forte but there are certain times (like this) when I just have to put my awkwardness aside and be the bigger person in order to not come off as standoff-ish.
I was not at home a lot during my stay with the Burkart family, but whenever I was, Valerie and her two kids would happily engage in a conversation with me. Her youngest son, Philippe, would offer me cookies and tea while chatting excitedly about his favourite superhero. It warmed my heart that they went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and entertained, but still giving me the privacy I needed. I didn’t feel like I was staying in an Airbnb but at the home of a kind family.
In return, as a surprise, I bought back a box of donuts one day. Philippe was super excited about the sweet treats and it put a smile on my face knowing that my hosts could see how genuinely thankful I am for their hospitality. Say hello if you pass them on your way out and goodnight before going to bed if you happen to cross paths. As Harry Hart (Galahad) would say in the Kingsman movies: “Manners maketh man.”