The Art of Receiving
Why is it harder to receive than to give?
If you’re a woman, especially, you’re trained from a very young age to be a caretaker, of your friends, then later on, your partner, your children, your parents as they age. We feel uncomfortable in the receiving role, uncomfortable even in taking care of ourselves. We fear we’re being selfish. So we give until we’re all burned out.
What does this have to do with travel?
I am putting myself in the receiver role, when I couchsurf, or stay with friends, or housesit (although housesitting at least involves a service). Would I rather just pay for all of my accommodations? Yes, absolutely, but then I can’t afford to go. And it’s a good life lesson, in that there have to be receivers in order for there to be givers.
Hopefully, I’ll be giving something back along the way (barter somehow feels much more comfortable), such as a small painting, or inspiration, or friendship, help around the house or shared knowledge, or down the road, accommodating my hosts when I’m back in a home of my own. And hopefully, I’ll find some volunteer work as well. I know the pleasure it gives me to give something to somebody else.
Someone recently called being on the other end, “Giving the gift of receiving,” an interesting way to look at it!