Tonight as we sit by the fire in a house overlooking the beach — the occupants have gone out for the evening and left everything open for us — we agree it’s about time that we stopped being surprised at the locations we end up staying. Although we continually find ourselves blown away by strangers’ hospitality and generosity, we should start embracing it as the norm rather than an anomaly in modern society.

We’ve received two lovely invitations to this house. I met Ruth on the beach a couple days ago, and this morning Guy walked around to our parking spot outside Rob and Julia’s to meet us.

It’s a beautiful blessing for David’s birthday — to be embraced by complete strangers with whom we find ourselves making easy connection. The Masons have four children aged 5 to 13 and are recently returned to New Zealand from Australia. They’re considering travelling around New Zealand in a house bus or truck and are interested in hearing our stories about buying the truck, fitting it out and raising a family while on the move.

David's profile, August 2011
While we've been on the road here in New Zealand, David has been growing out his beard. It's a great big, bushy mass, and we all love the character it adds to his face!

Parked at Snells Beach, August 2011
We've been invited to a kind family's front yard and offered a power lead. The house is right in front of the beach.

The bay at Snells Beach, August 2011
What a lovely view to wake up to!

So we’re invited into the Masons’ home and they head out in the evening for a family engagement in a nearby village. David and I look at each other and laugh. How did this happen?

Didn’t we use to believe that if we left our house and community that we would find ourselves lonely and wandering in a cruel world? Our experience has been completely the opposite, and we’re learning that each new place guarantees new friends and exciting experiences.

We’re loving our lifestyle, the fascinating people we meet and the complete unpredictability of everything. We’re learning to embrace each transition in the belief that the change is good and the future is full of hope and love!