every time i see someone who is obviously a lost tourist, i feel inclined to help. they are clearly on vacation and don't have an international data plan on their phones to use a GPS app so they resort to a physical, flimsy, cartoon studded, probably inaccurate map of San Francisco to find their way around. i imagine this is zero amounts of fun and instead of enjoying themselves they're stuck wondering how to get to Golden Gate Bridge even though they can see it from miles away. i consider myself fairly well travelled so i can attest to the irritation brought on by not knowing where you're going or how you're going to get there. because of my experiences i've often thought that it'd be nice if someone who was a native of whatever area i'm in would be so kind as to point me in the right direction or give me some ideas about must-sees and must-dos. i've always wanted to offer myself to someone (geez that sounds all sorts of dirty and potentially illegal depending on where the rest of the sentence is going...) as tour guide to someone who would appreciate the gesture.
a couple of weeks ago i took a couple who were complete strangers from New Zealand around San Francisco. while i was in Cancun for a wedding i briefly ran into Fleur and Mark who i stopped to ask for directions back to the hotels. in the ten minutes i'd spent with them i found out that the end of their month long trip was going to be in SF. i saw this as an opportunity to solicit myself as tour guide for a day while they were here and they enthusiastically accepted my offer.
for a day i drove them around to anywhere they wanted to go and anywhere i suggested that sounded appealing to them. i think that they enjoyed being able to sit back and not have to think about how to get from place to place, where to eat and get as much out of a day as they could without all of the hassle. their day involved stopping on both sides of the GG Bridge (such different views), lunch at Sol Food, a walk through Muir Woods, winding down Lombard St, the Ferry Building (and ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe), GG Park, Sutro Baths, the view from Twin Peaks and dinner at 1760.
they definitely appreciated my efforts and offered their place for whenever i make my way to New Zealand. But even without their reciprocation i would've been happy having known that i made their time here in SF just a little bit easier and were able to see some things that they may not have if they were on their own. they were great company and it's always awesome hearing about people's lives from elsewhere. if you feel like gaining some karma points or just feel like you want to do something positive for someone else, this is a good way to do so! spread some good vibes into this world!