Generosity

Kelsey Breseman
2 min readMay 27, 2023

In the morning, Eileen and I unpick the stitches we've used to turn our duvets into half-sleeping bags. We consolidate the groceries and retract our belongings from various nooks of the rental van, returning to our backpacker forms. The camp host eagerly accepts our lightly used duvets, pillows, and foam pads — he says he can lend them to campers who get too cold.

"Sometimes," he says, "Someone will show up and say, I've been a bit of a dunderhead and forgotten to bring my tent. So I get to say, that's all right, you can use mine."

The young man at the Enterprise center where we turn the van in gives us a lift to Haverfordwest when I can't get my phone to load the bus stop location. "I'm ready whenever you are," he offers, keys in hand, after we finish the van return paperwork.

These are just a couple of the casual displays of astonishing generosity we've experienced while traveling in Wales.

Back in Snowdonia, after several very hilly days, we stopped into a mountain equipment store to look at trekking poles Eileen might use to aid her knee. We perused but ultimately don't buy the fancy Black Diamond trekking pole pairs — she only wanted one pole, and she already has two sets at home.

"I can make your day," the man behind the counter smiled before walking out to the back of the shop.

He re-emerged with a single telescoping trekking pole. "There was a woman who bought a pair. She didn't want this one anymore. I think it's meant to be yours." He handed it to Eileen, who was giddily overwhelmed with gratitude.

Here in Pembrokeshire, our Airbnb host has been more than gracious. She welcomed us with tea service, sitting with us for more than an hour in the garden. It's her home, but we're fully welcome to every room: the living room, the garden, the solarium. There's a seven-month puppy that keeps stealing my shoes if I forget to close the bedroom door. It's £58 for the two of us, booked two days ago, and £7 of that was the Airbnb fee.

In the morning, warm sun streams across the bed. Our host prepares tea and toast, a little pot of yogurt, a pitcher of milk. I run with the puppy in a circle in the grass, use the Wifi to follow a video for morning yoga. We pack slowly, reluctant to leave our one-night haven. But there is a bus coming, and we must catch it. Our host heads out to walk the dog before we go. We don't need to lock up. She trusts us.

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Eileen with her trekking pole

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