come out of your shell with

Hey Little Turtle, Come out of Your Introvert Shell

A pretty cool thing happened this past summer, although the coolness didn’t come to fruition until this past week. It probably wouldn’t have happened if we were still in our cozy little introvert shell either.

Back in August we had a friend from Ontario visit Vancouver. Her son, a member of Canada’s military, was getting married and that was the primary reason for her visit. Seeing us for the first time since we sold all our stuff and moved abroad was the cherry on top of her trip, I’m sure.

We planned to meet her and her man for dinner, and prior to meeting them we had some time to kill, so we hit a cell phone store to price out phones for yours truly. If you don’t know anything about cell phone plans in Canada, we have some of the most outrageous, bend-over-and-take-it-in-the-hoop kind of pricing for cell phone plans. It’s totally ridiculous. Anyway, we researched and scored ourselves a data only plan. For $15/month we get 1GB of data, and since WiFi hotspots are seemingly everywhere, we likely won’t exceed that 1GB.

Anyway…we go into the store and ask about unlocked/no-contract phones for sale. The kid working there kept trying to get us to look at the “free” phones, but we had to sign a 2 year contract and have a minimum $50/month plan. No thanks, fool me once shame on you…So we proceed to tell the kid we have a data only plan, we hate contracts, yadda yadda yadda, and the kid says they don’t have any unlocked phones—here’s where the story gets kind of neat.

The dude behind us in line is visiting from Australia and is only in Canada for 3 weeks. He only wants a cheap data-only plan. Having overheard our conversation he asked us about our plan, and so as good Canadians we figured that our friends could wait for us, and we helped the Aussie and fellow Commonwealth citizen out with his phone plan.

And that’s only part one

As we leave Crocodile Phone-dee in the cell phone store, we’re waiting for the walk sign to change. Lo and behold there’s a woman walking what could have been either a Whippet or an Italian Greyhound. Having owned a full sized Greyhound, we always like to chat up a fellow hound owner. So I asked her and she said it was an Italian Greyhound. The light changed and we continued to chat, mentioning how we had a greyhound and lost her in 2012, but have been house sitting for the past 18 months so we get our dog-fix through that.

Well wouldn’t you know it…

Turns out she just used the site we use; Trusted House Sitters, to find someone to sit for her the following month. We were in the middle of a house sit ourselves, but we gave her our card and told her to let us know if she ever needed someone, and we finished our conversation right around the time our friends came up to greet us.

Six months later…

We got an email just the other day asking if we could sit the little Italian Greyhound for an upcoming weekend in February. While we are currently renting a small place, we still offered our services. Typically, house sitting is an exchange; accommodations for pet/house care. But in this case, we don’t get anything out of the deal except:

  1. Get to hang out with a hound – they’re so fun and quirky.
  2. We’ll be in our original Vancouver neighbourhood.
  3. You never know what can come of a house sit. A future return sit, a recommendation to family or friends, or even a potential job opportunity.

In our previous life with stuff, we were cocooning. We’d stay at our place, rarely venturing away from home base— save for work and necessities like groceries. When we left that stuff behind, we also left a more introverted life in the rear-view mirror as well. We’re not full-blown extroverts, and we do still enjoy a movie night on the couch with a bowl of popcorn – even if the couch, bowl, and movie display aren’t ours. What we enjoy about shedding the introvert shell is taking the smallest of efforts to strike up a easy conversation with a total stranger.

Now go sell all your stuff and crawl out of your introvert shell!


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