You never know where you are going to find those diamonds in the rough. But I had a good reminder the other night, that they are always right around you.

We have been travelling all week in California for 3 away matches with the Whitecaps. On Saturday night we had the night off, and were staying at a really nice hotel in Santa Clarita, where we were preparing for our game the next day. I headed down to the lobby with one of my teammates to get some work done. A really friendly guy who worked at the restaurant came by and asked us if we’d like anything to drink. I said I’d love some coffee (once an addict, always an addict, so even though it was already about 10:30pm, I couldn’t say no!).

John the waiter said he’d get me some coffee no problem. My teammate who is from the East Coast immediately picked up on how he said coffee, and sure enough it turned out he was from New York. Just engaging that little bit with him, opened him up, and when he came back with the coffee for us, we started chatting to him, and found that he had the most fascinating history.

He had travelled to over 65 countries, had lived in Germany for 15 years, including 6 years in a little German village, spoke half a dozen languages and had 2 Masters Degrees. And here he was in California, working in a hotel restaurant so he could be closer with his parents.

He was such a lovely guy, and had some fascinating stories to tell. What was the most refreshing thing to me, was that he was a man who had been curious about the world and what was around him, and went out and sought experiences that challenged him, that were off the beaten path. There really isn’t very many people like that, and he was an absolutely fascinating person to listen to, and was very humble in all that he has accomplished.

It was a great reminder to me the wisdom that lies all around us, and how just engaging just a little with people can bring those wonderful nuggets of info out, sometimes in the most random of places. I definitely wasn’t expecting to meet such an interesting person on a Saturday night in a random restaurant in California.

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