I wandered around Hanoi alone today, getting lost along the way to no where in particular. I happened to stop in a tiny little food shop in a tiny alley to eat. A few minutes later a young lady came in and sat down. She also looked like she had been wandering as well and it was serendipitous that we just happened upon this out of the way place at the same time.
We were the only English speakers and so we began talking. After eating we explored the streets together and just chatted and laughed. She invited me back to her home-stay where her host was cooking dinner. I felt a little apprehensive about just showing up but I went anyway and received the warmest welcome.
Turns out the host who goes by the name of Perfume cooks and feeds her guests and their friends all the time. She even buys them beer. The sweetest thing is that she refuses to take money. She will feed anyone who shows up at her door and she is such a gracious host.
I met a few other travelers and we shared stories of our lives and travel. Although there wasn't any lasting friendships made, it was just so nice to meet people and make a connection despite our backgrounds even for a short time.
I'm enjoying this experience so much and I am already planning more solo trips in my head. It's definitely not scary.