It's true that nothing that happens to a writer is ever wasted. Every place we go, everyone we meet, every situation we encounter all have merit for a writer.
Whatever we see or do is mentally filed away to be used when we write. Don't you sometimes wonder why your head is not three times the size it is, considering all the information we store in it?
We do slip a great deal into our memory bank. When we write a story or a poem or essay, some little switch must come on in the inner recesses of our minds. The perfect thing we need for our project will pop out.
We can't always will it to come out. It seems to happen without any prodding. We start to write a story about a place we've visited and as we write, mental pictures of the place flash through our minds like a film on a video screen. It allows us to use the best description of a place to give our reader a clear picture.
Whether what happens to you, the writer, is joyful, exciting, or tragic. it stays with you and will be there for you when you're ready to write about whatever occurred. It can be the day after or twenty years later.
Embrace the things that happen to you for they will be the golden nuggets that help you write an outstanding piece.