Seoul, South Korea, travel, photography, Namdaemun Market, Asia

Random Acts of Kindness During Travel

Carry out an act of kindness, with no expectation of reward,

safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you

– Princess Diana

Carry out an act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. Princess Diana. Beautiful and true quote don't you think?

 

Let me ask you something, has anyone done something out of the ordinary or in a totally unexpected manner?

Have you been the beneficiary of Random Acts of Kindness During Travel or have you helped someone in return?

travel, greeting card, bon voyage, bon voyage greeting card, photography, ts76

Just recently I found myself standing at the corner of a street waiting for the light to change and go across. Then suddenly I felt someone approached me.

He was trying to speak a little bit of French but could not finish the sentence, so ended speaking English. It was a family of tourists who seemed to have gotten lost and needed some directions. The father pointed at the map and showed me where they wanted to go.

That just made me smile because I remembered that I too found myself in such circumstances during my many adventures (or misadventures) around the world!

I sure have been incredibly fortunate to have encountered some amazing people along the way and they were simply angels in a time of need.

I had an instant flashback, which was almost like a mini movie that played in a few seconds and remembered some unforgettable and similar experiences which happened to me a few years ago while I was traveling. Like that time when…

 

A German guy on the train helped me when I arrived in Berlin

After leaving Amsterdam, I was heading to Germany. Once on board, I found my compartment and sat next to a handsome blond, blue-eyed young man named Stefan.

We started speaking in German and he was pleasantly surprised that I spoke it fluently and loved everything about the history, culture and language of his country!

It was my first time in the city, so I needed to find out how to reach the youth hostel so that I could drop off my bags & explore the German Capital

Stefan took me to the Taxi stand, all Mercedes-Benz vehicles of course, gave the driver the directions and he even accompanied me to the front desk to sign in.

I checked in and thanked him so much. I wanted to pay him for the fare and invite him to a drink but he said that I didn’t owe him anything. So he just turned around and left.

I spent the next week going all over town and had so much fun (as well as making new friends) even venturing out (told you I am restless!)

Berlin, Germany, Brandenburg Gate, dawn, photography, travel

Brandenburg Gate at dawn.               Photo credit: Werner22brigitte

Silly me, I didn’t even ask his telephone number or his address. I wanted to thank him again and send him a thank you card at least!

Now that I look back, I realize he truly was God sent!  I always remember that experience as one of the best…EVER 🙂

Germans are such friendly, warm & exceptional people, I will always be grateful to have received such help!

 

A Korean bus driver who drove us back to our neighborhood

Shortly after arriving in Seoul, South Korea, I decided to go on my first adventure. Going into the city requires taking an express bus which I did. Another colleague, who was also starting at the same time, came along for the ride.

We had so much fun shopping, dining, going from one place to the next

Seoul, South Korea, travel, photography, Namdaemun Market, Asia

Namdaemun Market in Seoul.    Photo credit: Tragrpx

and before we knew it, we had to come back home which was a bit late at night.

Once at our stop, we found out it was the very last bus. So we got on and we talked a bit too much hence we missed our stop. It was very dark so it was hard to tell where we were.

Sadly we ended up at the bus terminal and since we didn’t know any Korean, we went out to find a taxi. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes later, there was none in sight.

So we knew we were going to have to sleep on a bench and under the stars! How’s that for a first adventure in the land of the not so much calm?

We heard someone honking and we turned around and saw the bus driver. He asked us in perfect English what we were doing there, we explained the situation and I am sure he must have thought “you dumb foreigners”.

He hesitated for a minute but then he told us to get in the car and to tell him where we lived. I was so happy & relieved.

He probably was going to be pretty late and he must have been really tired after a day of work.

So he drove for about 30 minutes before we arrived in our part of town. I was really grateful and handed him some money, for this inconvenience but he refused.

He wished us luck and was on his way.

Trust me, as soon as I got to my apartment I got down on my knees and prayed to the almighty for always looking after me and for sending the right people at the right time 🙂

 

A Japanese Lady took my hand and led me to the right subway platform

Many years ago I was sent to Osaka, Japan by my school in order to get my Korean work visa. They call it the visa run which means that you can obtain the document at the nearest Korean Embassy or consulate in a foreign country and is normally ready the very same day.

Landing at Kansai Airport was a breeze, getting into the city was quite a different story. I am normally organized and plan in detail. However nothing prepared me for what I was going to experience.

I took the train that links the airport to the center of the city and once I arrived at Shinsaibashi Station I was completely lost.

If you ever been to Japan or any country in Asia, you know how crowded the train or subway stations are and there are so many lines that it is quite overwhelming.

I found myself lost in a city I knew nothing of and definitely lost in translation. Back then there were few English signs.

I had the address of the hotel where I needed to go to. So I just stood in front of a map and it was as if I was hypnotized.

Next thing you know I was pushed and people wanted to take a look at the map as well. So I went to get a real map at the counter.

I looked in all directions and still didn’t know where to go. I had to muster up my courage and asked a lady if she spoke English, she said no with her head. So I used a few Japanese words I knew and pointed to her where I needed to go.

Next thing you know, she took my hand and she started walking and I had to follow of course.

She took me to the right train platform and once the train arrived, she used her fingers to count how many stations I needed to count before arriving where I had to.

It was incredible that even if there was a language barrier I could understand her perfectly. God bless that sweet soul!

All I remember is that I put my hands together, as If I was going to pray, bowed down (young people need to do this before people who are older, it is part of the culture) and repeated “aregato, thank you so much” until the doors of the train closed. The very last image I saw was her waiving back at me and went her way.

I truly enjoyed the following days in the land of the rising sun & gained so much respect and admiration for the people!

Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan, travel, photography, Japanese neon signs

Neon signs in Dotonbori, Osaka. Photo credit: Cegoh

Those 3 events were some of the most memorable moments I have ever experienced but there are many more. I could definitely go on and on.

Now going back to the person who asked me for directions, well I decided to turn back and walk with them and show them the way.

While we did I asked them where they came from and they said “St-Petersburg, Russia”. Wow, they flew half-way across the world to find themselves in my city and precisely at that corner at the time I happened to be there.

We arrived at the station; I went to the counter and bought them tickets to return downtown where they were staying. They would not take them, it’s almost as if it was an offense but I explained to them that I wanted them to leave with a great memory and in the future if they see someone in a similar situation, to pay it forward!

I have never felt so good and so grateful. I saw them go through the turnstiles and they waved back thanking me.

I often wonder, was it just a coincidence? Why did they pick me and not anyone else? I often look like a tourist myself and people ask me for time, directions.

I just think that since life has been incredibly generous and really good to me all these years, it clearly is my time to stop and give back! They say that life is a boomerang and now I understand the meaning of it.

I firmly believe that travel is not only an incredible experience for the mind, body and soul; it is also great for the heart. It can help you heal, transform and also allows you to both give, receive and become a much better person in the process, don’t you agree?

Always keep your eyes and spirit open. Also be receptive to any opportunities that may show up when you least expect it 🙂

I hope you enjoyed reading Random Acts of Kindness During Travel.

Have you ever been a beneficiary of Random Acts of Kindness During Travel? I have 3 stories to share with you! Read on :)

 

Now over to you!

Do you have a fascinating story to share?

 

If so, tell us all about it in the comments!

I hope you enjoyed reading.

Until next time.

Happy travels!

All the best

Karla 🙂

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Random Acts of Kindness During Travel

  1. Roshan says:

    Myself and a friend were lost in the hills in the Sacramento gypsy area in the hills of Seville, and then it started raining and then it started to get dark. A lovely lady picked us up in her car and drove us back into town- she didn’t speak our language, but she was able to take us exactly where we were going and we were able to ascetain that she was an artist who had come to paint the Alhambra. Thankyou lovely lady whereever you- I hope your paintings become masterpieces 🙂

  2. halfwaysomewhere says:

    I’ve had a few but here’s my favourite:

    It was my last night in London (not a city known for its friendly inhabitants) and I only the cash to get to the airport the next morning. I was walking back to my hostel and I got totally lost. It was getting dark so I ducked into a cafe to ask for directions. When the guy at the register heard where I needed to go he was like ‘I can’t let you walk that far, it’ll take you forever’ and he went over to the tips jar and took out a few pounds and pointed me to the bus stop. That was one of the first times I had random people help me out for no reason. It feels good 🙂

    • traveller soul says:

      OMG! That is just amazing!

      You definitely went into the right place and that man has the heart of Gold, quick thinker and smart too!

      At least you were able to speak the same language 🙂

      Happy to read that you got to your destination safe & sound!

      You know sometimes I think that everything is like a puzzle. All pieces come together at the right time and it really makes me believe that there are lots of good people out there. We become one as well after all these experiences too don’t you think?

      Now I really have no shame in going to see someone if they are staring at a map and ask if there is any way I can help. Yes I know I should mind my own biz but hey, it’s better to be of service than be indifferent!

      Thank YOU so much for sharing your awesome story.

      Happy travels 🙂

  3. traveller soul says:

    Oh wow!

    That is just an amazing story my friend!

    You know that they say that if you find a dime (or $ in your case) it is a sign from heaven? 😉

    That was so nice of him to pay the bus fare & to show you the way.

    Those are people with hearts of gold & bless them.

    Now i don’t know how they just leave without a trace but they are unforgettable right?

    Thank you for sharing this with us 😉

    K

  4. Melissa Trinidad says:

    I was trying to find Spaworld in Osaka. I managed to get the Japanese website up on my phone and I showed it to a random lady on the street. She was standing, talking to a lady with a bicycle and neither spoke English. The one with the bike ended up walking me to the onsen, chatting in Japanese on the way, while I responded back in English. She got me to my destination, turned around and went back the way she came.
    On a whole, Japanese people are terribly helpful and surprisingly, even though I couldn’t understand them and they couldn’t understand me, we made it work.

    • traveller soul says:

      Oh what a great story!

      Even if we don’t speak their language, some people go out their way & take you where they need to go.

      I find Japanese people super kind, friendly & unforgettable!

      Sometimes I think they are angels in disguise 😉

      Thank you for sharing it with us!

  5. singfoodie says:

    gorgeous post Karla! I have so many similar stories on both sides of the coin. One thing that I’ve learnt over the years is that 99% of people are genuinely out there to help rather than rip you off or screw you. My husband is a bit of a sceptic and we often quarrel about this because I’m a firm believer that ‘what goes around comes around’. Happy travels my dear!

    • traveller soul says:

      Thank you so much Victoria!

      I’m happy you enjoyed reading it 🙂

      We all have different experiences, both good and not so good but we must learn and appreciate them anyway right?

      I just decided to focus on the positive experiences as they are ones you will always remember and be grateful for.

      I found myself in some circumstances but someone is watching over me & sent angels 🙂

      I’ve also had some really mean people cross my path and thanks to that I am much stronger and fierce grrr 😉

      I absolutely agree with you on “what goes around comes around” theory which is the truth!

      Do good & it’ll come back to you multiplied!

      Life is a boomerang, anything we do on this earth will come back around 😉

      I appreciate your visit.

      Happy travels for you as well!

      Karlita 🙂

  6. Derek4Real says:

    Excellent examples! And yes, I have too, more times than I can count. Most recently I had somehow misplaced my bank card and found me trying to survive a week in Malaysia with no lodging, no food and only RM10 in my pocket (less than $3USD). I mentioned this on Twitter and one follower put me in touch we their friend. He not only let me crash in his spare room for a week but also bought me food in the meantime. During the course of it all we became such good friends that I ended up traveling with him the following week up to his hometown and staying with him and his family for an additional week. Now I am forever in his gratitude and cannot wait until we cross paths again in a few weeks 🙂

    I could list many many more examples, from the old gentleman in Toronto who chased after me several blocks to return my dropped tablet, to the local friends I made in Monteverde, Costa Rica, who let me hang out and party with them for a week, all without expecting anything from me or trying to get an colones off me.

    • traveller soul says:

      I’m glad you liked them thank you!

      Wow, losing an important document or card as in your case is really something you wouldn’t wish upon anyone!

      That is awesome that a kind soul introduced you to someone who would welcome you as a family member or almost. That’s true friendship 🙂

      Ah I loved that story that happened in Toronto!

      There are still lots of great people who help you out of their hearts and God Bless them.

      Next time it’ll be our turn to give back 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by Derek and happy travels!

Thoughts? Comments? They are appreciated ;)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s