happynfull

When I tell people I'm flirting with 30, they tell me I look like I'm in college and I have the energy of a pre-adolescent. Well, that's good because did you know there are 195 countries in this world? My goal is to travel to as many countries as my age. My current count? 14. Yikes. Better get jetsettin'! Read More

Let's Get Social!
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Travel Hacks I Love


Live in Luxury Pads for Free


Get $40 AirBnb Travel Credit

budget travel blogger to inspire and inform your inner wanderlust

Travel Update: Random Acts of Kindness

September 22, 2016.happynfull.1 Like.4 Comments

Random Acts of Kindness

Dear Travel Diary,

As I was in the Amsterdam airport, standing in the snail-paced Customs line, my mind did what it does best, wandered. My vivid imagination colored up an overweight, bearded man going ape shit because the Non-EU Passport line wasn’t moving. Disgruntled, impatient, and irate, he took out a blade and started thrashing at everyone near him, screaming profanities while his face went from pale to red hot. Bystanders tried to fend for themselves and ran past the horrified Custom Agents, everyone panicked, trampled over each other, and screamed. The news reports later would focus on how incompetent the Transporation Security Administration is and ask questions like, “How did the man make it past security with a blade? Who should we blame negligence on?”

I don’t know why this happens. Anytime I’m on a bus and it’s quiet, I often imagine the worst case scenario, and how I would use my resources around me for an escape route. On the San Francisco Muni, I imagined that I would take the loops hanging from the bus’s ceiling, somehow rip it off, karate-kick and strangle the stumbling, drunk offender.

The trolls are all out to get you.

I think this is why I now try to bury my nose into a book as soon as I jump on public transportation instead of read CNN News where the main headlines read like this:

4 Cops Hurt as Violence Follows Police Shooting
Could India, Pakistan go to War?
US Military Aircraft Crashes Off Okinawa
Hundreds Feared Dead after Boat Sinks
I Called Wells Fargo Ethics Line and Got Fired

 

Luckily, I have not had a need to exercise any of my poor escape route tactics. We’ve actually been quite lucky in encountering sweet, generous, kind souls along our trip. For someone like me who reads the news every morning, it’s hard to forget that the news only reports the negative occurrences. The media likes to hype the world as one clusterfuck of rapists, molesters, thieves, drug traffickers, terrorists, and murderers on every corner.

Apparently the media knows what sells and I’m guessing happy news doesn’t, but I thought I’d share my log of Random Acts of Kindness I’ve encountered over the past two months:

Travel Guide: Budget Things to Do in Portland
  1. Our Portland housesit was so kind, picking us up from the airport and treating us to dinner, showing us the nearby neighborhoods. Thank you, Anne!
  2. As I haul my luggage at the train station and gaze up at 32 steps in a spiral staircase, I pause, breathe deep, and… smile! A random man in a suit has simultaneously grabbed my luggage handle. Smiling at me, he says, “Let’s go.” Wow. Thank you, sir, for just taking action and helping a woman with weak biceps in despair. You really saved my ass.
  3. As I return to the same damn train station, with the same damn luggage, I pause, gulp, and take a deep breath. Miraculously, a woman no bigger than me, asks, “Can I help you with your luggage down the stairs?” Wow. I either have Pathetic stamped on my forehead or people are just super kind. I’ll go with the latter.
  4. In Montreal, our host, Elodie, invited us to have a home cooked meal with her entire family. Lunch turned into dinner, and we’re so thankful for having a nice hot plate of food when it was raining outside in a non-speaking English town. Thank you, Elodie! 🙂
  5. Chatting with our housesit host, Lis, who picked us up from the train station, she asked where we were headed to after England. We mentioned vague plans and hopes of visiting France. “Oh, France? You will love it there. I have another house there. If you want, let me know when you want to go, you can stay there (for free) as long as you would like. It’s vacant!” Wow, that’s great you trust us so much in the first hour of knowing us to offer that.
  6. Walking two dogs one day in Nottingham, a 50-somethings lady named Jane randomly struck up small talk, asking if we were visitors or just moved into the neighborhood. Learning that we were visiting for two weeks, and not having a car, she asked for my number and said, “I don’t know where I’m going to take you but I want to take you somewhere.” She followed up and asked us to come over to her house, she drove us 40 minutes out to a nearby town, played tour guide and bought us ice cream. A few days later she invited us to her home for a full dinner so we could get a taste of Traditional British Sunday Roast. I now call her my Auntie Jane.
  7. Sitting at a coffeeshop in Nottingham, a man randomly approached me and gave me his completed ‘Buy 10 Coffees Get 1 Coffee Free’ card. He said, “I hope you like coffee. If so, have one on me!” Why yes, I like love coffee and thank you!
  8. My cousin’s lovely neighbor couple offered to have us sleep in their spare bedroom as long as we want to visit and have also made us meals and hosted us over to hang out in their living room. Thank you for all of the kind hospitality you classy citizens of Herfordshire!
  9. I went to a little convenient store to pick up some eggs. Their eggs expired the day before so he gave me a dozen for free. Thanks, dude!
  10. Chatting with our current Airbnb host, Renata, in Amsterdam, she mentioned she is headed to Bali in 3 weeks for several weeks. She offered to have us stay in her home if we want to return to Amsterdam during this time since she won’t be home anyways. Not to mention she has also picked us up from the train station and driven us to pick up late night dinner in the surrounding city. Super host!

I’m not sure whether it’s pet lovers are just friendly by nature, people feel sorry for me since I’m funemployed, or a combination of both, but I’m really thankful for all of the positive vibes and love I have received so far on this journey.

I think as long as you don’t look like a sleezebag, you make a point to smile and converse with someone, and keep an open mind, people genuinely want to extend a lending hand to strangers.

Moving forward I’m going to still remain cautious and aware of my surroundings, but also pay it forward and help another human feel the love that I have felt through random acts of kindness.

Travel Playlist - Happy Holidays Jams

When is the last time you showered a random stranger with a random act of kindness?

Comments (4)

  • vivalaViv . September 22, 2016 . Reply

    Awww.., this is truly a wonderful post! I have happy tears from reading your travel stories. Yes, even though the media wants us to believe the world is full of danger and bad people, the darkness still can not outshine the kindness and the warm hearts…
    Keep this kind of up-lifting story coming please, the world needs to hear more of it!!

    Vivienne X

    • (Author) happynfull . September 23, 2016 . Reply

      Viv,

      Aww I love bringing happy tears to readers! Thank you for sharing your insights and I am so glad someone likes to read happy news! I should call up CNN to tell them. =P

      xoxo,
      Emily

  • Linda . September 23, 2016 . Reply

    Great post! It’s truly amazing how many wonderful people are out there – and we don’t even have to look for them! 😀😀

  • Jewish Thoughts . September 30, 2016 . Reply

    In Hebrew, loving-kindness is called ‘chesed’. My goal for the Jewish New Year (starts this sunday) is to do more acts of random chesed. Inspiring post!

Add comment

All right reserved by Happynfull