The Kindness of Strangers

Recently I finished a wonderful book called The Kindness of Strangers.

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The book is written by different people but they all have the same thing in common, they all traveled and they all experienced kindness from the people they met on there travels. And this got me thinking about my recent travels.

From what I can recall about my own experience is although I was seeing and doing amazing things, I got burnt out. I tended to keep myself to myself, I like my own space so after a while I craved to have my own room instead of sharing all the time. I started running low on money by the end of the trip so I started skipping meals and experiences just to try make my money stretch, I must have seemed very anti social.

But even with all that I did experience kindness from various people, whether that be people on my tour or people I met out and about. So I have decided to share a few moments from my travels where people went beyond what was expected and showed me kindness.

Now throughout the book people talk about how people welcomed them into their homes and fed them. This happened to me too but mine were scheduled visits. In the last leg of my travels I went to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. In all of these locations we did home stays. I’ll say now I didn’t particularly like doing these, not because of the people or the accommodation or anything but simply because they made me feel uncomfortable, to me it felt like hey lets go and gawk at these unfortunate people and vise versa it felt like hey look westerners. But saying all that it was very kind of these people to give us a place to stay for the night, and even to put food in our bellies and for that I will always be grateful. It was in Indochina that I tasted the best potato curry I have ever had.

When I was traveling like I said I started to get burnt out. One evening while out for a meal with the group things just turned very sour for me (in my mind), the day itself had been very rewarding, we had even just gotten off a sunset boat trip, but while at dinner I started to feel invisible, everyone was chatting to one another and enjoying themselves except they weren’t chatting with me, so I started feeling very low and unwanted so I walked away. My tour guide came running after me to see if everything was alright, I lied saying I was but this was the first of many moment when my tour guide came to my aid. Now your probably thinking well he’s a tour guide, it’s there job to make sure everyone is alright. Yes, but was it also his job to loan me some money when I was struggling with funds? No.

Because I spend about 30 days with him he became a friend, we talked about his dreams, and my life back home and I really connected with him. Over all I really enjoyed being with my tour guide and he was beyond kind to me.

While in China two other moments happened, one was a guy on my tour helped me with my suitcase. Like an idiot and because I have never done monthly tours before I packed a BIG suitcase filled with everything I thought I would need. My travels were to take me from freezing winter/spring weather to roasting summer weather, so I obliviously needed to pack clothes to accommodate that, however this became a burden. It was heavy and bulky and by the time I was in Vietnam I disposed of it in exchange for a rucksack. But before I even got to Vietnam a gentleman on my tour decided to take over the heaving of my case to our hotel. It wasn’t a long walk maybe 10 minuets or so but heaving a BIG suitcase slowed it down. I will forever be grateful to him for helping me with my beast of a case.

The other incident that happened in China was a local helped point me in the right direction, as he noticed I appeared a little lost and confused in the tube station.

No matter how big or small these random acts of kindness are they still mean a lot. You can find things like this everywhere, in everyday even if it is you that’s helping a fellow person out. It might be something so small that it doesn’t even cause a blimp in your day but for the person receiving it could be the best thing of their’s.

So I guess there is nothing else to say except BE KIND, and THANK YOU to all the little acts of kindness that people have shown me, both on my travels and in my everyday life.

 

x Kayleigh x

 

 

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