What random acts of kindness have you encountered on the road? Maybe it was that meal you desperately needed on a hungry night, or that person who walked you to your hostel after you’d already walked five loops attempting to find it. These people leave a giant mark for the tiniest things they do for us, so I thought I’d ask some other bloggers what random acts of kindness they’ve encountered on the road.
Bus Station Adventures by The World Pursuit
There are so many random acts of kindness experienced when traveling. Our favorite random act of kindness this year was in Tirana, Albania. We had been searching for the bus station and no one (even the internet) had any idea where it was at. It was hot, we had heavy bags on, and we don’t speak Albanian. Out of nowhere a guy that was working on his car on the side of the road came over to us, and I can only assume he asked us if we were lost. We told him we were trying to go to the bus station, but needless to say, he spoke very little English. Somehow with photos we managed to get the message across.
He then presumed to walk us to the local bus, get on the bus with us, pay for the bus, and bring us to the right massive bus station. He then ordered us coffee while we waited for our bus and went on to show us pictures of his family. We tried to pay him for the bus tickets, the coffee, and his time but he wouldn’t take a cent. We would have never found the bus station if not for this wonderful Albanian. I will never forget that day!
Tours and Rides by Once in a Lifetime Journey
I was in American Samoa, an island that belongs to the US but which is located in the Southern Hemisphere half way between Hawaii and New Zealand, when I met the kind lady at the Tourism Office.
As American Samoa only receives 5,000 visitors a year, mostly on business, there are very few tourists that she had to entertain. So when I walked in, alone, she was pretty happy to see someone. I happened upon her office as I was looking for the Fagatele Marine Park and could not find any directions or signs for it. She decided to jump in the car with me and spend the rest of the afternoon showing me around. That was incredibly kind of her as it gave me the chance to truly discover the island and its hidden gems like the Western most point, the last place where the sun sets every day.
As part of her services, she also tried to help me find a rental car for the next day. But there was a conference ongoing on the island and all were booked for the rest of my stay so I would have to take inefficient public buses. In the evening, we said our goodbyes and I went to bed.
The next day, someone knocked on my door at 7am. It was her and her son, ready to go to school. She had come to offer me her pick up truck for the day, I only had to drop them at the school so her husband could pick her up and I could have the car for the rest of the day.
Buses by Global Brunch
When I arrived in Helsinki in November 2015 my new phone wouldn’t switch on. I forgot that German phones require you to use a PIN number every time you switch them on, and there was no way I could access the internet to figure out which bus to take into town. I asked a stranger at the bus stop if she could tell me which bus I could take into the city center and she not only told me what I needed to know, but also kindly paid my bus fare. She gave me lots of great recommendations on what to do in the city and once we arrived in town she even waited until my tram arrived to make sure I get on the right one. This to me wasn’t just someone that paid the bus ticket for me, but the nicest possible way to start off my very short stay in Finland’s capital.
Bike Adventures by Mr. and Mrs. Howe
I was breaking my own golden rule – don’t ride in the mountains at night! North Vietnam is incredibly beautiful and its winding mountain roads are paradise for any motorcycle rider, but riding them at night on a $300 bike with a bent front wheel and a headlight which barely lit the ground in front of it was crossing that blurred line between adventurous and stupid. As we negotiated one particularly sketchy section of mud, a pack of dogs started chasing us out of nowhere. Two of them were trying to bite Kach at the back of the bike, while I had to try to control the bike over rough ground while kicking my boots at either side of me. Finally the road smoothed out slightly and I was able to accelerate away from them. Kach, who until this point had put up with and even enjoyed the adventure, was now tired, scared and crying. We suddenly saw the first light for miles and we drove up the the house that owned it. An older Vietnamese women peered out at us with confusion and I managed to explain that the bike was broken and we needed a place to sleep. She and her husband invited us in, made us tea and gave us something to eat. Their teenage son was making phone calls the whole time and after about half an hour we heard beeping and engine noise. Outside was a convoy of at least 8 kids and teenagers on motorbikes, who all rode us another few miles down the mountain to a random hotel in the middle nowhere. It was the only thing for miles around! Sure we would have found it if we had carried on without stopping for help, but we got to meet this fantastic family in the process!