This is the third part of the series of posts around fantastic moments lived by travelers of all walks of life. They are moments when a complete stranger did something that was uncalled for but which was a genuine act of kindness. Through my travels I have learned that the generosity of strangers is a beautiful gift every traveler will experience and which will restore your faith in humanity. Don’t be afraid to set off, the world awaits!
Travel Stories Part 3: Stephanie
Travel industry Entrepreneur and model
When I am in a rush I am forgetful and I often leave the house without my wallet. This is something which has happened to me more than once.
I get into the taxi, I give the address and when I get there and it is time to pay I realize that I have no money. Although I always offer to pay when I get back home cab drivers, have always dismissed this with a “Don’t worry Miss”. Taxi drivers seem to have the biggest of hearts, despite the bad press they often get.
Stephanie started as a model and after a few other entrepreneurial in-roads founded Villa and Hotel booking site The Luxe Nomad which offers flash sales for luxury hotels in Asia
Travel Stories Part 3: Barbara
A girl that follows her dreams. Founder Kala Club
When I was 17 years old I moved to Florence, Italy, to study Italian. It was one of the best months of my life. A year later, I was travelling through Italy and I wanted to visit one of my girlfriends in Florence again. I was so excited to see her. I was waiting for her in the centre of the city square but after 2 hrs the battery of my phone had died and she had not arrived yet. I started to panic a bit because I would stay with her that evening and I could not reach her without a phone. Luckily, a really nice lady saw that I was there all by myself and quite lost. She asked me if she could help and I told her that the only thing that I could do was to bring my luggage to my old school which was about 10 min further down. She said she would help and we carried the luggage together. I spoke to the concierge and charged my phone at the school so I could reach my friend. Then we sat down at the café next to the school and had a drink and some food until my friend arrived. It was really nice of her to help me like that as I was quite young and lost.
I still remember it today. So thank you!
You can find more about Barbara does at Kala Club’s page here.
Travel Stories Part 3: Kate
Wine entrepreneur and Marketing guru trying to work among excited children
I was traveling from Ruaha National Park, in Tanzania, to Ifakara and we’d finished a day of safari so just made the last bus of the day. When the bus arrived, in true African style, the seats and floor of the bus were full. On a two week holiday and time being of the essence we thought – how bad can it be? and jumped on.
Two hours into a six hour journey round some very windy roads it was starting to feel like the journey would never end. After a quick stop we ended up near the back of the bus where a girl in her early 20s who was already sitting 3 to a seat, sat her brother on her lap and insisted I sat down. Not only that, but she sang and danced (as much as you can in the small space) the rest of my journey making it truly memorable and turning a journey from hell to one to remember.
Travel Stories Part 3: Penny
Author of the travel blog Adventures of a Carry-on
At the same time, two men walked up, assessed the situation, and acted as human crutches. Bent over like an old crone with bad osteoporosis, I had no choice but to lean on them for support. Within thirty minutes, I was on a stretcher riding in an ambulance to the local hospital…thirty miles away.
Travel Stories Part 3: The Guy
Long term international business traveller holding over a million air miles!
My most vivid recollection of faith in humanity is a tale of where I was one of the many strangers helping someone in need, although I never quite expected the help to gain the momentum it did!
This story goes way back to the autumn of 2000. I was one of numerous expats (Brits, Irish, South African, Indian) working on a long term project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Like many in Saudi we were just some of many foreign workers employed by this Saudi company.
One day whilst a colleague and I were in our office one of the cleaners walked into our room . He was looking very cautious and had a very sad face. He was from Sri Lanka and didn’t really speak any English.
As I enquired if we could help him he handed me a hand written note. In about 2-3 sentences the note explained that this guy was desperately trying to raise money so he could afford a flight home to see his dying father. (We were very much aware that the Asian workers were often lowly paid and not treated too well in this country.)
Out of support for the cleaner’s predicament I searched in my wallet and found the biggest bank note I could. I found a note worth about £20 (GBP) and said to my colleague that I would give it to this guy on behalf of us both. (Whilst working in Saudi we had enhanced salaries so this only felt like a small token gesture as far as I was concerned.)
As I handed the bank note to the cleaner he looked on in almost shock and began crying right in front of me. I ended up hugging him. Little did I realise that our donation was probably equivalent to close to his monthly salary.
Word quickly spread amongst our colleagues of this cleaner and his sad story. Pretty soon afterwards I heard of a wonderful outcome.
Our most senior person on site had taken heed of our feelings for this poor Sri Lankan guy and decided that our company would pay for the full air fare to fly him home to see his father.
In the build up to his departure the cleaner was incredibly moved and kept calling by our offices to say how grateful he was.
Once he’d flown home he then sent us all a letter to say thank you on behalf of him and his family.
I guess we’ll never really know how poor he and his family were; nor how they had been treated and restricted in Riyadh. However I will never forget the tears of gratefulness on his face when we gave what we thought was a moderate donation.
I am in the look out for similar stories to be featured in the next release. If you would like to share yours email it to firstname.lastname@example.org