Travel Tip 023/100: Be Kind and Return the Favor

Strangers walking by a mural in Taipei

There have been many moments in my life when a stranger has reached out to help me out of the goodness of their own hearts, which I am very thankful for.

  • In Portland, I audibly grunted at the confusing metro station and a stranger put her call on hold to help me. She stopped another stranger from helping me because she got to me first.
  • In Tokyo, I got off at the wrong stop and a stranger asked if I needed help after seeing my puzzled look.
  • In Praha, we went the wrong direction on the train and the conductor asked two strangers to help guide us on the right path, a 30-minute walk through a dark wooded area. We were not dressed for the hike so, they helped us call a taxi cab and we asked them to join us in our cab, but they were shy or we didn’t communicate it properly.
  • In Porto, the woman selling produce helped me with a recipe by suggesting complementary herbs and how to prepare the local vegetables I wanted to try.
  • In Taipei, I was biking home in the dark and a scooter followed me a bit to help light my path to the return bike station.

So, the least I can do to acknowledge the kindness of these strangers I encountered is to return the favor and practice mindfulness as often as possible. Namaste.

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