ON THE ROAD: Random Acts of Kindness

Share your travel stories, photos and blog links here.

Moderators: jimshu, JaliscoJudy, sinecure, ballu, TravelFun

ON THE ROAD: Random Acts of Kindness

Postby JaliscoJudy » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:33 pm

Thank you mojowp for the idea for this thread.

I'll start off with an act of honesty that surprised me. I was in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and took a cab to a restaurant. After a leisurely dinner, when it came time to pay the bill, I realized that I must have left my wallet in the cab. YIKES! Money, driver's license...well, you know.

I rushed back to my hotel I told the desk clerk what had happened and asked her to please call the cab company. She shook her head and gave me a look that crushed any hopes I had of getting my wallet back. She called anyway and the cab driver said, sure, he had it and would bring it right over, which he did!
User avatar
Posts: 2309
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:16 pm
Location: Ecuador

Re: ON THE ROAD: Random Acts of Kindness

Postby Laulau » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:25 am

Thats amazing, what a great guy for coming back with your wallet :) I had an act of kindness in Costa Rica where a taxi driver had driven me a long way to the airport to return home. I had not any cash on me so went to an ATM machine at the airport to draw some out for him, but the machine swallowed my card!!!! I had nothing to give him, so offered him my watch, some jewellery, etc. but bless him, he shook his head and said dont worry about it and let me go. I was so relieved, he was very sweet to let me off like that :) :)
User Rank: Weekender
User Rank: Weekender
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:42 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: ON THE ROAD: Random Acts of Kindness

Postby thecakeisalie » Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:40 pm

My first backpacking trip, right out of the gate my friend and I had some difficulties in Paris. We had just landed a few hours prior and were immediately taking a 10:30pm train to Avignon to meet up with some friends, and so had made no reservations for a room in Paris... only to get to the train station and find that our train schedules were outdated, the new schedule hadn't yet been printed, and our train didn't actually exist! The next one was the following morning. So after wandering around the Latin Quarter for most of the rest of the night, finally meeting up with some friends we knew in the area (and arranging to sleep on their floor, btw), we went out looking for a bite to eat with the petty cash in our pockets. Since I don't speak French I was happy to order a ham and cheese crepe from a street vendor at 1am, and he proceeded to make some additional chocalte pastry type things. Now, I was sure we hadn't ordered those and adamantly refused to pay, believing it was a scam for the Americans, as I had been warned about the French, and was getting irritated at the man's insistence as he continued to push them on me and yell "Gratui, gratui!" A nice man behind me finally explained they were a gift. Wow, was I embarassed, and quite grateful... we must have looked pretty disheveled for a street vendor to take pity on us.
User avatar
User Rank: Explorer
User Rank: Explorer
Posts: 594
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 10:37 am
Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Re: ON THE ROAD: Random Acts of Kindness

Postby IncaTrail50 » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:44 pm

Years ago my husband had a conference in the Netherlands and we took our young daughter with us, intending to rent a car and travel also to France and Belgium. Along with all of the local sights, our daughter wanted to see EuroDisney which had just opened. She'd been to the California one, and the Florida one and wanted to compare. We agreed to spend a few hours there on our way through. We arrived quite late and discovered the parking lot would not accept anything but cash. It would have taken too long to head back to a machine and then get back in time to see anything before closing so we were explaining to our daughter that we would have to forgo the visit. The attendant looked at our daughter's sad face and rang up our parking receipt as 0 franks, allowing us to park for free!
I will never let my dreams just be dreams.
User avatar
User Rank: Explorer
User Rank: Explorer
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:12 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: ON THE ROAD: Random Acts of Kindness

Postby SCAMES » Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:00 am

A Random act of kindness will really change the flavor of your travels, whether you are the recipient or the giver. Two examples;

A few years ago I was on a family vacation to Tahiti, French Polynesia including my 82 year old mother, older brother, his wife and my self. I was looking for a little more adventure than just laying on the beach, so I booked a hike into the interior of the island with a travel agency at the hotel. The next morning, Sunday, a land rover picked me up early and we proceeded out of the city and parked in the lot of supermarket. We were waiting for the rest of the group to join us. Within about 20 minutes about 40 people had showed up. The local brewery had booked the same trek as a company outing. I was the only non emplyee besides the guide. I speak no French but many of them did know English and I was quickly accepted into the group. We drove to the starting point at the end of a dirt road and started walking up the stream bed, that is the only clear path in the jungle. It began to rain and the manager from the brewery came over and gave me a poncho to put on since I had not the sense to bring one. After several hours hiking up and then back down after lunch, we were back to the start point. I then made one of the worst gaffs I have ever done when traveling and was sincerly embarrased. I tried to return the ponch thinking is was just a loan. I think I really offended the gentleman him thinking I was refusing the gift. I was quickly told by someone else what I had done and I do hope that my appologies were accepted as genuine. He did give me back the poncho which I treasure to this day and carry on many of my trips.

The other is a shorter story about helping others. Often when I travel I see groups struggling to get group photos with first one then another taking pictures non of which have everyone in the shot. I usually offer my services and am always rewarded with great smiles and appreciation. At a wedding in Ireland I did that for a gentleman I didn't know but turned out to be the grooms father. For the rest of the day and all night during the reception I was told how he was still telling people how kind I was.

I don't tell this to blow my own horn but to share that the act of kindness has as great a reward to the giver as the reciever.

Enjoy the Journey
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:54 pm
Location: Near Seattle, WA USA, when not traveling

Re: ON THE ROAD: Random Acts of Kindness

Postby Zuleika » Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:36 am

Yes - Im a real believer in what goes around comes around.
I met a young English lad on a long train journey through India travelling by himself. He was very unwell, burning up with a fever and in no fit state to help himself. I guessed he might have malaria. At the station, I got him and his luggage off the train, got a taxi and took him to a hospital, bought and paid for all his drugs and sterile needles needed and made sure treatment was properly given. He was fine in a few days and very grateful.
I only hope that if that it should ever happen to me a fellow traveller would help me in the same way.
"Live the life you love, Love the life you live"
User avatar
User Rank: Road Warrior
User Rank: Road Warrior
Posts: 1406
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:01 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: ON THE ROAD: Random Acts of Kindness

Postby mrzeszow » Tue May 19, 2009 4:25 pm

Recently I was in Mexico, in Chiapas, and I quickly realized that everywhere I went I spoke little to no Spanish, and most people did not speak English. I decided to venture out on my own anyways. I was staying at a lodge outside of town in the jungle, and I wanted to head into town to do some sightseeing and shopping. I learned from other travelers at the hotel about the 'colectivo' bus and how you just stand on the side of the road till they honk and you wave them down to pull over. I managed to catch the colectivo, and when I got on no one spoke English but somehow I managed to communicate that I wished to go to town.

A few hours later a colectivo pulled up to me while I was walking around. I realized that it was the same driver, and he asked whether I wanted to head back (mostly I think that's what he asked based on the hand gestures). I declined, thinking I still had more time before needing to head back. He mentioned a time, and I did not understand what he meant by it.

A few hours later I wanted to head back to the lodge, but I realized that there were no colectivos to be seen in town. I guess he was trying to tell me what time they stop running. It was quickly starting to get dark. I started walking towards the lodge, but 20 mins later I realized that I really underestimated the distance.

While walking I spent the time calling myself an idiot for allowing myself to get stuck in the middle of the jungle, on a road with no lanes, by myself. Well, out of the blue I hear honking and a colectivo pulls over beside me. To my surprise, it was the same driver, no one else was on the bus. It looks like he figured I would get stuck in town and he came back for me after his shift finished. I was so grateful.

He dropped my off right at my hotel, instead of on the road. I tried to give him most of the money I had on me, but he refused. My guide was at the hotel so I asked him to speak to the driver to express my lasting gratitude, and I asked if I could do anything to repay him. My guide said that the driver also had a daughter about my age, and he just hoped that while she travels, someone would look out for her as well. I wanted to cry. To this day I tell people this story.
User Rank: Nomad
User Rank: Nomad
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:03 pm
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Return to Travel Tales, Photography & Blogs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest