There is this hidden language when we travel and this, my friends, is called kindness.
It’s probably around 8pm. We are standing at the train station in Jiaoxi trying to figure out what time the train will arrive back to Waiao beach. Everything is in Mandarin. The ticket, the signs and the map. Not knowing where to go we hand our ticket to an old couple sitting on the bench at the platform.
“Excuse me sir, can you tell me what time the train will arrive?” I asked. He looked up and smiled. “Young man! Young man!” he says. He calls a young guy entering the station and hands our ticket to him. They both start to speak in Mandarin and before we know it, three other people from the other side of the platform are called to assist. They are all speaking mandarin pointing to our ticket and their phones. Eventually the man comes over, gives back our ticket and points to his watch. “30 minutes” he says. We say thank you and he just laughs while he walks away. “No English” he says as he walks back to the bench shaking his head.
This is the language of kindness. A Language spoken not in words but in actions.
These are the things that we treasure and hold close to our hearts. Little acts of kindness spoken to us in this universal language. It always amazes me how friendly strangers can be and this is why I love sharing these stories!
Stories about how our concierge came and fetched us on his motorbike, while we were walking the streets of Siem Reap at night. He drove up and down looking for us as he was afraid that we got lost somewhere. Or that time when we met a random couple and were given a free guidebook as they heard we were headed to Vietnam. Maybe I can sit and talk to you about the time that we met this amazing tour guide who we are still friends with today? Or the elders that came to greet us in the village? When I think about all these stories I want to burst through my skin from happiness! It gives me goosebumps knowing that there are people out there who care. The ones that put our faith back in humanity.
2016 May not have been the best year with all the bad news going around, but I promise you that there is still so much good in the world! I want to share all these things with you. This language of kindness that we can all understand. Maybe this will be my goal for 2017, to bring you more positive stories. Real stories from real experiences. I want to remind all of us that we are human, all of us trying to survive in this crazy place we call home.
In the end, if there is one thing this year has taught me, its that kindness costs nothing and a smile goes a long way.