Thirty (or more) Weeks of Indie Travel: Jane’s #5

Prompt #5: KINDNESS

One of the greatest joys of travel can be the random acts of kindness you’ll receive from total strangers. Have you ever found kindness from strangers in unexpected places?

The kindness I’ve been offered around the world has looked like a warm shower, a soft pillow, and a delicious breakfast. I don’t have any scientific evidence, but I don’t think there is a culture on Earth that doesn’t include hospitality in its set of ethics. (Maybe someone would like to pay me to do this study? Fly me around the world. I’ll eat people’s food and drink their coffee. Perhaps this is my calling. Yes.)

Most recently, I think of my trip to Seattle with Jocelyn when a friend of a friend offered to let us stay with him for a few nights rather than paying to stay in a bed and breakfast. Then he took us to church and spent his whole Sunday showing us around the city. Our trip was enriched by his kindness and hospitality (and his life-sized Star Wars characters).

And, how could I write this without mentioning my lovely Aussie mum, Gail? For years, Gail welcomed FOUR American girls into her home for a semester at a time. Open arms. Open doors. Open pantry. Open peanut butter jar. (Who knows how much peanut butter four American girls can eat?! Gail does. And, it’s a lot.) When people ask me the best part about my semester abroad, my answer is always Mum Gail. (And I went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, so that says a lot.)

A few weeks ago, I heard a radio ad looking for families to host exchange students. I don’t know anything about this organization, but it would be a place to start if you are interested in being a host to an international student. (http://www.yfu-usa.org/host-families.php) Maybe not before 30, but this is definitely something I’d love to do, because others have shown me how important it is.

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