7 Travel Stories Of Acts Of Kindness From Around The World

hugging an elephant in Thailand

In a world where we are constantly bombarded with bad things happening around us, from social media to watching the news, it’s important for us to remind ourselves of the positive experiences we have encountered. It’s meaningful for us to share our stories, the good, bad and the ugly! There is power in sharing your story as you never know who will resonate with your experience one day.

In addition, I have also had some beautiful experiences which involved strangers showing me acts of kindness while travelling. One of the most memorable encounters was in Israel earlier this year when a Jewish local graciously invited me into his home to have a traditional Shabbat dinner with his family.

During my visit to the elephant sanctuary on a solo adventure to Phuket, my sandals suddenly broke and I would have had to continue the tour barefoot in the muddy terrain if it wasn’t for a kindhearted elderly local woman. She saw my frantic expression and immediately, gave me her slippers (even though we didn’t have the same size feet) so I could continue to enjoy the tour with no worries. Later, I returned her slippers back to her and expressed my gratitude because she rescued me from potentially stepping on elephant poo.

a black woman smiling and hugging an elephant in Thailand
Joyce of diywithjoy.com in Thailand

Kindness restores faith in humanity and it is amazing to see this around the world. It showed me I shouldn’t travel with fear but with caution. It showed me that I should travel with an open mind because you never know what friendly encounter you may have with a complete stranger that may change your outlook or even your perception of the world around you.

In honour of World Kindness Day, 7 people from around the world share their travel stories of expression of kindness they have received.

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1. Smita shares her story of meeting a kind gentleman at a bus stop in Turkey

Smita, an Indian blogger and writter
Smita (@smitabe)

“But luckily for me, Fahre was the perfect gentleman.”

I get lost easily and panic. This is a story of a time when google maps and GPS were uncommon and getting lost was the norm. In 2008 I was in Istanbul, at the Eyüp bus station. I knew only one way to get back to Sultanahmet via Eminönü. I’d already let one bus pass me by, alarmed at how crowded it was. I was getting very worried. I had to be back on time to my B&B to pack up and rush to catch my flight back home.

I was late. So late.

Fahre was standing at the bus stop with me. It was just the two of us. Red striped sweater. Cute. I’d lost my heart quite a few times in Istanbul, I realized then.

“Which bus are you waiting for?” he asked me.
“99A to Eminönü. And you?” I asked.
“I need to go to Sultanahmet too,” he replied.

”Me too,” I replied, trying to keep the panic out of my voice. “But how does one get there directly? I just know the 99A.”
“One can take a bus to Beyazit square. Sultanahmet is close by. You can walk.”


“Are you here for business or as a tourist?” he asked.
“Tourist actually. Today is my last day.” I grew wistful as I said that. A very crowded bus came by after five minutes. He nodded at me. This was it.

I got in hanging at the door like in Mumbai buses. Hanging on for dear life. At least, this one had a door to hang on to, unlike in Mumbai. But luckily for me, Fahre was the perfect gentleman. I got escorted in, directed to an empty seat before anyone else could sit on it, and got dropped at Beyazit square.
“You get down here,” Fahre said. “That’s the way you should take to reach Sultanahmet, behind the blue building.” He pointed. He dropped me until I reached my B&B. I made it to my flight on time.

He was my angel that day. And a very cute one.

More about Smita and her published books on her website or on Instagram.

2. Adebola shares a special bond when friends become family in Malaysia

Adebola with her Singaporean friend sipping on drinks
Adebola (@mybreakingviews)

After my study exchange ended in Singapore, I decided to continue with my travels around South-East Asia. I was moving out of my student accommodation, so I had nowhere to keep my belonging’s. I was lucky to meet a friend while studying abroad, whose family was kind enough to keep my two BIG suitcases at her house in Malaysia, while I travelled around Asia. Her family was so loving and allowed me to stay in their home with endless amounts of hospitality. While staying with them, I can honestly say that I felt like I was part of the family and was welcomed with open arms. I was lucky enough to spend time with her family in different parts of Malaysia.  It warmed my heart that a family from the other side of the world could be so welcoming.

Adebola in Singapore with her friends
Adebola (@mybreakingviews)

“It warmed my heart that a family from the other side of the world could be so welcoming.”

Fast forward six years later, my friend and I have stayed in contact through various social media platforms. I was recently a bridesmaid for her wedding in Malaysia and Sweden; it was such an emotionally beautiful day to share with someone I met abroad. We indeed became more than friends. We became family.

Keep up with MyBreakingViews and follow Adebola on Twitter and Instagram.

3. Mea shares how a small gesture of kindness from a stranger made a mother’s day in China

Mea and her partner in China
Mea (@_itzafamilything_)

“They made me realize that no matter how different we may be a small gesture of kindness can change someone’s day.”

My family and I took our first international trip from San Diego to Beijing when our son was 4-months-old. We had an amazing time exploring the city and learning about Chinese culture. One day we decided to split up to make the most of our time and see as much as we could. I decided to go to the museum in Beijing with our son. Everything started out great, but as our time at the museum winded down we were unable to get a taxi back to our hotel. After spending almost 2 hours trying to get back to our hotel when we finally arrived, a group of elderly Chinese women made an anxious mother’s day.

After getting the baby out of the car and retrieving his diaper bag I noticed the women had already unloaded all our items from the trunk and set them next to the baby who was in a car seat. They were playing and talking to him which made him smile and laugh. I was amazed by how nice they were being at a moment when I really needed it. After being scared and stranded with a baby it was nice to run into such a kind group of women. Even though I did not know what they were saying to our son he was having a lot of fun. I bent down to load all the items into the bottom of the stroller and when I stood back up the women were gone.

The women do not know how much that meant to me after the previous 2 hours. They made me realize that no matter how different we may be a small gesture of kindness can change someone’s day.

Catch up with itz a family thing on their social media platforms, InstagramFacebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

4. Danielle shares a kind encounter and breakfast she had with a driver in Cyprus 

Danielle (@danielle_laylas_travels)

“On the way to my hotel he stopped to get us some coffee and broke his chocolate bread in half for us to share, it made me feel very welcomed.”

I wanted to share that my airport transfer driver was very kind to me as he drove me to and from the airport in Paphos. On the way to my hotel, he stopped to get us some coffee and broke his chocolate bread in half for us to share, it made me feel very welcome. On the way back to the airport he also bought me an apple pastry as he was getting his breakfast which saved me from buying my own breakfast at the airport.

I was travelling solo and will definitely be returning to Paphos again as I’ve never experienced a driver going out of their way like this for their passenger. The picture above is of me outside the airport before heading home. 

Danielle is British, half Nigerian and half English. She is an online travel agent who wants to see all the beautiful places in the world & help you see them too for an affordable price.

More on Danielle’s travel business on danielleoyenuga.inteletravel.uk and her Instagram

5. Molly shares her story on the notion of togetherness and welcoming she experienced from local teenagers in Senegal 

Molly (@luggageandlife)

I started to thank them repeatedly. “Don’t thank us,” the kid in the front seat said. “It’s normal. We couldn’t leave you out there alone at night. On est ensemble.”

When I arrived in Senegal, I was told to find a taxi driver who I could call regularly and rely on. A colleague of mine recommended one, and we quickly became friends. One evening, I was invited to dinner, but my taxi driver wasn’t free. I decided to go anyway.

The night of the dinner, I went to the main street near my house. There were only a few streetlights on, and I couldn’t see well. After several taxis passed without stopping, I gave up and turned around to go home.

Behind me, a horn beeped. A taxi that had passed me moments before was sitting there. A teenage boy who in the passenger seat put his window down. Three more kids sat in the back.

They asked where I was going. I told them, and they all started to insist that I get in, so they could drop me off. I thanked them and told them I’d wait for another taxi, but they wouldn’t budge. I got into the backseat, and away we went.

I started to thank them repeatedly. “Don’t thank us,” the kid in the front seat said. “It’s normal. We couldn’t leave you out there alone at night. On est ensemble.”

On est ensemble. We are together.

This notion of togetherness and welcoming, known as teranga, is at the heart of Senegalese culture. It was shown to me constantly while I was there, and the kindness of those teenagers was the perfect example of it.

If you like pictures of pasta, travel tips, and funny stories from the road, follow her on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook and check out her blog, Luggage and Life.

6. Bola shares a story of a kind elderly man who walked her to her AirBnB safely in Japan

Bola in Japan
Bola (@travels_of_a_5ft_oner)

“I felt so touched by this kind act because he wanted nothing in return and was just happy I got to my destination.”

Between 2018 and 2019 I travelled for almost a year visiting three continents and roughly 18 countries. At the beginning of my adventure, I arrived in Tokyo, Japan and for anyone who has been to Japan taking a taxi is not an option. I arrived at the station for my AirBnB and the directions provided by my host weren’t very clear trying to use Google Maps proved to be a serious challenge. I arrived at a junction and had no idea where to go next.

A kind elderly man saw me standing, looking as lost as one can and he tried his best to ask if I was lost to which I said yes. I showed him the address and the directions which were provided. This old man with his walking stick knew exactly where I needed to go and proceeded to walk 20 mins with me to get me there. When he got to my AirBnB he smiled and said “here” and went on his merry way. I felt so touched by this kind act because he wanted nothing in return and was just happy I got to my destination.

Follow her on a travel journey, 49 countries and counting on her blog and Instagram.

 7. Coni shares a story of the beautiful hospitality she received from Iranians.

Coni with friends in Iran
Coni (@experiencingtheglobe)

“The level of Iranian hospitality surpasses every ideal you might have, but my Kurdish family took it even further.”

I spent a month in Iran full of stories of kindness. A girl that saw me looking confused because the metro in Shiraz was closed offered to take me to my destination in her cab. Another that saw my worried face trying to tackle the traffic in Tehran grabbed my hand and took me to the other side. The bus assistant on a ride from Isfahan saw me tired after working the whole way and gave me a cup of tea and a piece of candy. All the amazing people opened their houses to me, either to lend me a couch for the night or to have me over for tea or a meal.

But if I have to pick one story, I’d go for the family that adopted me in Sanandaj. The level of Iranian hospitality surpasses every ideal you might have, but my Kurdish family took it even further. From the moment we met, they made sure I knew I was one of them. The lovely couple that hosted me introduced me to their family. The mom started calling me ‘her daughter’ and cooked an amazing vegetarian lunch just because I don’t eat animals. The brother gave me one of his favourite books for me to remember him by. All the children were trying to keep me entertained, showing me their toys and photos. The oldest of them, a smart and gorgeous 13 years old, started calling me her sister. The most beautiful thing is that most of them don’t speak a word of English. Months have passed and I’m still in touch with them. When you encounter people like my Kurdish family, you regain hope in humanity and become encouraged to be even more caring yourself.

Coni have a meal with a family in Iran
Coni (@experiencingtheglobe)

That’s why I created an amazing list of the coolest 201 travel experiences around the globe, and I’m sharing my tales as I go in www.experiencingtheglobe.com You can also follow my adventures on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest.

Thank you to these lovely ladies for sharing their kind travel stories with me. Be sure to catch up with them on their social platforms.

Have you had an experience where a local has shown you kindness while travelling? Spread the love and share your story below. Thanks for reading!

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