This is an open letter to all those kind enough to help me during my times in need.
Solo travel is great until something goes wrong and you’re all alone in attempting to get out of the mess you’ve found yourself in. Most of the time the something that goes wrong is a minor matter or a series of disappointments and issues that simply overwhelm.
Nonetheless, when you’re faced with a problem in a foreign land you cannot always deal with the dilemma alone, or literally have no idea how to get yourself out of the situation. Stress levels skyrocket, the frustration and anger builds and the tears often begin to roll down your flustered cheeks. The feeling of helplessness is overpowering and you are petrified you will not find a way to rectify the situation.
That’s where you kind people come in.
To the supermarket attendant in South Africa. To the old man in a rickety blue van in Borneo. To the lady at the boat terminal in the Philippines. To the police officers in Malaysia. To the Singaporean family. To the numerous and beautiful Burmese.
For you it may have been a simple gesture that slipped your mind almost immediately. You’ve probably never thought twice about our encounters. But for me, you are the people I remember most vividly, the people I talk about most often, the people I appreciate more than words can say.
My interactions with you in stressful situations have saved my day and in some cases, quite possibly, my life.
When times get rough and everyone seems to be ignoring my pleas for help, I just have to remind myself there are still good and helpful people in this world, because I have experienced it so many times before. And I’m sure I’ll experience it again in the form of another kind stranger in another foreign country.