The Kindness of Strangers

The Kindness of Strangers

posted in: Blog, Journal, Turkey | 20

“There are people who make you feel inside as if you are drinking a good, warm soup – even if you are hungry and the two of you have nothing to eat.”   Bodil Bredsdorff
 

 

This is how I would describe the majority of the people we’ve met so far. Good, beautiful and kind people. People who were strangers at first but became friends because they took the time to talk with us, they’ve helped us in so many ways and showed us their kind nature. Nothing in the world beats the feeling of gratitude when a complete stranger shows you kindness. We’ll always remember them, they have made their way into our hearts!

 

Since we’ve arrived in Turkey we have met so many good people. The man you’ll meet in our episode showed us what kindness really means! We just had a bad night of coughing, sniffing, sneezing,… The temperature change between the coast and the mountains and spending cold nights in the tent hadn’t done us too good. We had both a fever and lost our sense of direction. We were looking for a place where we could pitch our tent for the afternoon and rest but we were stuck in Antalya, which is a big city and not the best place to camp. We kept walking in circles and eventually asked a pedestrian for the way. He pointed us into a direction. When we started walking, he came back and decided to walk along with us to make sure we wouldn’t get lost. He was such a character that he made us laugh and forget that we were feeling ill. His company was already nourishing but that’s not where he stopped showing his good heart. I won’t tell you more, I’ll let you watch the episode and let me know how you feel about it!

 

 

 

Have you ever been shown random acts of kindness by a stranger or have you ever helped a stranger without wanting anything in return ? We would love to hear your story!

Follow Cynthia Bil:

Writer, photographer and co-founder at Journal of Nomads

I have Belgian roots but the world has been my home for the past 7 years. I'm an artist at heart and often get lost in my thoughts. I like to create some-thing out of no-thing and once I feel inspired, I'm unstoppable. I love telling stories and taking photos, showing the beauty and extraordinary of the world around me. Oh, and I love making the impossible elegantly probable. Once you realize that you're a creator and the world is your playfield, there's no limit to what can be done!

20 Responses

  1. Ann
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    One of my memorable acts of kindness on me was when I was visiting the U.S. with my family. I was at the Atlanta airport when I remembered that I left my purse on the airplane. My husband ran back to the plane and I tried to finagle my stroller for my overly tired 2-year-old while rocking my 2 month old in her carrier. A couple saw and ran to my rescue. I know it seems like this is such an obvious thing to help someone with, but so many people walked by and I don’t feel like it’s really something anyone would do.

    I always see the best in people when I travel.

    • Cynthia Bil
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      Thank you for sharing your story Ann! How kind of that couple to help you! It might look like an obvious thing but many people think of helping you but don’t do it in the end. I wonder sometimes what stops them because one small act of kindness or helping can make a big difference for the person in need! I’m really happy that couple helped you out, I can only imagine how you had your arms full with the kids, the carrier and trying to open the stroller!

  2. Ajay Sood
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    Isn’t it great when such things happen during your travel? I call such instances ‘Travelove’ and have shared a whole host of them on my page. Here is a sample – http://www.travelure.in/travelove-series-2/

    • Cynthia Bil
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      I read a few of your stories. It’s a really great series you have! Thanks for sharing!! Yes, this is travelove 🙂

  3. Archana Kapoor
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    It is amazing when such things happen while traveling. Tells me that humanity still exists in the world! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Cynthia Bil
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      Thanks you Archana! 🙂 Ajay Sood calls it ‘travelove’ which I find a very suitable word to describe it!

  4. Rob Taylor
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    I find that small town/village people are so willing to make strangers feel welcome. I love that traveling puts these people into our lives.

    • Cynthia Bil
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      There’s is indeed a noticeable difference between big cities and town/villages. People are more open towards others, more kind, more helpful! Perhaps it’s because life in a village is less stressful and they have more of a community feeling. But anyway, the way we’ve been treated by the people here in Turkey is incredible! In Belgium, my home country, villagers wouldn’t so openly go to strangers, they would be hiding behind their curtains and eyening them from a distance 😀

  5. Voyager
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    Many of the people especially in the rural areas are so innocent and genuine in their kindness and generosity, that one is overwhelmed.

    • Cynthia Bil
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      It is overwhelming and beautiful at the same time. It has really touched us and opened our hearts even more!

  6. Brandon Fralic
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    Loved your vlog Cynthia, you guys are totally badass! I also hitched through Turkey a few years ago, and it brought a smile to my face to hear that you experienced many of the same things. Turkish hospitality is unparalleled: the endless çay offers, and drivers willing to pick up a couple of dirty hippies 😉

    We hitched from Antalya to Istanbul, couchsurfing along the way. One of the most memorable rides was from a Turkish truck driver who picked us up, drove awhile, then stopped at a store and went in to buy groceries. Later, he made us a meal on the side of the road! I blogged about it here if you’re interested: http://bfralic.blogspot.com/2011/12/thanksgiving-turkey.html

    Happy travels!

    • Cynthia Bil
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      Thanks so much Brandon! I’m very happy to hear you like our vlog! I read your story and wanted to comment on it but somehow I couldn’t… well, I’ll just do it this way then 🙂 It’s so nice to read that we’re not the only once experiencing the Turkish hospitality! Yes, we’re developing tea-bellies already (equivalent and healthier option of the beer-belly). So awesome and kind that truck driver made you dinner on the side of the road, haha!! Istanbul also sounded like a great experience! We won’t make it to there this time, we’ll continue from the Antalya region through Central Turkey towards Georgia. Have you been in that area or any tips on certain places we should visit?

      • Brandon Fralic
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        Hmm not sure why the comment aren’t working over there – it’s a neglected old blog so who knows! Thanks for reading.

        I did not travel thru Georgia unfortunately. If you have a chance to visit Cappadocia I’d suggest it. I spent most of my time in Turkey volunteering at a cave hotel there.

        • Cynthia Bil
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          We will visit Cappadocia! We’ve seen so many beautiful photos of it that we just have to go there!
          Amazing that you’ve volunteered there in a cave hotel!! That must have been a unique experience! Any tips or suggestions for us while we’re there?

  7. Ami Bhat
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    Rightly said, there is nothing like a stranger showing you kindness. It stays with you for life. This is indeed quite heartwarming.

    • Cynthia Bil
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      It’s a great proof that many people still have a good and kind heart. It has been a great example for us to do now the same wherever and whenever we can help people ourselves!

  8. Corinne
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    I think the Turks are some of the friendliest people in the world. I agree that traveling and trying to get comfortable when you are sick is one of the biggest downsides to long-term travel, but it looks like you made it through.

    • Cynthia Bil
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      We have always a choice on how we deal with ‘bad’ moments. Either we complain the whole day about it or we accept it and try to deal with it as good as we can, even when it’s not very comfortable. And it was like we were rewarded for this attitude 🙂 That man really made our day! And yes, Turks are incredible people! They are so hospitable, kind, generous,… We love them! 🙂

  9. Heather
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    Love reading and hearing about stories of kindness. We have had lots of terrific experiences, and they each fill our heart with joy.

    • Cynthia Bil
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      I think these are the most memorable moments while traveling. I’m very happy to hear that you’ve had similar experiences!