Over and over throughout this trip, I have been graced with complete and utter kindness from strangers. Coming from a New York lifestyle, it is unheard of for anyone to do another a favor without expecting something in return.
Since the day I left for this trip, the kindness of strangers has surfaced as a theme. In Athens, I stayed with a friend-of a friend-of a friend, who I had never met before in person, but was also a young Graphic Designer. I reached out to her searching for some Greek advice, and she insisted that I stay at her place. We Skyped, to confirm that neither of us were 50-year old creeps, and I fly half-way across the world to sleep at a stranger’s for a week. She showed me around her neighborhood, invited me out with her friends, and made me feel so welcome.
In Skopelos, I came down with a pretty bad case of strep throat and a fever that lasted an entire week. I had been feeling pretty down and lonely being sick so far from home, and so my landlord made me a massive pot of chicken soup. He drove me to the Greek doctor, twice, (which is a story for another time), made me soup, and checked on me every few hours. Again, someone I barely knew was generously and graciously watching over me.
On my return from Skopelos, I needed to spend one night in Athens due to my early-morning flight. My new friend was away for the weekend, and suggested that instead, I stay with her friend, who I had only briefly met at a bar a few weeks prior. Again, another kind girl that I barely knew was welcoming me into her home. I accepted, (I am, of course, a broke traveler) and she opened me into her house with welcome arms. She cooked me a wonderful dinner, offered me homemade melon sorbet, and even woke up at 4am just to call a taxi for me.
Now, I am in Vico Equense, Italy staying in an Air BnB, and my host just dropped by to check in and bring me some of her favorite desserts from the local pastry shop.
I am trying to engrain all of this kindness into my mind. I need to bring a large slice of it back with me to New York, big enough that I can slice it up into tiny pieces and spread the love all around. All of these little gestures have made such a dramatic impact on my happiness, and I hope I can somehow instill the same feelings in others.