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Travel, Hospitality, and the Kindness of Strangers

About 6 year(s) ago by Vagabond Inn

Last week, The Telegraph posted The kindness of strangers: Five times travel restored our faith in humanity. In the article, five writers for The Telegraph's travel section share short stories about their positive experiences with strangers while traveling all over the world. They range from the dramatic (help when stranded in remote places) to the pleasantly mundane (a spontaneous invitation to lunch with a kind stranger's family).


Lots of the stories involve offering a small gift that, from a stranger, feels overwhelmingly generous – a shared meal, or enough gas to hold someone over until they reach a station:


"… when she returned after five minutes, she said I could have the petrol. For free. She wouldn’t take the euros. All she wanted was a copy of the feature I was writing. And so we stood in her garage – me a man she had just met, half her age and twice her height – pouring her petrol into my hire car. She even made me a cup of tea." (Chris Leadbeater)


Other stories touch on the wide range of small favors that make a tremendous difference to travelers in a time of need:

  • A woman who got off a bus to help a traveler use a MetroCard for the first time, and the bus driver who waited for both in New York City (Sophie Campbell)

  • A Tuareg man who prayed for a traveler's car to dislodge from a sand lake in Mali, Algeria (Peter Hughes)

  • A woman who presented a home-cooked meal of traditional food with the tactful note that her guest was free to admit to not liking something in Tjornuvik, Faroe Islands (Marcel Thereoux)

This is what hospitality's all about – treating strangers not just with respect but with kindness, too. At Vagabond Inn, we take that to heart. Great value doesn't mean sacrificing friendly service. Have you run into kind strangers in a new place? Have you been a kind stranger to a traveler? We'd love to hear about it.

To read all of The Telegraph's The kindness of strangers: Five times travel restored our faith in humanity, click here.

Curious how we travel? Check out our latest How We Vagabond blog post for tips on art and food in San Francisco.  
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