The story is based in Sri Lanka but I wanted to share a story that happened in 2009. We were in Montego Bay, Jamaica airport. I saw a lady probably in her thirties, curly blond hair struggling with her bags at the luggage belt. It was only natural that I offered help and we started talking. She was a Travel Junkie too!
She was a traveler by nature. Her parents were travelers and her grandparents too, just like mine! We waited together for the rest of our bags and started to talk some more about ourselves. Samantha was lucky enough to travel across many countries, islands, cities with her parents when she was young. I found so many similarities between us and especially our childhood. It was shocking to hear that at first seeing how she was struggling with her bags. Didn’t she know how to pack light? She then told me a story, what was in her bag.
“When you go over to your friend’s house or to anyone for the first time, do you visit handed?” She asked
“Of-course not. Its only natural you bring something with you, a bottle of wine, Arabic sweets, cake, anything! But never empty handed!” I answered back quickly.
“Exactly” She said.
I paused but, understood it instantly. Samantha was on her trip to Jamaica for the first time, carrying with her clothes for the Jamaican people because she was entering their home. Very often we go to a country thinking that it is our right to travel. Our right to enter their homes. Centuries ago, tribes used to offer food or fruits when entering a nomad land. Why have we stopped respecting those values? We say we are better now? I say we lost our true values.
Since 1989, every trip I have done, with my parents, solo or with my daughter do, every country we visit, we get a little thank you with us to the foreign land. In return for the memories, love stories or a life changing experience.
Can you imagine what we could do, if we all adapt to that? Even if it is something we buy from wherever we are and just give. Thank you for having me in your home. I am not here to tell you we can end world hunger, but it is a perfect example on how one person can help directly. There are over millions & millions of travelers across the world. If each of them did this small gesture, where would humanity be right now?
You don’t need to go out of your way. Just keep in mind that any trip you take, pack an extra bag. Small or big and just donate. If you go to less fortunate countries or not, you will always be able to donate in their homes, temples, churches, mosques. Just take one hour of your time. Meet the locals and Say thank you.
During my 12th visit to Sri Lanka, I always pass bye schools, neighboring islands, temples, churches and homes. This trip was all about pregnant mothers and babies since I not so long ago became a mother too!
Thank you Samantha! I have adapted the Travel Junkie Diary Initiative too! Thank you to all the contributors!
“ The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided. It’s more selfless to act happy. It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted. No one is careful of his feelings or tries to keep his spirits high. He seems self-sufficient; he becomes a cushion for others. And because happiness seems unforced, that person usually gets no credit.”