Therefore, I Learned That Kindness Goes a Long Way

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Hello and Konnichiwa to All,

The beginning of a trip always seems like the most stressful, and with my past experiences – it definitely can be. I can’t overlook the number of times I have unnecessarily reached into my pocket to ensure my passport was safe. Then there are the screaming babies on 10-hour-long flights, not to mention the exhaustion weakening my hands from carrying the suitcases. However, today I come with a completely different story to tell.

I came prepared for war. But instead, I received a wonderful start to my new adventure.

First, because I have travelled alone so many times, I cannot be any more grateful to my parents that were willing to drive me three hours to the airport, stand in line with me to check-in my two large suitcases for another two hours, and stayed with me for coffee afterwards – until 4am. I believe there cannot be a better way to start a journey without knowing that there are people that have your back. I am truly grateful.

Second, I found that my entire trip was influenced by one interaction. As it was the end of summer break, Isreal’s only international airport (which is where I embarked from to Japan) has been packed for weeks upon weeks with families and lines that were so long they almost reached the entrance doors. Even worse, there is an ongoing staff shortage. Luckily, I decided to order my flight on the day that school starts, September 1st. However, it doesn’t mean the airport staff recovered from the stress.

I was getting closer to the check-in reception and as I was fumbling with my paperwork, I found that the lady standing behid the counter was young, around my age. Immediately I felt a surge of sympathy. While I was going and starting my adventure, this young lady very similar to myself had to stay and work here at 2am, after a long summer of work, and continue to serve unhappy customers. I suddenly blurted out – “How are you tonight?”. From there onward we chit-chatted some and I expressed my sympathies. In the middle of the chat, she said

“Wow, they gave you horrible seats. I am changing them to exit seats.”

I cannot express how grateful I was towards her. She completely changes my travels. Nowadays, travelling comfortably is a luxury as the companies require a charge for even a semi-comfortable seat, extra luggage, or boarding times. Her kindness let me sleep on my 10 hour flight, changed my mood, and offered a positive outlook.

When I arrived in Japan, my wonderful hosts came to pick me up straight from the airport and help with carrying my luggage. From point A, my hometown in Northern Israel, until point B, my lodging in Tokyo, everyone’s kindness genuinely helped define the beginning of my trip as the best one of my life.

Therefore, the first 15 hours of my adventure revealed to me one secret to a successful trip.

I learned that kindness goes a long way.