Have you ever walked into an unfamiliar place, and just kind of needed reassurance that you were safe?
If you're a commuter or lone traveler, I'm sure at some point you've looked around you and become a little frightened by your surrounds. There's a thrill of traveling alone. Even if it's brief, exploring a new place can be equally exhilarating and intimidating.
However, you shouldn't let the intimidation of an unknown place scare you away. While there is usually a high reward for exploring a new city alone there is some risk to being a lone traveler.
The risk is this: not knowing who you're going to encounter, and sort of being a little disoriented where ever you may travel.
You're out of control when you're traveling or exploring a new place, as opposed to driving down the familiar backroads of your hometown. But there's something along the way that makes the journey of figuring out an unfamiliar place less lonely. It's not finding a companion or someone to travel with.
The comfort of finding strangers around you that are willing to help you when you are lost may be the most enjoyable part of traveling alone.
I get it's not so easy to ask for help and it can be especially intimidating to ask for help from someone when you're in a new environment. It's also not always the event that the people in this strange place are inviting or welcoming, so asking for help may be even harder.
But I promise you, there are good people out there. There are still people in the world who are friendly and willing to help if you ask. I've never been afraid to ask for directions or advice to someone who looks like they know where they are when I've have not. Sure there have been times where I wasn't sure if the person I asked would be friendly or even helpful.
But through these brief interactions with kind, helpful strangers I've learned that they too are looking for kindness.
Obviously, neither party is seeking kindness in the other, even though this shared kindness does go a long way.
If you think about it, the more friendly you are to a stranger the more likely they will be happy to have met you. It's not every day you run into someone who genuinely says "thank you so much for your help," and appreciates you.
That's the kind of warmth our world needs, the kind of interaction that restores faith in humanity.
When you interact with strangers in an unfamiliar environment, and a positive interaction happens, it causes a butterfly effect. It's more than just a random act of kindness when you ask for help and receive it, and respond with a thank you. The interactions you have with strangers are a two-way street. The interaction is meaningful on both ends and can make one of the party's day.
It's important to ask for help in a new place when you need it. The reward to being unafraid of the challenge of navigating a new place is well worth it. In the end, learning the backroads of a new place will leave you feeling accomplished, and safe.
Wherever you may travel, it's important to spread kindness where ever you go. You don't know who will thrive off the kindness you give, and what kind of positive chain reaction will occur.