Simple Acts of Kindness Can Travel
What is Simple Acts of Kindness Can Travel?
This is a project to highlight the simple acts of kindness that we give and receive while travelling. It’s a reminder that these acts, although simple and maybe even easily forgotten, can travel far and wide in the form of a transformation that you may never see or realise – so it’s the doing of the simple act that really matters.
Here, we explore a theory that it is impossible to not have an impact – good or bad - as a traveller. So, if we’re to travel and take all that we want to get from a journey, we should, must, also leave something (tangible or intangible) that reflects our gratitude for our journey. We must focus on doing a simple act of kindness and allow the outcome to travel on its own.
While travelling can be seen as, and definitely become, something that is selfish and ego driven - a race to tick the most places off a bucket list or a way to escape a life you’re lucky to have – it is in its purest form a way to be positively transformed and to positively transform others. Even if, up until now, you’ve travelled purely for yourself, if you stop and think of your journey, you most likely were the recipient of simple kindnesses – a warm welcome to your destination by the locals perhaps? These little things are often overlooked or underrated when travelling. This section is a reminder to keep the simple acts of kindness in the forefront of your mind when travelling.
Here, we will also document some of our experiences as a way to practice our gratitude and to provide you with inspiration for your next journey. If you feel that you don’t know where to begin with performing a simple act of kindness when travelling, this will provide you with some great – and simple – ideas.
Simple Acts of Kindness Stories and Ideas:
Camotes Islands, The Lost Horizon of the South
How Can Travel Be Transformative?
Travelling in and of itself can be a very powerful, transformative tool for the traveller. Rarely does a person undertake a journey, particularly one that is outside of their usual boundaries, and return the exact same. Be the journey a seemingly good or even bad experience, the traveller has had their eyes opened regardless. Their mind too has been flooded with new stimuli and their thoughts about things they had formed concrete beliefs around, altered.
There can be very little doubt around the natural evolution of the mind, body and soul of the traveller. However, what about those who cross the traveller’s path? How have they been transformed by the visitor to their home? Surely, it’s nearly impossible for their lives to remain the exact same when they too have experienced something or someone new.
The great philosophers of the East and West - the Buddha, Jesus, Confucius - were travellers and used their physical journeys to shape their inner journeys. Not only this, they used travel as a way to spread the enlightenment they had come to realise and embody through their travels, speaking to and teaching those they met far and wide. Respected historians, great artists, writers and leaders throughout the centuries have all travelled – be it to the far corners of the Earth or short walks - and allowed their experiences to shape their perspectives time and again, to inspire, to learn, to leave a legacy for the greater good. Herodotus, Marco Polo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Carl Jung, Ralf Waldo Emerson, Jose Rizal, Amelia Earhart – all had undertaken various and different travels and all had a profound impact on those they came into contact with and beyond.
How Can I Have Any Impact As A Traveller?
We don’t need to be anything super extraordinary in order to travel. Indeed, thanks to modern technology, from fast jet planes to online booking, it’s easier than ever to go on a physical journey far from your home. Because of this, it is also more important than ever to remind ourselves to travel with purpose and not just for our selfish whims. We must remember what a privilege is it to enter the home of another and to always practice gratitude for the opportunity to travel. Considered an inalienable right for some, it is an impossibility for others.
As travellers, we don’t need to spread a complete spiritual philosophy or build a charitable organisation with hundreds of employees in order to make a significant impact. As it is true that it’s the fine details of a grand project that make it impressive and successful, simple acts of kindness can and do make a big impact.
What impact can a simple act of kindness make? How far can a small gesture travel? The answer is: we never really know for sure. The point is: that doesn’t matter. As with our physical travels, done throughout our life, it’s not the destination but the journey in between that is the most valuable. It is not the destination that is the point. It’s the doing of the journey that gives the traveller satisfaction and a sense of fulfilment from feeling as though they have lived – that is, having experienced, felt, smelled, seen, been transformed. So too, any simple act of kindness done on your travels, no matter how insignificant for you, can add fine details to the life of another, leaving them better for having met you.
For more on travel philosophy:How to End War by Travelling
What Does Travel Teach Us?