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kindness at... the airport??

Happy Saturday! And congratulations - you made it to the weekend!! I bet you don't necessarily get warm and fuzzy feelings when you think of airports, especially if you're flying through one that's usually pretty crowded. In fact, I bet that when you think of aiports, you get a small feeling of dread. Traveling and seeing new places is absolutely wonderful, but don't you wish the actually-getting-there part could be a bit, well, faster? I feel like now is the time for an appropriately silly photo to dissipate that airport (and greater coronavirus) dread. Feel free to giggle - we all need some more laughter right now! If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “bob seger, a cèilidh, and arthur’s seat” - you can click here to catch up now! It was the post that wrapped up a series of posts about my first trip to Scotland! There were so many great memories with so many wonderful people that I won’t ever forget! But I was thinking, now that I’ve spent some time showing you Italy and Scotland, perhaps it’ll be fun to pivot back to Ireland, the place I got to call home.

I previously wrote about my first morning in Dublin at Starbucks, feeling like a stressed, waddling penguin with all my luggage, but I realized that there was a bit more to that story I forgot. And, since we could all use a little extra kindness and perhaps a sense of humor (and some laughter!) given the state of the world, I thought I’d share an example of a pretty simple kindness I experienced during my big move from the US to Ireland.... at the Newark (Newark?!) airport!

The morning I flew to Dublin to embark on my Masters Degree journey I woke up snuggling my sweet Archygirl and then had a nice, albeit slightly stressful (from the anticipation of all the unknowns) breakfast with my parents at the Medport Diner. I was feeling the nerves of moving my life overseas and didn’t want to waste a single minute dilly-dallying or potentially arrive to the airport late, which just kept adding to the stress that accompanies such a big life change (even though it was something so amazing that I’d chosen for myself). I had one last pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel before my parents took me to the airport and my dad helped me wheel my luggage inside while my mom waited in the car with Archy.

The check-in process at the airport was a bit stressful as my bags were slightly heavier than allowed, but when the airport employee asked me if I could take anything out of my suitcases, I shook my head and choked back some tears, telling him, “my whole life is in these couple suitcases.” (Dramatic? Yes... but also true! There's a fine line between comedy and drama, cuties). He called over his manager, who I then told about moving my life to Ireland, and he smiled encouragingly, congratulated me on my move, and waived all the fees. It’s something so simple, right? He didn’t have to let me take all my luggage on the plane or waive the fees; he could have just charged the extra $150ish bucks and called it a day. I think that now more than ever, though, these are the examples of everyday human kindness we’re seeing. The world’s in a weird place right now with the Coronavirus and Covid-19, and although I know there are many different perspectives on how things should be handled or how people think things should proceed, there really has been more good, kindness, and human decency that I’ve seen than bad.

Whether it’s the manager waiving the fees so I didn’t cry in the airport or all the people who have been pulling out their sewing machines to make masks for those in need or cashiers at the grocery store who have given free flowers to people who feel the stress and anxiety of the world’s uncertainty right now (hey! it happened to a friend of mine! bless you, Trader Joe's), those are the types of stories I remember. Most people are good, and I hope to include many more examples as I continue to blog through my European adventures, but I wanted to take today to pause and highlight that manager at the airport that helped me. I experienced so many simple gestures of kindness while in Europe, but I also experience them quite often in the US. I encourage you this weekend, while you’re relaxing and enjoying Memorial Day (however you can do that safely!), to look for the kindness and good in others and also to put your own kindness and good out there (and your silly photos if you've got 'em! the cupcake lollipop photo is really just the tip of the iceberg in my life). As for me, I’m planning on spending some time outdoors today, perhaps climbing some trees, definitely soaking up some sun (with loads of sunblock, obviously) and spreading some (socially-distanced) kindnesses.

Can you think of a time while traveling, or even while in your own hometown area, where you experienced kindness from a stranger or from someone who had nothing to gain? If you have, I'd sincerely love to know! I've experienced so many kindnesses, and I love hearing about all the good that's out there. Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really great, fun-to-read stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe from all different chapters of my life (and from people I don’t know *yet*)! The other stories of people’s travels that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about the crazy hobbies or great conversations or unexpected kindnesses you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Especially during this time of uncertainty and pandemic, it's important to surround yourself with things and people (via video chats) that bring you joy; we're all in this together. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.



P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):

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