A Stranger’s Random Act of Kindness Abroad

March 17, 2022

My name is Ashley Blain. I am a content creator, influencer, and business owner based in New York. I own a selfcare-wellness brand, and my content is mostly centered around selfcare, wellness, and mental health.

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Owning a self-care wellness brand, it is important for me to indulge in any and everything that makes me happy and whole. Traveling and exploring is one of those things that makes me feel that way and this particular experience will stick with me for a lifetime.

Back in 2019, I had the pleasure of traveling to Japan. Japan was probably the farthest place I’ve ever traveled to which made it even more exciting. My friend that was accompanying me on this trip and I booked our flights and hotels, excited about the adventure we planned for weeks. During our trip, we had so many exciting excursions and adventures which included visiting Tokyo Disneyworld, Shibuya, Pokemon Cafe, and more. After about a week of our stay in Japan, it was time to start prepping to go home, and this is when my anxiety started to kick in. My friend’s flight was a day before mine, which meant I had to commute the entire trip back home alone.

Fast forward and here I am alone in Japan. For my last day, I made sure to enjoy every last moment in one of the most beautiful and historic places on Earth. By the time I made my way to the airport navigating the many flights of stairs on the metro, I was exhausted. Carrying my luggage, making sure I didn’t get lost, and being aware of my surroundings took a ton of brainpower, and I just wanted a companion to accompany me during this journey. Then the unthinkable happened. I got on the wrong train to the airport. This made my already draining situation even worse, and I started sobbing.

It was at that point a guardian angel approached me. It was clear that I was a tourist amongst everyone else in the crowd. As I was trying to figure out how I got lost, a complete stranger sat down next to me and asked if I was a traveler, to which I said yes. To my surprise, he spoke perfect English, and we indulged in small talk. I told him I was a traveler commuting back to the States and got on the wrong train to the airport. He told me he knew exactly where I was going and directed me to follow him.

As we walked to the correct platform, he told me he traveled for a living and that he’s been to New York many times in the past. I talked about how Japan is one of my favorite places to visit, but it’s easy to get lost if you’re an outside visitor. We finally reached the correct stop and to my unpleasant surprise, more stairs awaited us. This is when he grabbed my luggage and carried my ungodly heavy suitcase up the stairs. It was at that moment I knew he was a guardian angel. We said our goodbyes, and I expressed my immense gratitude to him for helping me. After having a moment to myself, an overwhelming sense of gratitude overcame me for what I just experienced. Despite everything we had shared, the stranger and I never got to exchange first names!

In a desperate time of need and when I was most vulnerable, someone was there to help me. Three years later, I still look back on his experience and the absolute kindness that stranger showed me will never be forgotten. We need more random acts of kindness like that. In these unprecedented times where there is constant chaos and everyone’s mental health is compromised in one way or another, random acts of kindness are what we should freely lend to one another. You never know what someone is going through or what type of situation they might be in.

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