Updated: May 20, 2022
Random Acts of Kindness in Korea
Living & traveling around the world has shown me that people are generally good. When you ask a stranger for directions they'll help you. When you're out dancing in a club the people dancing next to you somehow become your friends in that moment. Terms like "stranger danger" have value for vulnerable children, but they embed a fear of other people. As an adult, I'm learning most strangers are just regular degular people like me 💁🏾♀️
While living in South Korea strangers showed out. Random acts of kindness became more and more common. Here's just a few of them I experienced there:
✨ A guy saw me walking in the rain without an umbrella and walked with me as far as our paths crossed with his umbrella
✨ Me & my friends were out drinking and a guy randomly bought us beer & hangover cures
✨ A woman and her daughter repeatedly offered to take my picture in a museum when I was traveling solo
✨ A couple at a restaurant saw me waiting for service without being acknowledged and basically told the staff to seat & serve me
✨ People at the next table randomly coming to my table to make 소맥 (beer & soju mix)
✨ A group of teenagers saw me trying on clothes and politely let me know that was against the rules before I got in trouble (apparently you're not supposed to try on shirts there)
✨ And of course the family that volunteered to take pictures of me when they saw me using the self timer and a random table to prop my phone up while solo traveling in Busan (pictured here)
Contrary to popular belief, the world around us is not as scary as you might think. Majority of people are simply navigating day to day life just like you and me. There are so many things to experience and learn from other people and everyone will begin as a stranger. The person you know call your best friend was once someone you didn't know. Your significant other may have once been just a picture in a screen that you decided to swipe right on. It's not until after you give people a chance that you can discover the true potential of the connection.
My lifestyle and love of travel has allowed me to learn this lesson through experience. There are countless stories and encounters that have taken place in my life when stranger danger was ignored. Traveling has made me more open minded and, honestly, friendly as well. I'm less guarded and more willing to just go with the flow.
From making friends at a hostel to connecting with a random person on the street, traveling shows you that strangers are not something dangerous to be feared and avoided at all costs. Constantly being surrounded by strangers comes with the territory when living abroad and, honestly, it's not a bad thing. You never know when a random encounter will turn into a friendship or, at the very least, a great memory.