There's nothing better than receiving kindness when you least expect it. We've partnered with DoubleTree by Hilton to prove that nice travels.
No matter how big or small, kindness has a far reach. You never know what a small gesture could do — even something as simple as a smile could completely turn someone's day around for the better. And as fleeting as some of these gestures may be, their impacts are long lasting. To prove it, we asked our editors to share unexpected moments when they were touched by a random act of kindness. From heartwarming experiences while traveling to fun pay-it-forward incidents, keep reading for four of our favorite ways we've felt the love.
1. Sharing is caring
Sometimes, striking up a conversation with the stranger next to you can lead to surprising connections, even in a different city. Here's how one editor experienced kindness while traveling:
"I was at the farmers market and I wanted to buy a bunch of basil, but there's always way too many herbs in one bunch. I asked the person next to me why they make you buy so much when you buy herbs, and she said, 'I know, I have the same problem! Let me just buy one and give you half.' I offered to pay her half, but she said not to worry about it." — Nancy Einhart, executive editor
2. Pay it forward
If you get the fuzzies when you hear about these movements, imagine how it feels to actually be a part of one. An editor shared how this gesture turned around a day she was dreading:
"When I was in college, I stopped by a Starbucks before heading to an internship. It was my treat to kick off the day right. One morning, I ordered my chai latte in the drive-through and drove ahead to pay, but was told the driver ahead of me had taken care of my order. Sure, it was only $5, and it was just a latte, but you should have seen the smile on my face. I ended up paying for the order for the person behind me, and I'd like to think the chain kept going throughout the day!" — Kirbie Johnson, on-camera editor
3. Return a lost item
Big or small, getting something back that you thought you lost is always a happy surprise. While this next story technically happened to one editor's mom, it was so touching we had to include it.
"Every Thanksgiving, my family heads down the coast to spend a few days in Monterey. One day while we were walking around, my mom asked my dad to hold on to her wedding ring for safe keeping while she wore her gloves. My dad (also wearing gloves) put the ring on his pinky finger and promptly forgot about it. At some point in the day, the ring went missing — most likely when my dad took off his gloves to wash his hands and the ring fell off. It was an hour before he realized it was gone and we all spent the next hour backtracking before finally giving up. A few weeks later, my parents called the Monterey police department on a whim asking if anyone had turned in a wedding ring, and sure enough there was one at the station! They drove down the same afternoon to pick it up. A couple visiting from Oregon found the ring and brought it to the station. My parents insisted on repaying the couple for their generosity and, when they kindly refused, donated that money to a local charity in their name." — Stephanie Nguyen, assistant editor, native content
4. Not using something? Someone else might need it more.
Below, read how one editor encountered one of those once-in-a-lifetime scenarios that always seem too good to be true:
"One time I was walking home late after a night out with my girl friends, so I was a little bit dressed up. It started pouring, so I just put my head down and kept walking faster to try to beat the worst of it. Out of nowhere, a man ran over to me (scared me at first!) and handed me his umbrella with a smile. Before I could even say thank you, he had turned around and run back down the road. I never saw him again, and by the next morning, I was convinced I had imagined the whole thing . . . until I saw an umbrella that wasn't mine in my room." — Hilary White, editor, Love and Smart Living
More From DoubleTree by Hilton
DoubleTree by Hilton believes that nice is contagious. It starts with a warm chocolate chip cookie but doesn't stop there! You'll find that the niceness you experience stays with you – and chances are, you'll want to pass it on. Share your stories of niceness with us using #NiceTravels.