KINDNESS IN VIENNA

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Happy spring filled Saturday afternoon to everyone! Just popping on here to share a moment from my solo trip to Vienna, Austria. From flower markets to old world cafes to stunning architecture, Vienna was inspiration overload. But, my biggest moment of inspiration here actually came from a conversation I had with an Uber driver. When I arrived in Vienna, without thinking much of it, I walked up to my driver, smile on my face, and said: “Hi, nice to meet you. How are you today?” He seemed taken aback as we shared what had now become an awkward moment on the street.

As we started our drive, he broke the silence. “I am sorry for my odd behavior,” he offered. “I am an immigrant from Turkey. I have lived here for 30 years, and I can’t think of another time when a stranger has walked up to me as smiley as you did, and asked me how I was doing.” We went on to spend the rest of the ride chatting it up like old friends. I asked questions about his home country; and, he talked about teaching himself English and his hopes to visit America.

When we arrived outside my hotel, he turned to me and said: “Thank you for your kindness.” As I tried to play down the moment, he stopped me, and said: “No, take in this moment. Recognize your own kindness so you can do it again and again.” I exchanged his offered hand shake for a hug and walked away with tears in my eyes. We had just taught each other something I often take for granted, the power of human connection and kindness.

I tell you this story because our moment together inspired me and maybe it can inspire you too. Since, then, my nieces and I have been learning “hello” “thank you” and “how are you?” in as many languages a possible. I have spent years brainwashing them into wanderlust, and my hope is that no matter where their future travels take them, they, along with myself, will always be able to show kindness in the native languages. So, thank you to my Uber driver, wherever you are, for inspiring me and my family.💛