Travellers Share Their Most Memorable 'Stranger Encounters'

An antidote to 2020?

Discovering unexplored sections of historic cities, meeting the love of your life, realising goon is not the same as wine; travelling has the potential to allow us to not only find out who we are, but to have little moments in time that simultaneously mean nothing and everything.

Enter: the following Reddit thread, which shows why travel can be one of the best ways to restore your faith in humanity.

The thread in question features an image of “One night in Montpellier, France”, posted by user ‘BeardedGlass’. It also features a comment from user ‘ksdio’, that relates a wholesome experience from their time visiting the French city.

“I sat on the steps of the [Montpellier] Opera House there about 30 years ago. A French girl sitting next to me was reading a book and must have been moved as she started to cry.”

“I walked across to the MacDonalds [sic] and grabbed some tissues and went back and gave them to her. Her smile knocked me out. Haven’t thought about in decades.”

The story received a couple of comments, “Aww, that’s wholesome!” and “Is there a sub for stranger encounters which are wholesome like this?”.

It also prompts the question: will we lose these sorts of interactions post Covid?

In any case, the story got us digging, and it turns out that there is indeed a thread on Reddit dedicated to wholesome stories that could well make you rethink the way you act towards others.

Many of the stories featured relate to people not having enough money to buy food or transport, or forgetting their wallet when it comes to time to pay, and people nearby or behind them in the queue offering to pay their bill for them.

Others have much sadder outcomes,

“When I was 18 I had a friend in the hospital with brain cancer. His time was limited. I visited him when I could. He was kind of hippie alternative punk. I wore a leather jacket and had long hair. I walked to his room, a nurse saw me. Without saying a word she walked to me and gave me a long comforting hug. That’s how I knew he passed.”

Some stories will make you laugh,

“Driving on the highway, the car in front of me suddenly swerved to take an exit, and then tried to swerve back on the highway, almost sideswiping me in the process. Luckily, I avoided an incident.”

“When I drove past her and saw her face, I immediately knew she didn’t mean to, she was embarrassed and she already felt bad enough. So instead [of flipping her off or giving a thumbs down] I flashed her a huge smile, dramatically and jokingly wiped sweat away from my brow, and gave her a giant thumbs up. She smiled and laughed and honestly it’s one of my favourite moments in my life.”

And stories like this next one will change the way you think about restaurant wait staff forever,

“Once went out to a restaurant for a meal, earlier the same day we found out that one of my partner’s relatives had killed themselves.”

“At the end of the meal, and many wines, my partner was visibly emotional, the waitress asked us if we were ok and saw that my partner was upset. We told her what had happened, she was shocked and it was obvious she really felt for my partner.”

“A few minutes later, she came over with some limoncello shots and said ‘it’s on the house’. ‘I’m managing tonight, it’s little thing like this that make me like working here because I can make your night a bit better'”.

“It gets even more lovely though, we asked her for the bill shortly after, and when it arrived it read £00.00 She had discounted the whole bill, putting it through as wastage.”

“She could have kept herself to herself and ignored us, but that moment of kindness meant so much to us that day and turned it from a shitty day to a less shitty day.”

There are some good people left in this world, it seems.

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