Pay it forward.
Throwback, to 2013…
I’d half written something to post tonight, something I’ve wanted to write about for some time. As I sat down to finish it, I checked my emails.
Last night, I found a tiny piece of paper with the contact details of a couple who I’d met on our travels. So like a crazy stalker, I sent them an email, some 4 years since we last spoke. They’d been in my thoughts regularly, so there was no way I could not email them. Not creepy, at all, right?!
Well, apparently not, as tonight I got a reply! Not the “Who are you and why are you emailing me?” type, more of the “Great to hear from you!” kind.
Now for the story..
During our travels South-ward in 2013 we had a gearbox failure, in the middle of a National Park, with no food and very little water on board and an unknown length trek to get to our campsite for the night, thanks wayward GPS directions. After it became clear the car was going no further we walked the remaining few km to the campsite. By now, the decision to go food shopping later seemed like a pretty bad one….
I arrived as this random guy, in the middle of nowhere, with a child in tow, asking total strangers and nomadders if they could tow my car and caravan to the campsite… Well much to my surprise, the 5 campers at the site all banded together and towed the car and caravan to the campsite where I then called NRMA to arrange a tow.
Given we were some way from town, and without food, there was a slight predicament. As I’d already dragged these people from their relaxing afternoon I was hesitant to ask for help, again… Not long after Ian and Barbie came over to my van and said they were heading into town and asked if we needed anything, oh my, how we needed anything!
Not only did they happily pick up the supplies we needed, but they asked what we ate and went out of their way to accommodate Jaidens dietary requirements and proceeded to buy and cook us dinner before we sat and enjoyed a couple of bottles of red and chatted well into the night. A day later our booked tow arrived and off we went to Sydney so I could replace the gearbox.
At the time I was grateful for their assistance and kindness, but as these past few years have gone by I have revisited this memory over and over again. Each and every time thinking how grateful I was that total strangers went out of their way to not only help us to safety, but to make us both feel welcome, somewhat of a rarity these days.
During this process of ‘selling up’ and preparing to travel again, I’ve given away more stuff than I have sold, something many people think I am crazy for given my financial situation. Yet I don’t feel I am missing out on the money, after all, getting some money only makes you feel good for so long.
Giving something to someone in need creates a ripple effect, a ripple effect of kindness and gratitude that money can never buy. That has the ability to make you and others happy for a very long time, a happiness that is often passed on. In a world often driven by money, careers and possessions, I feel we often lose sight of the value of giving.
And that, is why I ‘Pay it Forward’ whenever I can.