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Share the Random Act of Kindness You Saw While Traveling

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Several years ago, my now-husband, Alex, and I spent a few months sailing around Indonesia, experiencing both highs — turquoise waters, freshly caught fish and stunning sunsets — and lows, including a broken engine. We were also there during Ramadan, a special time to be traveling in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

At one point, salt-crusted, sleep-deprived and hungry, we moored in Belitung, a small island east of Sumatra. We happened to pull our dinghy onto the island on Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking Ramadan’s end, and found the white-sand beaches packed with celebrating families.

Within moments of our arrival, a woman grabbed our hands, beaming and speaking rapid-fire Bahasa. Our grasp on the language was minimal but her meaning was clear: We were to sit and enjoy the holiday with her family. Plopped on a blanket, we feasted on jackfruit curry, stir-fried water spinach and the best beef rendang I’ve ever tasted.

When reflecting on your travels, it’s easy to dwell on the times when things went wrong. The time you got pickpocketed. The rude hotel concierge. The time, or times, you got horribly lost. But travel is also an opportunity to give and connect in ways that surpass language barriers and cultural differences. This holiday season, in the spirit of gratitude, we’re asking travelers to share the most memorable random acts of kindness they’ve seen or experienced during their trips near and far.

What were the good-deed moments that stay with you, the locations unexpectedly welcoming, or the strangers or acquaintances who made your adventures easier (or, in my case, infinitely more delicious)? We’ll read through every response, and use a selection of the stories you share in an upcoming article. We won’t publish any part of your response without reaching out, verifying your information and confirming with you. Finally, we won’t share your contact information outside the Times newsroom. Thank you.

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