Adventures in Kindness

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Yesterday, I encountered another series of delayed flights in my efforts to get home between tours for some much-needed rest and relaxation.  (The way airlines are scheduling flights nowadays with hardly ANY layover time is ridiculous, but that’s a discussion for another day…) Anyway, after two delayed flights, it was quite clear that I was going to miss the direct shuttle from the Zagreb airport to Rijeka.  Which would mean shuttles to the bus station, long bus rides, needing to schlep heavy luggage all over the place. I was not looking forward to all of that while already so exhausted.

We were still in the plane waiting to disembark, when three of us women at the front of the plane began to talk.

One woman was from Croatia coming home, one woman was from Saudi Arabia here on vacation, and then there was me – the American who lives in Croatia, but who’s usually all over central Europe most of the time.

Arwa from Saudi Arabia was headed to the island of Krk to meet her children who were already there.  Krk is the island just across the water from where Miloš and I live.  She offered to take me along with her – she just needed to hire a car.  The third woman looked at the address where Arwa was headed, and indeed, I could easily be dropped off along the way.  As we waited for our luggage, we all chatted about our lives and why we were there.  The third woman (who’s name I couldn’t remember, but who I later found online, as she’s a successful tennis umpire) was heading home. She was really inspirational and gave me a lot of hope about some things going on in my life.  I was really glad to have met her –  even for a very short time.

And Arwa insisted on taking me along with her, so we went up to find a car.  Alas, she needed more of a car service kind of thing, not a rental car. BUT the woman at the rental car desk said she knew someone who might be able drive us! She called her childhood friend who was available and would be able to charge a good price. We experienced such generosity from the woman at the rental counter AND her friend who drove us.

As a result, I was able to get home quicker than the bus, and I met some lovely inspirational people.  Arwa would not accept any money for the ride, and let me know that in her culture, it is a true honor to help someone when they need it. How refreshing on such an exhausting day to encounter kindness after kindness after kindness.  Every person was a blessing.

Some people think life is a series of coincidental chances, events just being thrown around in random chaos.  However, I believe that nothing happens by chance – it’s all meant to be and has it’s own reason for happening.  When we meet people, they are there to impact our lives in some way – maybe a big way, maybe a small way, but they all have a reason for joining us on our journey.

From the way I met my Croatian husband while on vacation, to meeting someone who would become a best friend (who also happened to be an American opera singer) at a random Vienna Starbucks, to my most recent tale of getting home from the airport yesterday – there is no such thing as coincidence!

Wishing all of you , dear readers, good fortune and kindness on your own journeys!

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Jennifer was initially drawn to Europe for two reasons: music and love.  She lived in Vienna for four years, and now calls Croatia home for much of each year, as she married a native Croatian. Since 2015, Jennifer has worked as a tour director and cruise director on European river cruises for a major American travel company, and has become an expert in all of the cities along her routes on the Danube, Rhine, and Main Rivers. She also has traveled to Disney World almost every year since 1985, and knows Disney World inside and out. As a travel agent, Disney World is her primary specialty, and she has helped many Disney newbies and veterans have amazing trips with her insider information.

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