Pass it Forward: Acts of Traveling Kindness

By Elaine N. Schoch
I fly a lot, most of the time with a kid in tow. Not this time last time. No one asking for things. No one wanting to share my food or drinks and no one needing to sit in my lap. Hello US Weekly. I get to enjoy you cover to cover without interruption. Do you see where I’m going with this? I had no desire to chitchat or make nice with people around me on my recent trip to Charleston. Thus, I was reluctant to participate in my first conversation early – as in before coffee – Friday morning in the elevator.

“Hi, where are you off to today?” Really? Ugh, do I have to start conversing already? What about just a simply hello? No, a question that required a response and probably meant follow-up questions. Ok, Elaine, get over it and be nice.
“I’m off to Charleston for a long weekend with my mom and sister.”
“Oh, that sounds lovely. Have you been before?”
“No. The first time.”
“It’s a great place. Why did you all choose Charleston.”
“It’s my mom’s 65th birthday and my sister and I told her we’d take her anywhere she wanted to go. She picked Charleston.”

Do you notice how my fear for the follow-up questions is becoming reality….I’ll spare you the elevator conversation and get to the point: It pays to be nice.

The woman turned out to be an executive status leveled traveler and invited me to go through the much shorter security line with her. While I had plenty of time to make my flight it saved me at least 20 minutes, which meant more time to sip on a hot latte and read US Weekly. It’s the little pleasures in life that really make a difference. With that said, I made a huge effort throughout my eight-hour travel day to smile, hold doors and be helpful to other travelers that day. Yes, I made nice. Pass it forward.

Happy Travels!

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