Kindness Farming

, , | Hopeless | August 27, 2016

(I was 20 years old, travelling abroad for three weeks on my own for a research project. I took a coach into Brighton from Birmingham and am now on a bus to Telscombe to get to my hostel. I start chatting with a middle-aged couple about my journey so far, and they ask where I am heading to. After I explain where the hostel is:)

Wife: “Oh, no. That’s at least a four-kilometer walk from the bus stop, and with your luggage, that’s not going to be a good time.”

Husband: “Definitely not; not on that gravel road. Here, get off at this next stop with us. I’ll drive you to the hostel.”

Me: “It’s all right! Honestly, my bag isn’t that heavy, and I don’t mind the walk. I’ve been sitting on a coach all day, and it’s lovely here. I just came from the states where it was just so hot outside. This weather and everything is perfect.”

Wife: “We insist! Right here, now.”

(I get off the bus with them, and the husband carries my bag to their car. After stopping for some fuel, we start on our way. About halfway into the journey, we find out the rest of the road is on a private farm road that is gated.)

Me: “I can walk the rest of the way! This was such a huge help. I don’t want to inconvenience you anymore.”

Husband: “Nonsense!” *to the farmer* “Can we please just sneak through? We’re just going to drop her off at the hostel over the hill. She was going to walk from the bus stop with her luggage, and I insisted on driving her.”

Farmer: “I’m really not supposed to; I’ve got to gate up right now. If I let you through, you’re going to have to leave at the bottom, down by the train station.”

(We snuck through, and I arrived safely at the hostel. I actually ended up transferring to the Eastbourne location at the insistence of the director at the hostel, because of the difficulty accessing public transportation and the travelling I needed to do for my research. The director drove me to the Lewes train station herself the next morning and wished me luck on the trip. Considering it was at this point of the trip that my homesickness kicked in, and I really was having a rough time, the help of these kind strangers are what encouraged me to keep it together through the rest of my trip.)

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