Daraius’ Diary: The Truth About Strangers

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Daraius:  We’ve got a great team at Million Mile Secrets helping with posts.  But I miss writing as much as I did in the old days!  So here I am writing about stuff that I really care about (and which isn’t all miles-and-points related).

“That best portion of a good man’s life; His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” – William Wordsworth

I don’t like stereotyping people.  At least that’s what I tell myself.  After all, I feel uncomfortable, sad, and mad when folks – sometimes – make assumptions about me based on my darker skin or accent.

Iceland Stereotype

Hello Stranger!

And if there’s one thing I believe very, very strongly, it’s that people are the same the world over.  Sure, we may look different, and talk differently and eat differently and follow different religions.

But beneath the surface, we’re all human beings with the same human needs.  We all want to love and be loved, to be accepted, to care for our families, to dream, to celebrate, to have fun and laugh, to be respected and understood.  And be true to ourselves.


So I’m very embarrassed to say…

…I wasn’t expecting Icelanders to be as friendly as they were.  Perhaps I had this expectation as a way to avoid feeling hurt & sad if I wasn’t able to connect with folks in Iceland?  And what was I expecting?  I was expecting them to be a bit “icy” and not very interested in talking to strangers.

Boy, was I wrong!!

The Icelanders I met were some of the most warm and friendly folks I have ever met while traveling!  They bought me drinks, showed me where to get away from the tourists and have a more local experience, and made me feel like I was traveling with friends.

But I was most touched and warmed by this act of kindness.

It was a cold Wednesday morning as I walked to my car in Akureyri (Iceland’s 2nd largest city with a population of ~17,000).

I saw a piece of paper under the wiper and felt woeful that I had got a parking ticket.  “Damn,” I muttered under my breath.  Just what I need, right?

Iceland Stereotype

I Felt Irritated.  It’s Probably a Parking Ticket or at Best an Annoying Advertising Flyer.

The piece of paper turned out to be a note from a kind stranger, wishing me a lovely day in his/her country!

Iceland Stereotype


It even had a cute bird sketched on it!  How cool is that?!

Iceland Stereotype

A Rare Time a Person Was Being Nice While Flipping Me the Bird!

I was extremely touched by this warm, friendly, and thoughtful gesture.

And I can’t help but smile and feel happy whenever I think of the stranger’s friendly note in Akureyri.  Here’s a heartfelt thank you to the kind soul who left this note on my car!

Bottom Line

In our busy world, it takes just 1 small gesture of kindness to put a smile on someone else’s face.  And to connect with the humanity which binds us together.

It could be a note for a stranger, or helping someone who’s pondering over a map, or buying a homeless person a meal.  Our actions can be the light in someone else’s day!

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20 responses to “Daraius’ Diary: The Truth About Strangers

  1. That’s awesome!

  2. ++++++ Great seeing you Monday. Hopefully we can catch up in Chicago

  3. Bring back the beard!!! 😀

  4. In today’s world filled with so much hate this post made my day . It’s great to remember that at the bottom we are all the same . We need to love one another and remember that we all want the same thing:kindness and love. Never mind miles–this is your best post ever!

  5. This is a great reminder to get us thinking of how to bless someone else in the simplest of ways, right where we are, with whatever we have to offer. Thanks for sharing.

  6. You want nice? Open a map on a street corner in New York City. Multiple people will come to help you and answer your questions.

  7. Sounds like the place to move to.

  8. Wow – I love the beard! (On most guys no, but it sure looks good on you.)

  9. Thumbs up!

  10. Maybe we can take this as a little reminder of how we should or could treat people I our own country. Thanks!

  11. I live in a tourist town and this July 4 weekend will be a madhouse. It’s easy to get irritated when the town in swamped. Your post encouraged me to chill…and maybe leave a nice note like the one you received on a few cars. Instead of being a beach snob, I should be thrilled to live in an area people want to vacation in. Thanks for the smack!

  12. Wow. Didn’t recognize you at all without the bow tie!

  13. Very well said, Mr Dubash – random acts of kindness and friendship and grace are surely the most selfless too! And thus most remembered.

  14. Wow, this was super simple but super kind. Love reading things like this!

    • @Rick I – I loved catching up with you and looking forward to more of it in Chicago!

      @dhammer53 – I agree. And I’ve always thought that the stereotype of New Yorkers as unfriendly is undeserved (at least as long as you don’t stand in front of the Subway blocking the way!)

      @Ingrid – 🙂

      @Grado – I love that idea!

      @OHT – Nice to see you here. 🙂

  15. I’m taking the family to England tonight and Iceland next week. Thanks for putting a smile on our faces as we pack our bags .

  16. That’s a nice gesture for them – it’s true that some of the people you meet on your travels are some of the best & most memorable!

  17. Did not know who the guy in the pic was. NICE BEARD!

  18. But it is too windy in Iceland.