From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

April 28

After 10 months backpacking through Africa and Asia, I was on the final leg of my journey. I looked up at the signs, trying to decipher which train I needed to take to Narita Airport.

Then, out of the masses, a woman stopped and asked, in English, which way I wanted to go. She spoke to the station master in Japanese, found out the platform number, the price of a ticket and the time of departure.

She told me she had been born in Japan, but had spent a year backpacking in New York and knew exactly what it was like to be a woman traveling solo.

She wished me luck, and then she was gone.

Suddenly, she reappeared with a square box wrapped in white and red paper.“For the train. Good-bye.” And then she was gone.

As I waited on the platform, my pack didn’t feel as heavy. I felt lighter—blessed with the taste of warm food, the dreams of my homecoming and the generosity of a Japanese woman I would know only this once.

Julie Booker

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