A few months ago my husband and I were sharing a conversation about traveling, friends, etc and I mentioned how much I would love to return to the place where I had so many firsts: first purchased home, first teaching job, first child. My husband used to serve in the U.S. Air Force and one of our most memorable locations we lived was the place of firsts: Las Vegas, NV. As the most amazing birthday surprise ever (revealed to me 40 days before my 40th birthday), my husband arranged a weekend trip for me to fly back to Vegas, reconnect with friends, visit our old stomping grounds, and ring in this birthday milestone like no other. What an unexpected joy!
On the cross-country flight, I found myself in a window seat beside two delightful ladies any traveler could ask for. We immediately settled in, made introductions, started passing magazines back and forth, and… well, once we started chatting we never stopped!
I learned their names (Tamera, who goes by Tammy, on the far left; Lori “with an i” in the middle), listened to life stories, and reminded myself yet again why I love to travel. We were all traveling for pleasure, which made the anticipation of our impending Vegas arrival all the more exciting. Lori and I were surprised to discover that despite the amazing journeys our new friend, Tammy, had taken, she had never been to Vegas! Never! We were both almost giddy in our delight to share what we knew about this crazy and fun city. We had a newbie in our midst!
It was then that I knew Tammy would be my next Random Act of Kindness. I had already shared with them the details about my 40th Birthday Project, so as the flight attendants made announcements about our arrival, I reached across and gave Tammy a dollar bill. “For your very first slot machine! You can play right in the terminal!” Lori handed her a dollar as well, then we followed her as she enjoyed playing her very first Vegas slot machine. The pictures say it all!
She was a winner! How exciting! It was such fun to watch her play those bills and walk away a tiny bit richer! It also reinforced the joy in sharing kindness to strangers while traveling. Had I not taken a few moments to simply say hello to my seatmates, I might have missed the opportunity to get to know some really sweet gals and share in the fun! What a great way to start my birthday weekend!