I don’t believe it too much in superstition but I feel like karma does affect my life quite a bit. Karma is the idea that if you do good to other people, good things will happen to you. If you do bad things, then bad things can come your way. This is an oversimplified version of the concept, but that’s the basic idea.
I can think of many times in my life where if I did or said something that I knew was bad, karma would keep me in check and something bad would happen to me not too long after. Often it would be similar to what I did to someone else.
I feel like good karma has been happening all at once the past two weeks and the timing makes sense because I’ve intentionally tried to help out friends for the sake of it and expect nothing in return in the past month. I believe when we do things without expectation of someone paying us back and do it from our hearts, good things will happen in our lives.
My friends have been extra generous to me in Cambodia, Thailand and now in Bali. They have always been kind since I’ve been in Asia, but the same friends continue to surprise me. My friends’ small restaurant isn’t making a huge profit but because I brought people to their restaurant, they wouldn’t let me pay for my meal. When I arrived in Thailand for the night, my friend not only took time to meet me, but she hung out with me for the night even after having bad food poisoning the day before and still recovering. And now I’m staying at the nicest accommodation I’ve been in since I came to Asia in March and wondering what I’ve done to deserve it. One friend was sweet and said, “You are a genuinely nice person, what you see is a reflection of what you radiate.”
Right now, I’m being so generously hosted by my friend Kathy whom I met in Siem Reap at my friends’ small Khmer restaurant. We just started chatting casually a few months ago, which happens often around Cambodia when you meet travelers and I offered to take her around Siem Reap during the evenings for the few days she was in town since she didn’t know anyone. Before we said goodbye, she said I could visit her while she was in Bali studying for a semester. And me being me, if someone genuinely invites me somewhere, I’m going.
She was so nice to pick me up at the airport and ask her housemates if I could stay at their place. I was just planning to get a guesthouse originally. I thought she and the other housemates were staying at a simple shared house. But then I arrive and discover it is a beautiful villa with a pool and outdoor kitchen! Not only that, they have hired staff to wash dishes and clean the rooms every day. Good travel karma?
Of course I offered to pay for my share for the time I’m staying with them but Kathy wouldn’t let me. She barely let me pay for her lunch the first day I arrived. I told her today, “It doesn’t seem like a fair exchange for me to stay here for two weeks when I just took you around for two nights and she said, “Don’t worry about it.”
The generosity people have shown me the past week keeps me motivated to also be generous with other people without expectation of anything in return. When I asked my friend, “Why are Cambodians so generous?” She simply replied, “It’s in our culture. We like to give from our hearts.” This will motivate me to pay it forward.