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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > February 2019 > Strangers-turned-saviours


There’s nothing quite like being helped out of a tight spot when that spot is halfway round the globe. Our stafers recount episodes in their travels that prove home isn’t necessarily where the heart is…



James Gabriel Martin Lonely Planet writer @James_G_Martin

AFTER A LONG DRIVE, WE REACHED OUR guesthouse in a small village in the north of Okinawa, Japan. We were ravenous, so afer check-in, I asked the receptionist to book a table at the adjoining restaurant, the only place to eat for miles. Half an hour later, we arrived to find it full. None of the staf spoke English, and my Japanese was very poor. I tried to explain that we had a booking, but the waitress did not understand me. Afer some time, a woman who had been watching from a nearby table approached and ofered to translate. We were sorted in minutes, and as we ate, the friendly woman, Yayoi, invited us to her home the following night. She cooked an amazing dinner, joked with her husband, and she showed me her incredible ceramic art and introduced me to her cats. It was one of my favourite nights from my trip across Japan. We are still in touch, and am thankful that her simple act of kindness allowed me to make a lifelong friend.

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About Lonely Planet Traveller (UK)

In the February issue… find short-break inspiration for the year ahead from our 52 Best Weekends Away list; taste your way around the boundlessly charming city of Porto; get the chills at a spooky carnival in the Swiss Alps; swap the Great British seaside holiday for its chic French equivalent on the Île de Ré; discover where Lonely Planet's London-based staff like to spend their time off in the capital; and much more