10 Apr Paying it Forward Stories: The Secret Letter in My Suitcase

I’m sure many of you will have watched the movie ‘Pay it Forward’ about a little boy who does 3 good deeds for people in need with the idea that instead of paying him back, they will do 3 good deeds for other people.

The idea of paying it forward is that these good deeds will spread through society at a ratio of 3 to 1, making the world a better place.

You hear of all sorts of paying it forward stories, and now I’m about to tell you mine.

My Paying it Forward Story

On 15th Feb 2013 I woke up in my 10-bed hostel dorm at Habitat HQ hostel in St. Kilda, and for one reason or another, I was feeling a bit down in the dumps.

I fumbled around in my bag because I needed to pack up and check out by 10am, when I noticed a neatly folded piece of paper underneath my wash bag. For a second I didn’t think much of it, because I’m always carrying around random bits of paper and receipts on my travels, but this looked slightly different. I could see green highlighter shining through, and it looked to have handwriting on it.

I unfolded it, and this is what I found:

Paying it Forward Letter

How long had it been here? How did someone sneak this in my bag? And WHO was it?

In case you are having trouble reading it from the photo, the letter reads:

Dear You 🙂 <— Yes you reading this!

You don’t know me and I don’t know you- and it may feel quite strange for you to find this letter- but I wanted to let you know that you are AWESOME and that you are LOVED.

You may be at a point in your life where you are extremely successful or you may be having a tough time of it. Either way, it is important that you know you are loved very much. It is important that that we all hear those words- as some never hear them enough or at all. 

I wish you every success for 2013 and may your year be full of much happiness, love and great health. 

If this letter brought a smile to your face and made you feel good…please feel free to keep on sharing the love and paying it forward to someone else. 

Much Love, 

from ME 🙂


A huge smile spread across my face, it was one of the nicest things anyone had done in a while and one of the many reasons why I LOVE travel. All the hairs on the back of my neck stood up on end as I read it. I recently wrote about the news making the world seem scary, but when things like this happen, it makes me realise that there are some very positive things going on in the world. To come from a complete stranger, it felt quite weird and special.

I posted the picture on Facebook a while back and people asked me if I had any idea who slipped this letter into my bag. I’m certain that the letter was given to me by someone in my hostel dorm in St. Kilda. There were 9 other people, and it was definitely one of them, but which one?

I have since checked out the One Heart Purpose Facebook Page, and discovered that this is a complete movement of people paying it forward, spreading the love around the globe by letting everyone know that they are awesome and that they are loved. The idea is to spread the love one secret letter at a time.

The person who created One Heart Purpose remains anonymous, but they have shared their story on the Facebook page. The description is quite long, but I shall give you a snippet of the inspiration behind this movement:

“I came from a loving family – but my father passed away when I was young. I was his pride and joy and Him and I spent most of our time together as my Mum had to travel a lot. We spent more time together than any other father/daughter combo that I have ever met. He showered me with love – but when he passed – being told that I was loved stopped. This is in no way my Mum’s fault – I know that she love’s me to bits (she is my best mate) – but it’s just never said. This has created a ripple affect as until recently – I also did not tell my friends and family openly that I love them. I now want to create a ripple affect the opposite way – a ripple affect of LOVE!

I know myself how nice and uplifting it feels to hear that you are loved and appreciated – even if it is only once in awhile. And somedays you need to hear it more than others! So I thought it would be a great idea to start telling people! Strangers! Everyone!…because In the big picture of life..we are all ONE

The terrible tragedy that occurred with the Sandy Hook school shooting in the USA really got me thinking. Imagine if one person that was known to the killer or even a stranger – had told him that he was awesome and that he was loved! Imagine….if he had found a random letter left somewhere by a stranger the morning of the shooting – telling him that he was awesome and that no matter what – he was loved. Imagine! Imagine if your heartfelt letter could stop someone doing something stupid to themselves or others!

So in December 2012 I thought – seeing as it is Xmas time – what better time to start my “crusade” as a One Heart Purpose Secret Agent!”

By now I’m sure you’re wondering:

“Will you pass it on to someone else?”

Yes, yes I will. The letter is currently hanging up on the noticeboard in my bedroom at my Mum’s house. Every time I’m feeling a little blue, I look at that letter and it makes me get little goosebumps. It reminds me to stay positive, be happy and that there are some amazing human beings in this world.

I haven’t found the opportunity to sneak a letter into someone’s bag yet, but I will. I want it to be a complete stranger who would never expect it. I might keep this one, but I’ll make a new one for someone else 🙂

Do you have a story of paying it forward? Has a complete stranger done something special for you on the road? Leave your comments below!

If you would like to pay it forward and spread the love too, the instructions are here on Facebook. There are people all over the world now doing this…recently someone posted a picture of a One Heart Purpose letter left in a Starbucks in Guangzhou, China! The creator is hoping for an official one heart purpose day in 2013, so let’s make it happen!

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Victoria Brewood

Hi I'm Victoria, a British girl from Manchester. After graduating from university I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I packed my journalism degree into my suitcase to travel the world and find a way to make money at the same time. I now call London home, although I still travel whenever I can. I hope to inspire you to be your own boss, live life and see the world.

  • TammyOnTheMove
    Posted at 18:55h, 10 April Reply

    Awww, what a lovely idea. That would have made my day too! Will definitely check out that facebook page.

  • Arianwen
    Posted at 22:53h, 10 April Reply

    How nice! It’s little things like this that feel like the biggest gestures. I remember being really touched when, on my first birthday abroad in Tanzania, my very new hostel friends made me cards and bought a cake from the coffee shop. It probably wasn’t a big deal to them, but they barely knew me and I’ve never forgotten how that made me feel.

  • Julio Moreno
    Posted at 13:38h, 15 April Reply

    This is so cute. One good way to pay it forward would be to do a super nice thing for someone for absolutely no reason. I try that when I am feeling down and seeing their smile makes me happy. You must be awesome for getting this, good karma.

  • Inspiring Travel Blogs 11-20 April | The Travel TesterThe Travel Tester
    Posted at 20:24h, 23 April Reply

    […] Paying it Forward Stories: The Secret Letter in My Suitcase If you thought the ‘Pay it Forward’ idea from the movies is an old thing, you should read this post by Victoria from Pommie Travels. She found a very special and kind note in her backpack… from a perfect stranger. […]

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