A Birthday Surprise

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After about two months of travel, we met up with one of my travel companion's boyfriends in Italy. It was his first time in Europe and a few days later, he'd be starting work in the real world. Not to mention his birthday was the day we got there to meet up with them!

Frank and Sami have been dating for a couple of years now. I've known Sami for eight years—a long time for me, a 22-year-old who moved every few years growing up. We've traveled together quite a bit, and my mom calls us soulmates because we're such great friends. She traveled across the country in less than 48 hours to help me pick out a wedding dress. She was the one who was with me when I found out my dad had cancer. She picked out my favorite homecoming dress in high school. She encouraged me to run a half marathon.

And she went to Princeton—a college across the country from me at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. So even though Frank and I had texted occasionally to talk about Sami or get to know one another, I'd never met him before. And of course, I was anxious to meet my best friend's boyfriend for the first time -- and what better place to meet than in Italy on his birthday??

I knew I would approve of him, and of course I did. Frank is easy to talk to, smart, funny, and very kind. He and Sami were great together -- and we had a blast exploring the city of Naples and checking out the catacombs. For dinner that night, we went to a place called Pizzeria Da Michele, which is famous for being incredibly tasty and also featured in the book and movie "Eat Pray Love." There are only two types of pizza—the kind with cheese and without cheese. Either way, you're in for a delicious meal. 

It was perfect for Frank's birthday dinner. And for my Random Act of Kindness, I decided to pay for everyone's meal. If you can't tell, I tend to think that food is the way to everyone's heart, which is why a lot of my Random Acts of Kindness revolve around that. But for this case, it was especially relevant. Sami always talks about how Frank loves food—so I knew he'd appreciate having a meal paid for, even if it was just a small one.


Vanessa Daves is a recent college graduate and a RAKtivist who is spending three months traveling the world. Iris Telehealth is sponsoring her random acts of kindness throughout the summer in the places she travels. When she returns back to the United States in the fall, she will be marketing coordinator for Iris Telehealth. Learn more at iristelehealth.com/love

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