During horrible crises like this ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we hear about acts of kindness that restore our faith in humanity. A recent example is how this taxi driver helped bring a stranded student home from Spain all the way to Italy—and free of charge at that.
CNN reported that Kepa Amantegi drove from Bilbao in Spain all the way to Montebello in Italy to help university exchange student Giada Collalto get home. Collalto was studying languages within the Erasmus program in Bilbao since February and was expected to continue her lectures until June.
Collalto was eventually able to book multiple connecting flights that lead back to Italy even in the midst of the outbreak, but upon arriving at the airport in Madrid, she was refused entry by airport personnel.
“I was desperate and angry, my parents were worried but couldn’t do anything to help me. I called the embassy and they told to me to send an email. All hotels in Madrid were closed, no public transport to go back to Bilbao,” Collalto told CNN in an interview.
Luckily, one of Collalto’s friends knew the taxi driver Amantegi, who was then available to pick Collalto up from the airport and bring her back to Bilbao. However, upon arriving at her apartment, Collalto learned that it was no longer available—good thing Amantegi and his family were kind enough to host Collalto for the night.
In the morning that followed, Amantegi thought about driving all the way to Italy instead so that Collalto could get home. Surprisingly, the two were able to secure all the necessary authorizations for crossing borders, so they pushed through with it. “I was allowed since I was traveling back home and he, as a taxi driver, was allowed because of his work,” Collalto added.
Then, 12 hours after leaving Bilbao, Amantegi and Collalto arrived in Montebello. To Collalto’s surprise, the driver refused to accept any payment—he merely asked to be reimbursed for his expenses driving to Madrid the day prior. So, to return the favor, Collalto and her family let Amantegi stay at their home for the night.
Amantegi drove back home the next morning with a basket full of wine, grappa, and chocolates—not to mention the experience of a lifetime.
Now that’s what you call “one for the books.” It was already an incredible road trip in itself—the story behind it was the cherry on top. Sometimes, bad situations really do bring out the best in people, wouldn’t you agree?