What’s Going RIGHT In The World: 9 Stories To Restore Faith in Humanity

As someone who writes exclusively about travel, staying up to date on current events around the world isn’t just something I enjoy, but it’s important for my work. I need to know what trouble areas are erupting, what people’s general fears and concerns are and what to look out for on the horizon. Lately, that daily research has been depressing, as I’m sure everyone else can relate to. Shootings, bombings, inept and corrupt politicians, it’s easy to believe that the world is descending into chaos. While I certainly admit that things have not been great lately, the simple fact is that we’ve been here before. For generations, people just like us have thought the same things and also like us have wondered if the world can be brought back from the brink. Luckily it can and it will; we as a people will once again persevere and the world will continue its path around the sun. But it’s hard sometimes to believe that, it’s hard to believe that things will in fact be ok, so I thought I’d share some brief stories from around the world that I’ve discovered, stories that hopefully prove that we the human race are not doomed and that in the end, things will be alright. Some are heartwarming and others just fun, but no matter their subject I hope that they help brighten your day.

(What follows are excerpts, please follow the links to read the full stories.)

Photo source: Bored Panda

Parents Tell Boy His Favorite Toy Isn’t Lost But Traveling The World, Internet’s Response Is Amazing
Bored Panda

A little boy was recently left heartbroken after losing his favorite toy elephant. However, his parents came up with a brilliant plan. They told their son that his cuddly buddy wasn’t missing at all and that he’d simply decided to go and travel the world. Then posting a picture of the toy elephant on Reddit, they called upon the internet’s army of Photoshop geniuses to superimpose their son’s missing toy into as many exotic locations as possible.


Man Builds Backyard Disney-Style Theme Park For Lucky Grandkids
Huffington Post

Every kid dreams of the day they’ll get to visit the magical world of a Disney theme park. And for five very lucky kids, they get to experience all the excitement as often as they’d like in grandpa’s backyard — no waiting in lines necessary.

A Fullerton, California grandfather was inspired to create something so fun in his own backyard that his grandkids would always want to visit.

It all started with a “Small World” themed ride and it’s only grown from there over time. The mini theme park is full of the same kind of princesses, castles, trains and tunnels you’ll see at the actual Disneyland Park, which happens to be not too far from the Fullerton home.

bermuda sunset

Boston cab driver rewarded with cruise after he returns more than $185000

A Boston taxi cab driver is being rewarded with a Royal Caribbean cruise after he returned hundreds of thousands of dollars that a passenger left in his taxi.

Buzzy MacCausland found a backpack with more than $185,000 in the backseat of his taxi cab after a passenger left it behind, according to WHDH.

He turned the backpack into the police and they were able to find the owner.


This parrot was thought to be extinct in the wild — until a farmer spotted one
Washington Post

No one has seen the Spix’s macaw in the wild for more than 15 years. Officially listed as critically endangered, fewer than 100 of these bright blue parrots live in captivity.

“The last known individual in the wild disappeared at the end of 2000, and no others may remain, primarily as a result of trapping for trade plus habitat loss,” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

But something remarkable happened in a small goat-herding Brazilian town earlier this month: a farmer named Nauto Sergio de Oliveira spotted a Spix’s macaw flying freely in Curaçá, according to Brazil’s environmental ministry.

The farmer told his neighbors what he saw. The next day his wife Lourdes Oliveira and her daughter Damilys Oliveira woke up before dawn to see if they could also catch a glimpse of the bird, the ministry said in a release.

Alberta Canada Road

Historic Route 66 to Become Solar Roadways First Highway Project
Good News Network

Sections of the famous Route 66 highway are set to be paved by solar panels, capable of charging electric cars with energy from the sun.

The hi-tech makeover comes as a result of a partnership between the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and smart energy startup Solar Roadways, which aims to bring “the history and the future together.”

The first Solar Roadways panels are expected to be installed at the Hostoric Route 66 Welcome Center in Conway before the end of the year.


French Catering Company Employs Refugees To Cook Their Native Foods
Huffington Post

Frenchmen Louis Jacquot and Sébastien Prunier started a catering company called “Les Cuistots Migrateurs” ― or “The Migrant Cooks” ― in February, employing refugees and migrants who cook and serve their native foods to Parisians.

The goal is both to provide job opportunities, and to change French people’s perceptions around migrants.

For Jacquot, it’s as much about employing migrants and changing perceptions as it is about bringing some diversity ― and authenticity ― to the French palate.

Elephant, Singapore Zoo

Mosha the Thai elephant maimed by mine gets prosthetic leg
BBC News

An Asian elephant who lost her leg in a landmine accident along the border between Myanmar and Thailand has received a new prosthetic leg, which ended up saving her life.

“The way she walked was unbalanced and her spine was going to bend,” Dr. Therdchai Jivacate, the orthopedist surgeon who designed the artificial leg, told Reuters. “She would have died.”


Aussie Farm Dogs Take Penguin Colony Under Their Wing, Saving Hundreds of Birds
Good News Network

These two dogs are an Australian penguin’s best friend — with skills that have saved as many as a two thousand birds in the last ten years.

Foxes had nearly decimated the population of ‘little penguins’ on Middle Island — killing nearly 200 a year.

But, since 2006 when Eudy and Tula started guarding the species, which is the smallest type of penguin in the world, there hasn’t been any evidence of a predator attack.

After the dogs started patrolling the island, the flock grew from a low of just 10 birds to more than 150 today.

Image: J.S. Burgers Cafe
Image: J.S. Burgers Cafe

GHOSTBUSTERS Inspires Insane Fast-Food Items in Japan

Belly bustin’ makes me feel good! Remarkably, for a country that boasts some of the longest lifespans in the world, the Japanese seem intent on outdoing even the United States when it comes to really over-the-top, fat-laden foodstuffs. And Ghostbusters as a property is actually a perfect match for this kind of one-upmanship.

Rather hilariously, with the exception of a slime-inspired dessert containing what appears to be Kiwi fruit, green tortilla chips and tiny candy hamburgers, all these items are Ghostbusters-based in the most superficial way.The black buns use anchovy paste and olives to get their color, but we’re not entirely sure what else is involved.

If you’re in Japan, you can find these–and some special edition merchandise–at J.S. Burgers Cafe, from July through September.

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Subscribe and get my free ebook!

Subscribe to the LandLopers newsletter and get a free copy of my new book, "My Favorite 50 Travel Photos."

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

3 Responses

  1. Jarratt

    Great story Matt – my favourite on your site in a while! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Carl

    Great post Matt, just what we need right now. So far it has been or certainly feels like a crappy year and it’s nice to hear the good news stories and share them around.

  3. Anne

    You are such a great ambassador for travel. Several of these stories made me smile. I love to get my news on line – and not via TV or video. Then I can scan quickly without being exposed to all the gory details that seem to be “news” today. Keep up the great work!


Leave a Comment