Santa does existIn order to make a surprise holiday visit to our family, we attempted a bold travel maneuver—even by HoneyTrek standards. We would leave Vermont in the afternoon, drive five hours to make our family tree-trimming celebration in Pennsylvania, then wake up at 3am to hop a flight to visit the other half of our family in California.

We were cruising along, watching the Christmas lights whiz by to the sound of Bing Crosby, then at mile 248 of our journey, our tire went flat. As I hobbled to the side of the highway, I had a sinking feeling that my spare wasn’t inflated. Waiting two hours for AAA and continuing on a flimsy donut seriously hurt our arrival time, but we were still determined to make some of the celebration.

At around 9pm, we pulled into my mom’s neighborood, and heard another pop. On the verge of tears, laughter, and hysteria, we looked at our second flat tire of the night and thought, “Could this really be happening? We’ve already used AAA, we don’t have another spare, and there isn’t a single repair shop open between now and our Sunday morning flight. At this rate, we are going to miss Christmas with both of our families!”

changing a spare TireJust when we thought that all our efforts had been for naught, a Jeep Wrangler pulled over behind us and a young man called out, “Can I help you guys?” Meet Nicholas Ferra, a 22-year-old on his way home from work at Xclusive Auto Sports, a custom stereo, lighting, window tint and, as luck would have it…tire shop. We explained the night’s debacles and efforts to surprise our family for Christmas and his mind went into overdrive with solutions.

“I know,” said Nick, “We can call our tire specialist on his cell phone!” No answer.
“OK, we’ll drive to my mom’s house and borrow her spare; she has a 16-inch rim, as well.” It didn’t fit.
Last hail-Mary, he called his boss and hatched this plan, “We’ll put your car on jack stands, take off the bad tires, drop you guys at your family’s, drive your rims to the shop, get new tires put on, drive them back here, and we’ll have you moving in no time!”

Was this guy for real? Did he really just ask his boss to open the shop after-hours? Why was this college kid going to waste his Saturday night helping two complete strangers? It all seemed too good to be true, but Nick was our only hope.

Xclusive Auto Sports Stroudsburg PAHe dropped us off, and my family was utterly shocked to see us, and when we told them what just happened, they were further flabbergasted. Two hours later, Nick texted us saying he was back at our car. My brother Ryan and I sped down to help him, but he had already installed two new tires and did a third for good measure. We gave him the biggest bear hug and asked him how much we owed. He said, “No charge; it’s our Christmas gift to you.” Wow. Feeling totally indebted to this guy, I reached for my wallet anyway, insisting that we give him something and he replied, “All we ask is that you pay it forward to someone else this holiday season and to give ‘Xclusive Auto Sports’ a LIKE on Facebook.”

Now Nick had no idea we worked in media or that we had over a hundred thousand Facebook fans, but he was about to find out. The next day on the HoneyTrek FB wall, we posted about Nick’s overwhelming kindness and it sent hundreds liking Xclusive Auto Sports. But that wasn’t enough for us. We reached out to the biggest newspaper in the area and got the story published on the front page of the Pocono Record, furthering their Facebook fan count and boosting their business that winter.

Good Samaritan Stories
Two years later when Nick asked us to be his job reference for a police officer position, we gave him a review to make a Sargent go weepy. Flash forward to January 2020, he is State Trooper Nicholas Ferra, but we will always call him St. Nick.

Note: The HoneyTrek #ITravelBecause series is inspired and sponsored by Allianz Travel. Get yourself some travel insurance and get out there!

36 thoughts on “#ITravelBecause: Santa is My Wingman

  • January 22, 2020 at 3:59 pm
    Permalink

    How nice to run into a truly decent human being after two road disasters. Nick surely went way out of his way to fix your car. And not charge for it too. Asking you to pay it forward was a perfect response. I can see why you call him Saint Nick.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 1:00 pm
      Permalink

      the universe certainly threw us a bone after two road disasters. And what a beautiful response from Nick indeed.

      Reply
  • January 22, 2020 at 4:07 pm
    Permalink

    Awww what a sweet story! You guys are the best for paying it forward .. or paying it back? in such an amazing way! Love it!

    Reply
    • January 22, 2020 at 4:37 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you so much for that lovely comment Oksana…we were just soooo overwhelmed by Nick’s kindness during our time of need (we literally would have missed xmas and our flight if he didn’t pull over to check on us and do what he did)…I can’t even begin to say how overwhelmed we were, we just had to do whatever we could to thank him. He was truly our “Road Angel”!

      Reply
      • January 23, 2020 at 5:19 am
        Permalink

        First of all, must congratulate you for making such efforts in the name of family. They say if you do good, good karma will come in return and that’s what exactly you experienced with the wingman. Great to hear about these experiences, it’s a reassurance that good people still exist. Hope both of you had a great Christmas and Cheers to Nick.

        Reply
        • January 27, 2020 at 12:43 pm
          Permalink

          We totally believe in karma…so happy it’s worked out well for Nick!

          Reply
  • January 22, 2020 at 5:27 pm
    Permalink

    Wow! What a great story of human kindness. And a wonderful way to pay it forward. Glad to hear that Nick is a State Trooper now!

    Reply
  • January 22, 2020 at 8:35 pm
    Permalink

    What a great story! I love that what came around went around, and you guys both helped each other! That was so kind and thoughtful of Nick to spend his evening helping you with your tire trouble and so lovely that you gave him a great reference! It is a great reminder that there is lots of good in the world. 🙂

    Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 12:49 pm
      Permalink

      A good reference and a little media love was the least we could do for Nick!

      Reply
  • January 22, 2020 at 10:04 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this lovely story! May we all be inspired St. Nick and how you all paid it forward!

    Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 12:48 pm
      Permalink

      We love this story and thank Allianz’s #ITravelBecause movement for giving us the reason to share it!

      Reply
  • January 23, 2020 at 6:45 am
    Permalink

    Fantastic story and can’t believe this happened to you. It’s great to see there are fantastic people out there who are still willing to help out there, even at Christmas. Nick did a lot for you and he defo had the spirit of Christmas in him. 🙂

    Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 12:36 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you so much. It’s so important to share the good in the world!

      Reply
  • January 23, 2020 at 10:49 am
    Permalink

    Yay for the good people!!!

    Reply
  • January 23, 2020 at 11:21 pm
    Permalink

    Oh my God! You almost got me to tears!!! Good samaritans do exist and he is indeed god-sent St.Nicholas! I’m super glad for what he did and that you could actually spend the Christmas with your family! And I’m also super glad for what you guys did as well, with the shout-out on media which helped them boost their business (I just gave a like on their FB page as well!)! The best part of the story is that he’s now a state trooper!

    Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 12:34 pm
      Permalink

      Such a crazy story…our favorite part is also to see Nick now making a profession out of helping people, what a guy!

      Reply
  • January 24, 2020 at 10:29 am
    Permalink

    That is such an amazing heart-warming story. This kind of random act of kindness restores my faith in humankind. Cheers to St. Nick and also to you for bringing this story to light. I am going to like their FB Page too even though Nick is now a state trooper.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 12:31 pm
      Permalink

      The whole team at Xclusive Auto Sports was to thank…I love that photo of the guys with the tires. Working on a Saturday night with a smile! Thanks for liking their page 🙂

      Reply
  • January 25, 2020 at 6:13 am
    Permalink

    When I was reading the first parts of your journey, it was like heartache thinking oh sh*t what awful luck to get another flat tire! But it’s amazing that Nick came to the rescue and actually got so much recognition for his kindness.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 12:30 pm
      Permalink

      We couldn’t believe this was happening to us. It reminds us to always have an inflated spare and to pay it forward!

      Reply
  • January 25, 2020 at 8:07 am
    Permalink

    What an amazing story! This is a perfect example of human kindness at Christmas. Good to hear a happy ending to the story because I wasn’t expecting that. Nice to see he now works in the police force too

    Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 12:26 pm
      Permalink

      We certainly didn’t think this story would end well…but St Nick came to the rescue!!!

      Reply
  • January 25, 2020 at 10:18 am
    Permalink

    Ok… this has to be the best, most feel-good story ever! Yay to St. Nick and all the holiday spirit this gives to the whole year! Thanks for sharing your story.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 12:22 pm
      Permalink

      Awww…so glad it made you feel warm and fuzzy too! The holidays bring out the best in people but I bet St. Nick would have still done this in July 🙂

      Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 12:20 pm
      Permalink

      The world focus too much on the bad guys when reality there are soooo many kind people out there–at home and abroad!

      Reply
  • January 26, 2020 at 10:46 am
    Permalink

    I love this story, and especially that it continues, as Nick moves on in his career based on his good heart and your support. That’s the kind of deep and ongoing connection from traveling that we find is as much an ‘everyday’ occurrence as it is a Christmas tale. #itravelbecause!

    Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 12:19 pm
      Permalink

      We’ve loved keeping in touch with Nick and see his good heart and hard work pay off!

      Reply
    • April 5, 2020 at 3:40 am
      Permalink

      We couldn’t agree more Kristin! We are so proud of Nick, and almost feel like he’s part of the family now!

      Reply
  • January 26, 2020 at 12:04 pm
    Permalink

    What an amazing story! The world really needs to hear more of these angels that are ever present in our life coming to our rescue and making everything so much better! Well done St Nick and for you to for spreading even more of that goodness

    Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 12:17 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks, Caz! We’ve experienced so much kindness from strangers abroad but this one particularly touched us because it happened in our backyard. Kindness is everywhere!

      Reply
  • January 28, 2020 at 2:31 pm
    Permalink

    Love how the Power of kindness gives flight to your dreams and St. Nick’s. ❤

    Reply
    • April 5, 2020 at 3:21 am
      Permalink

      You are spot on Linda! And I love how that kindness shows up in the most random places.

      Reply
  • February 3, 2020 at 11:48 am
    Permalink

    I’m not sure I needed to cry on a Monday morning, but I did need to hear about the good people in the world, so thank you for this moving story!!

    Reply
    • April 5, 2020 at 3:17 am
      Permalink

      Awwww….well we didn’t want to make you cry. And that’s ok, as long as it’s out of love and happiness! There are truly so many amazing people in this world, and you often find them in the most unsuspecting places.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.