Small World: Running into People Travelling
Every traveller has a story to tell about how small the world is. How they were on a chicken bus in Mexico and sat next to their cousins best friend from high school who lives two streets away from their Grandmother. Yeah, you know the ones.
Well, in a year of travel, I too have a few of these stories.
After a relaxing few days on a cruise between Aswan and Luxor, I joined a half day tour of the West Bank, then checked into my hotel in the late afternoon for some R&R (rest and relaxation).
I discovered wifi in the rooms and logged on to twitter to find out that Jaime at BreakAwayBackpacker had just been to Luxor and done the Balloon (Hot Air) ride I was booked to do in the morning, and was now in Dahab, where I’d just been last week.
I got in touch, and he told me that Norbert from GloboTreks might be in Luxor at the moment, so I should try and contact him.
A few minutes of Twitter and Facebook stalking later, and I see that Norbert is in fact in Luxor, and just happens to be staying in the same hotel as me. I got in touch. Even smaller world, he’s in the room right next door. Two travel bloggers who are friends in the blogsphere, checked in to the same hotel, in adjoining rooms, without knowing.
We attempted to coordinate a catchup, but seeing as I was just arriving, and Norbert was leaving, we’d have to cross paths in this “small world” another time.
I was sitting on a beach in Ibiza several months back, just enjoying the recovery time after nights of partying.. as you do in Ibiza. I began talking to some guys sitting nearby who sounded distinctly Australian.
Turns out they are from Perth (Australia) too. One of them actually went to school with my cousins. Halfway around the world, and running into people who grew up in the same neighbourhood.
Prague, Czech Republic
An ex-girlfriend of mine (I met her in Athens, Greece) was in Prague for New Years Eve, her and her best friend just happened to be staying at the same hostel as me and my tour group of 100.
We were checked-in at the same time, but when I tried to organise a rendezvous, she gave me the slip. Apparently she had an early morning bus to Vienna. Funny how that happens with ex-girlfriends.
On a train near Sorrento (Italy), I met 4 Australian girls just starting out on their backpacking trip.
They caught me writing in my travel journal, and were asking about it. I let them know all about my grande travel plans, my website, and my general thirst for adventure. I told them I was heading throughout Italy before going to Spain, and in a month or two heading to Running of the Bulls.
They said they planned on going too. Cool. Normal right? You meet a lot of backpackers doing the same circuit in Europe.
“Lets meet up at Running of the Bulls” they say.
“Sure, I say… (usual sarcasm and skepticism)… I’ll find you amongst the several hundred thousand runners dressed in red and white”.
Fast-foward several months, a new country, a new city. I’d just been thrown out of the bull run by the police, and I notice these 4 cute girls dressed up to the nines, trying to get a glimpse of the run, taking photos, and talking amongst themselves.
“Hey, aren’t you that guy?” one of them asked me.
“Huh?” I say. Having no idea what they’re talking about.
“Yeah, you’re that guy from Australia that we met on that train in Italy; between Sorrento and Naples wasn’t it?”
“Oh yeah, I remember you guys now! How are you?”
“Hahaha. Small world. We told you we’d see you again!”
And one more time, just to show you how often it happens. At the same Running of the Bulls, just crossing a street on the way to the opening day party (txupinazo) I ran into my friend Tyler who I met months earlier in Santorini (Greece) having the summer of our lives. We just happened to bump into each other in the street. He was in a hurry to get to his hostel to change into the right clothes (white shirt, pants, and red scarf) so we agreed to meetup later, but this time it didn’t happen.
Surely you too have stories like these? Share them in the comments, or share this post on your social networks.
* flickr header image credit