Why did I call my blog Small World Travels and not Josh Goes Places. One because I like to think the prior is a little more savvy, but also because I believe the world is full of wonderful, astonishing places and people that can make it feel smaller than it is.
Physically the world is massive. 7 billion people, 196 countries, 250,000 cities, 510 square km of land. Discovering it may seem daunting and difficult. It’s easy to perceive the world as a big, scary rat race. Which a lot of times, it can be. I find travelling though can make the world feel like quite a small one. One that’s friendly, easy to discover and a whole lot of fun.
Recently I had a “It’s a small world after all” experience.
It starts back in 2011. In Vietnam. That is where Jack and I met the kiwis. Four girls from New Zealand also backpacking SE Asia. I don’t remember the circumstances of which we initially met the girls. It might have been on a bus or in a hostel but once we met them we didn’t stop meeting them. We randomly, without planning, bumped into these girls 4 times in 2 different countries. Granted there is a well grooved out backpacker trail in Vietnam and Cambodia but 4 times is freakish.
Three years later I’ve made it to the kiwis native country. I haven’t kept in much contact with any of them but knew that 3 of the 4 don’t live here In New Zealand anymore. They are living overseas.
I’ve been working at a small restaurant in a tiny town 60km from Christchurch.
One unsuspecting saturday, a girl looking vaguely familiar walks in.
We glare at one another. My initial thought is I’ve probably served her before. After the stare lasts a little to long she blurts out.
“You look really familiar.”
“You look familiar!” I say agreeing
“Wow! You’re the Canadian guy that was traveling with the Aussie in SE Asia aren’t you!?”
“Holy shit! The kiwi girls!”
We both stood there, in a weird disbelief.
“What are you doing here!?” The obvious question for both of us.
She explains she now lives in Wellington but came down to compete in a swim. She was only there for the day and by chance decided to walk into the place I was working at.
The odds of meeting again like that are obviously astronomically unlikely. But just goes to show.
It is a small world after all.