Travel kismet in the Galapagos – #GoGalapagos.

By Posted in - Galapagos & South America & Travel Blog on March 28th, 2013



It’s happened more times than I can count.

It started in Iceland just a few days on the very first leg of our RTW journey. We met someone at our campground who had been best friends, growing up in Connecticut, with two of my friends that I met and worked with in San Diego. It was bizarre. At the campground, we decided to Skype our friends back in the states and everyone was astounded that we had met, especially at a campground in another country. Our friends in San Diego were in total disbelief.

Little did I know this was just the beginning.

It’s a pattern that has continued throughout our travels – meeting someone in Paris, only to bump into them again the next day in another part of town. Finding friends of friends or family ties around the world. There have been countless times when we have met someone halfway around the world that knew someone we knew or had some other bizarre connection to our lives.

And it happened again in the Galapagos.

We were on the island of San Christobal and we decided to pop into a little shop for a beer and snacks. Outside a group of locals were playing Gin Rummy. There were limited seats but an older gentleman invited us to sit at his table. We got to talking and discovered that he spends half of the year in Toronto with family and that when he was younger he used to drive frequently to New York.

As the conversation progressed I noticed his accent wasn’t the same as other people we had met in Ecuador, and as I sat talking to him I couldn’t erase the image of one of my uncles in Lacedonia, Italy. He sounded just like him, looked like him and just all around reminded me of him.

Turns out I was right, we eventually discovered he was from Italy originally and grew up in the same area as my family!

The world really is a small place and the more I travel the smaller it becomes, proving to me that we are not as distant as we seem. We are all connected by an invisible golden thread, and to me that thread is the beauty of travel.

After this recent encounter I realized that almost everyone must have a story like this, and I would love to hear them. If you’ve ever bumped into someone while traveling or discovered a bizarre connection please let me know in the comments. I can’t wait to hear your stories!

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(22) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Pauline -

    March 28, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Great story! I have yet to experience that while I travel. I have, however, experienced, the kindness of strangers throughout my travels. It’s unbelievable, really, the sorts of things people are willing to do to help you out. They make me realize this world isn’t so bad, after all. Thanks for sharing!

    • Randy -

      March 29, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      @Pauline, Couldn’t agree more! We’ve encountered a lot of helpful travelers and locals during our journeys too, and we’re also always amazed at how kind stranger’s can be.

  • Jason’s Travels -

    March 28, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Got off the plane in Paris to run into a guy I worked with 10 years ago in Minneapolis on the shuttle bus. The very next day, while walking along the Seinne, I ran into a current coworker and his wife. Then, the day after that, a friend came down to London to visit for the day. On the fourth day, over breakfast, my father asked who we would run into that know who I know!

    • Randy -

      March 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      @Jason’s Travels, Crazy! We’ve had our share of run ins, but never that many in one trip; that’s just incredible.

  • Jennifer -

    March 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    The world really is a small place! We met a guy, though one we don’t want to know, on a day sail in Anguilla back in 2005. He got really drunk and actually fell overboard from the catamaran. We were on that exact same day sail 4 years later and wouldn’t you know it, the drunk that fell overboard was also on the catamaran again! He got drunk again (shocker) and got in a fist fight. He ended up with a broken nose and being taken into police custody. I was less than thrilled when we ran into him yet again at the Princess Juliana Airport and he was on our flight.

    • Randy -

      March 29, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      @Jennifer, Haha! That’s an unbelievable story! I guess its true that old habits do die hard. If you ever run into him again (which at this rate you might) I think you may have to interview him.

  • Andi of My Beautiful Adventures -

    March 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    This happens to me all of the time! I look at it as a confirmation that I’m on the right path in life. I love it!!!

    • Randy -

      March 29, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      @Andi of My Beautiful Adventures, Definitely! I feel the same way. I also think about Deja Vu the same way. Whenever it happens, I feel reassured that I’m exactly where I am supposed to be. 🙂

  • Sam -

    March 29, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Never heard one of these stories relating to meeting a family member. Crazy!

    Mine is that, just about two month ago in southern Argentina, my partner and I walked in to a dorm room and were greeted by our roommate, asking where we were from. He took our answer with a curt nod, then went away. I told my partner he looked kinda familiar, but I couldn’t remember why. Then, later, when we were chatting, and I discovered that he was Austrian, I asked if he’d ever been to Thailand. “Yes”, he said. I asked if he’d been in Bangkok in January 2009. “Yes”, he replied, suspiciously. I asked if he remembered being in a bar on Khao San Road, and asking a British guy to swap t-shirts with him for a photo. “That’s the kind of thing, I’d do, but…” Then a flash of recognition, and he added: “was I really drunk”. Oh yes he was.

    We then promptly looked up facebook pictures of a mutual friend who had also been at that meeting at that bar in Khao San Road, and found proof. So we’d met once by chance in a bar in Bangkok, then end up in the same dorm room in a small town on the other side of the world four years later!

    • Bethany -

      April 3, 2013 at 7:05 am

      That is really funny Sam! Thanks for sharing your story. 🙂

  • rebecca -

    March 30, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I once met a really inspirational traveler in poland, we hung out for a few days and then said our goodbyes only to wonder into my hostel in bruges to find him there a month later

    • Bethany -

      April 3, 2013 at 7:05 am

      I love it when paths cross multiple times!

  • Erica -

    March 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    We took our Iceland road trip with an old coworker from Blizzard! Turns out he was there at the same time we were – crazy we chose the same place at the same time.

    • Bethany -

      April 3, 2013 at 7:06 am

      Iceland is a bit magical I think – people always seem to bump into people they know there!

  • Thomas Dembie -

    March 30, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Great story. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve had this happen many times. Years ago I met someone in Luxembourg, ran into them months later in France, then we decided to travel together the next summer. On my most recent trip to Africa something similar happened.

    • Bethany -

      April 3, 2013 at 7:06 am

      Thanks for commenting Thomas – that’s amazing that you were able to keep in contact with the person you bumped into in Luxembourg! It’s like the fates keeping you in touch. 🙂

  • jean cave -

    March 31, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Poppy my daughter and her best mate Melwyn were on a fairly random global year out from Cornish College. This happened prior to mobile phone supremacy. They trekked together for a day or so through to an off-map jungle pyramid site in Mexico hinterland. When they climbed up hundreds of steps to the top of the temple, they recognised people they knew coming up the other side. Poppy had no idea ‘they’ were even in the same country as her. It was remarkably . . . her own father who had remarried by then and his new wife Megan. Another minute or so and they would not have met at all. Beat that!

    • Bethany -

      April 3, 2013 at 7:07 am

      Oh gosh – I LOVE the name Poppy – so cute!

      I also can’t believe your story – that is CRAZY! That is simply unbelievable. Your story definitely takes the cake – thanks for sharing it Jean. 🙂

  • Patrick Smith -

    April 1, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Great post! My partner and I met these really fun British guys on Ibiza in 1989- so fun, we spent a few days with them. We ended up bumping into them again 5 years later in NYC, then again 3 years later in London. Another time, we ran into someone I had a secret fling with in 1984 just walking on a street in London (same London trip as the other guys) in 1997. It was spooky cool London trip! Glad to hear this happens to others!

    • Bethany -

      April 3, 2013 at 7:08 am

      hahaha – I want to travel with you Patrick – you sound like you always have a fun time! It seems like you have quite the connection with London too. 🙂

  • Kenin Bassart -

    April 1, 2013 at 8:03 am

    We had the same thing happen to us with some old family friends. We had driven to Chicago from Miami while on our way to Alaska. We were in Chicago for just one day, when we bumped into our friends (also from Miami) who flew in for a football game that same weekend. We ended up joining them, tailgating, and going to the game.

    • Bethany -

      April 3, 2013 at 7:09 am

      Thanks for commenting – that’s a great story! You must’ve had to take a double take when in Chicago. Sounds like it was a lot of fun. 🙂