A few years ago, I took a ten day trip to the south of France. I was flying solo and arrived first in Bordeaux where I spent three days in the region, tasting the local wine and meeting a lot of new people.
My next stop was Aix-en-Provence, a colorful city and central hub. I had chosen it so I could get out and see several of the neighboring towns. As I often do, I booked a small group tour that took me to both Avignon and the Pont-du-Gard, an aqueduct built by the Roman Empire in the 1st Century.
On the tour, I met a couple from Melbourne, Australia. Being the social creature I am, I started talking to them about my visit to their beautiful city the year before. The hour went by and as always happens we connected as travel loving humans do. We told stories, shared pictures, jokes, and laughter, and talked of other places we’d been.
By the end of the day I felt what I always feel in those moments, that there is nothing more inspiring than connecting with new people from all around the world.
We said our goodbyes but then I realized *smacking my head* on the train ride back to my Airbnb apartment that I had forgotten to get the contact information of that lovely couple.
It saddened me but what could I do? I chalked it up as a reminder to always share contact information before parting.
Days went by, and I explored Provence, then headed east to Nice by train. In Nice, I didn’t have a car so again I booked a few small tours. There, I made new friends but this time when I met great people, I remembered to get their information.
On my last night in Nice, I was coming down the hotel elevator, in a rush because I was late to meet up with some new friends from Cape Town I had met that day, and I was meeting them at the local Irish pub. As I turned the corner entering the lobby, I had my head down and suddenly collided with a woman, my forehead crashing into her forehead.
As I looked up, squinting from the pain of the collision, and to offer a necessary apology, who should be the victim of my distracted walking but the wife of the couple from Melbourne I had met! Standing behind her was her totally befuddled husband. In shock, we stared at each other, then broke out into laughter, hugging each other in utter disbelief. No way! What are the chances? We had met hundreds of miles away and we literally crashed into each other a week later. We both exclaimed the predictable “It is a small world” in unison. We hugged then said goodbye but what did I do? I didn’t get their contact information again!
Looking back, I'd like to believe destiny is at play. That couple is out there, waiting for me somewhere. Our paths will cross again, most likely the next time I’m at Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne and we reach for the same piece of fruit. :)
What's your "small world" story? Have you had a similar experience?