So I just got back from a three week trip through Alaska last weekend where I once again proved to myself that the world is yet a small place afterall and I want to know if any of you have proved it or had similar experiences as me. I am from the small town of West, Tx, population 2500, im sure none of you know this town but I can say its 15 miles north of Waco and a lot of you would say oh yeah I know Waco its where the Wakos live. While I was staying in the Denali Mountain Morning Hostel near Denali National Park in Alaska a few weeks ago then, I met someone who was staying in my bunk house. We chatted for almost an hour or so about where we had travelled, where we were going, and all that usual stuff but then as we finally introduced ourselves we discovered that we were both from the exact small town of West, Tx. The guy use to own the grocery store behind my house 15 years ago and remebered me as a little kid just barely up to my moms hips and I also remembered him then. He had lived in Arlington then for the past 15 years. What are the odds though of running into and actually staying in the same room as someone from your own hometown in the middle of freakin Alaska some 3000 or so miles away from small town West, Tx. I however was not that surprised as I have already proved the world is a small place. Here are a few of my encounters.
1. On a trip to Munich Germany to Octoberfest in Sept 2003 I met a few girls from Oregon and then ran into one of them again on the streets of Florence, Italy 3 days later.
2. On a trip to Rome, Italy I ran into a guy who was there a year ago staying at the same hostel as I and then ran into him again at the same hostel while we were both visiting there again almost a year later.
3. On another trip to Rome I ran into three Navy guys who had actually been visiting one of my friends on the exact same base as me just days before. The were surprised when I said there friends name before they told it to me.
4. I ran into a couple a week later in Greece who was staying at the same hostel as I was in Rome.
5. While I was living in England in the Navy i met an american girl online who was working as a nanny just a few hours north of me. When we finally met a few weeks later when she took a trip down to see me we got to talking about a camping trip we were on a few weeks prior and it turned out we had been at the exact same campsite and were camped across from each other the whole weekend.
I have a few more as well but these are the best.
Any of you proved just how small the world really is?
With almost depressing frequency, yes! I meet somebody i either know or have met before maybe once a month or so (and thats excluding people i have met on that current trip and who could be following a similar route), and somebody that knows somebody i do, knows of me, or has some other tangible connection or similar probably about weekly on average. Its very, very scary, and its almost always in obscure places.
Bear in mind that if you a doing a circular tour of somewhere like Europe, especially in summer, that lots of others will be doing very similar trips, and its not unusual to run into the same people at virtually ever other hostel or train. And in Sth east Europe for example, the number of hostels and `standard routes` is much reduced, so its more unuisual to go somewhere and NOT find a connection - somebody you`ve met before or has met the same people you have on the same trip.
It really is a tiny world.
One of my co-workers was travelling and ran into someone from home who's face she recognized, but couldn't remember his name. So she gave him a big hug and a kiss on each cheek and they said a few brief words and parted ways. Turns out it was some guy who took the same bus as her to work every day.
And I know I have a co-incidence story of my own, but I can't remember it for the life of me!
I´ve heard about a theory in wich we need a chain of maximum six persons to link with everybody in the world.
I have had this happen a number of times also. I stopped over in Bangkok on my way home from Nepal and met a couple of Greek guys whilst buying countless pirated dvd's from some dodgy guy in a carpark. 2 Weeks later I ran into them lost in Sydney.
On my recent trip, me and my friend ran into people we knew from back home randomly in Luang Prabang and a week earlier we had run into her old flatmates in Saigon.
The more this sort of thing happens the more credibility it seems to give to the six degrees of separation thing...
That is very interesting about the 6 person theory. Anybody out there got any more on this?
The game in the U.S. is called 'Six degrees of Bacon'
The theory is...everyone is 6 people away from Kevin Bacon (the actor)
Then there is this:
What are the Six Degrees of Separation?
You may have heard that everyone on Earth is separated from anyone else by no more than six degrees of separation, or six friends of friends of friends. Is that still the case in the global village of the Internet?http://aries.mos.org/sixdegrees/
And here is what Wikipedia says:
I've lost count of the amount of times i bumped into people that i had met on the same trip.
INDIA: My favourite one is 'Karen and Susie', a couple of girls from Armagh who i met in Goa, we toured Palolems bars for a couple of weeks playing guitar and singing for free drinks.
THAILAND: A few weeks later, they spotted me playing pool in the Shamrock Bar on Khao San Road, Bangkok....turns out i was in the room next door to Karen in the Peachy Guest House.
LAOS: About a month later, bumped into them in the night market in Luang Prabang. Sent them north to The Gibbon Experience. They LOVED it. Anyone would.
I met a guy in the Khao San Centre from my home town. I didnt know him, and theres only 4,500 people in my home town. The conversation went something like this:
"Wheres that accent from?"
"No way, whereabouts??!!"
"Opposite the Castle"
"Are you a Beatty?"
"Your Ma taught me at primary school!"
Small world indeed.
If you're really into the 6 degrees theory check out:
or read Albert-Laszlo Barabasi's book: Linked.
I found it fascinating.
I overheard this conversation in a bar:
I guy sat down at a table that was already occupied by a chap drinking a pint of Guinness.
'You look a bit familiar' said the Guinness drinker, 'where are you from?'
'From Cork' said the other chap.
'You don't say! So am I'.
'Really that's a coincidence. What part of town'?
'I grew up on Princes Street'
'No, that's uncanny so did I! What school did you go to, don't tell me St Mary's?'
Yes, to be sure I did. This is unbeleivable!'
Anyway I'd finished my pint so walked up to the bar for a re-fill. As he was pouring me my pint the barman said, 'I see the O'Mahony brothers are at it again'