This may sound strange but it seems that no matter where I go in the world I always seem to meet the one other Irish person in that pub, street, country!!! Does this happen to other people too? Don't get me wrong I love my fellow country men / women (most of the time). But does this happen to other people too? And also do other people find that everywhere they go they meet loads of people from their own country. I honestly think if all the Irish people I met travelling were to come home to the Island it would sink!!! Surely we are not the only people who travel on mass to everywhere else in the world!!!!!!
Its seems to me that most people i bump into abroad are Brits, Irish and Australians. The Scandinavians and Americans seem to spread their wings far and wide as well. I don't go out of my way to avoid fellow Brits ever, but they just seem everywhere. When in Bali an Aussie girl complained to me in Paddys Bar that there were too many Brits, only to be horrified when i answered with my Pom accent. I think you naturally hear accents from home and it's an easy ice-breaker - "where are you from back home" etc etc.
sometimes I overhear tourists speaking in my native language and I listen to them - it's tempting to know what they think about their travell without interrupting their conversation. Sometimes it's a funny thing to do.
If you move off the bitten track and mix with the locals you would hardly meet any of english speakers.
I usually find the largest number of travellers you encounter around the world are Brits & Germans, after that Dutch, Canadians, Aussies, & Swedes (Israeli's in selected places) ... just a numbers' thing. Not really many Irish. Of course Americans have their own part of the world, and short annual vacations.
+Recently in Thailand, there seemed to be a lot more Americans than usual. Could've just been attributable to high season, and winter at home.
I'm Australian myself. If I go anywhere with few or no Aussies, I don't mind. Culturally, we're close enough to being British .. and you have to love the English lads whenever they've got a beer in their hand.
It would be remiss not to comment on Americans at this juncture, from an Australian point of view. An old Australian man stated to me once, "... if it wasn't for the Americans, we'd all (Aussies) be speaking Japanese today...". A lot of pople like to take cheap shots at the Yanks, but my attitude is that you may not always agree with what your friends do,but that doesn't stop them from being your friends.
I always bump into Canadians! We're not hard to spot after all, we're adorned with Canadian flags head-to-toe It's pretty great. I always land up getting more email adresses and contact info from Canadians than anyone else, which is pretty funny. It's a small world...
Damn Canadians are everywhere.
Someone I work with, upon hearing that I was just in Tanzania, put me in touch with someone who works in our Radnor, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. office who was just there as well. Turns out that she and her husband had just got back from Tanzania and Kenya, and despite working in the U.S., were both Canadians!
Even when I think I am meeting someone from another country, I am actually meeting Canadians.
I can't always tell a Canadian accent from an American one, but I'm always on the lookout for Quebecers when I travel. The French accent here is pretty unique, so it can be spotted it pretty easily. I've managed to bump into Quebecers everywhere - and have this irristable urge to go up and talk to them every time. It's particluarly tempting when you're pretty sure they don't think anyone else on the bus/train/restaurant can speak French...
And as daveh mentioned, it's a nice icebreaker to get a conversation started.
On or off the beaten path, I (we) have met quite a few Americans and Canadians. Our last trip was Panama, where we actually met more Dutch - most looking at Panama as a possible relacation spot. Americans are usually easy to spot because they are the ones whining about something. (Our experience, not everyone's.) The Canadians we have met have been the most easy going group.
Irish pubs everywhere, normally with an Aussie barmaid and an old Irish guy. In europe, i run into Canadians and Americans mostly, and thousands of them. Some Australiansd/Kiwi's and other Europeans, but generally in travelling & hostels, very few. I only extremely rarely run into other Brits, which is quite odd.
Us dutchies are everywhere!