It seems coincidences run abundant when traveling. We’ve crossed paths with other travelers multiple times, randomly stumbled upon places we’d heard about from friends and wound up having common acquaintances back in the U.S. with people we’ve met along the way. The world is a very small place. It’s made even smaller with modern communications. Some of our most bizarre travel coincidences have involved Brian and other people’s international calls.
During our time in Cambodia Brian became a regular patron at a small shop down the street from his office. Every day he would take a break to buy a coconut and some pineapple from a woman and her husband. One day while he was paying, the woman looked at him and asked “USA?” She then turned her phone toward him, pointed at the video call she was on and said “USA!” It turned out she was talking to her daughter who lived in Speedway, Indiana, an Indianapolis suburb about 10 minutes away from where Brian grew up. He talked to a woman living a short drive away from his parents’ house as he stood in her parents’ shop in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Another weird coincidence came up in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This quiet airport didn’t have the usual busy chaos in its immigration process. In fact, it was so slow that the woman processing our passports was on a video call with someone. When she saw Brian’s passport she pointed to his birthplace and asked, “Indiana?” Then she pointed at her phone, showed Brian the guy she was talking to and it turns out he’s in Evansville, Indiana. Several minutes of introductions and conversation ensued with this fellow Hoosier who served his country in Vietnam.
In both situations Brian wound up meeting total strangers located in his home state while he was on the other side of the planet. We’re sure other random connections to Indiana will be making appearances on this trip. We still have half the world to go, so it’s only a matter of time.