Readers share stories of coincidences traveling halfway around the world from home


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Travel is said to broaden the mind. In a weird way, it can also shrink the world. I asked readers to share the small-world coincidences they encountered while on vacation.

In 2016, Luisa Girlando from Annapolis made a three-week trip to Morocco. His group’s tour guide was a 32-year-old man from the Atlas Mountains who lived in Marrakech.

“Two years later, in 2018, I was walking down the street in Copenhagen and stopped short,” Luisa wrote. “There was my Moroccan tourist guide! We stopped and chatted for a few minutes about the serendipity of seeing each other again thousands of miles away.

In 1998, Catherine Baron and her husband, At first — both teachers — took their 16-year-old son, Michael, during a trip to Europe. By the time they arrived in Prague, Michael had had enough European restaurant food. He wanted pizza.

“Our hotel concierge said the best pizza in Prague was in a little out of the way place on a small pedestrian street and on an even smaller street that ended in a dead end,” wrote Catherine, who lives in Fredericksburg. , Go. It was a challenge to find, but they found it.

“However, even before we sat down, we were called by a voice we recognized – the voice of a fellow teacher,” Catherine wrote. “Turns out he, his wife and 16-year-old daughter were also traveling, and the parents had heard the same request: pizza.”

In 1983, Alexandria Mary Goldwag and her husband, Ed, made a trip to China. While Mary was in the ladies’ room at the Summer Palace in Beijing, Ed chatted with another husband who was expecting him.

“When the two of us ladies emerged and we all exchanged names, I found out the other lady was someone I knew,” Mary wrote.

It was his ninth-grade English teacher from Taft Junior High in northeast Washington. “My professor has since graduated from law school and served as a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Columbia,” Mary wrote. “She later became Chief Justice.”

In 1994, norma and Burt Kirschner traveled to Israel with their friends Gloria and Fred when something in a bookstore window caught Gloria’s attention.

“I want to read this book,” Gloria said as she ran into the store.

Norma wrote: ‘We followed her and Fred said, ‘We have two more weeks here. Why carry that? When we come back to Silver Spring, you can buy it. ”

A male customer in the store turned sharply and said, “Silver Spring, Maryland? I just bought a house on Lamberton Drive.

Norma says to Gloria, “Isn’t that Jan and Len lived?”

It turned out that the man had just bought the house from their friends Jan and Len.

In 1972, Jim Yenckel boarded a train in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, bound for Singapore.

“Pulling my backpack to my seat, I spotted a seated woman whose face looked familiar,” wrote District’s Jim.

Jim kept walking, then turned around for a second look. Nearby, the woman was standing.

“Jim? she asked. And then Jim knew.

“She was Valley, secretary of the English-language newspaper in Santiago, Chile, where I had worked eight years earlier,” he wrote. “I was always jeemnot Jim, to her. Like me, she and her friend were exploring Southeast Asia.

In the summer of 1973, Annapolis’s Bernie Wulff and his wife, Louisatook their daughters, Katherine (then 7 years old) and Cynthia (then 5), on a six-week European vacation. As she stood on a crowded Paris metro platform near Notre-Dame Cathedral, Louise mentioned that their daughters were the only young children she could see, before adding: “Except that family there. -down.”

“That family over there” turned out to be friends from Baltimore with their two young children.

On a trip to Europe years ago, Terry Mitchell met several people he knew.

“I worked in the Pentagon press briefing room and had completed a briefing with a Marine general,” Terry, from Alexandria, wrote. “The next day I flew out and landed at Schiphol Airport [in Amsterdam] and as I was coming down the jet way, the general was standing there. He looked a little surprised when I said hello to him.

Next stop: Italy. Terry was standing outside a store on the Isle of Capri in the pouring rain when a couple ran towards him.

“We used to take the bus to the subway together,” Terry wrote.

On his way home from the same trip, Terry was delayed overnight at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. When the return flight was called for boarding, Terry and another woman stood up. She was a correspondent from the Pentagon who knew Terry from his work.

“We both said ‘What are you doing here?’ to each other,” Terry wrote. “I should have bought a lottery ticket after that trip.”

Tomorrow: No more travel coincidences.

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