It is a surprisingly small world sometimes. Here are two experiences I’ve had which underline this fact.
Haven’t I met you before?
When I was in Haiti, there was a girl from London who was part of the same group. She told me that if I ever came to London I should contact her and she would show me around. Well, the next year my job sent me to India, and it turned out I was flying through Heathrow. I took a weekend layover and got in touch with her to let her know I’d be there and to see if her offer was still good.
I spent the night on the couch of a guy she knew, and then the next day I took the tube out to Charing Cross Station so we could meet up at Trafalgar Square. She showed up with a girlfriend of hers and a guy from Canada who also happened to be visiting. The two girls showed us around London, and it was a great time. The four of us got dinner together and then went our separate ways.
A year later, I ran into that same Canadian guy at a conference in Denver, Colorado. We had the weirdest “don’t I know you from somewhere?” interaction until we realized where we had previously met.
How many people are from North Carolina?
When I first visited New Zealand, I flatted with a couple of guys from the church there who had a house with a spare room. One of my flatmates asked me what state I was from. When I said “North Carolina”, he responded “oh, I know some people from North Carolina!” I just laughed. After all, North Carolina has a lot of people, over twice the population of the entire country of New Zealand.
Well, it turns out that I actually did know this couple. I had been present at their engagement, which was at a beach party in Virginia a couple of years before. I didn’t know either of them very well, but I had met both of them before.
The next year, after moving to New Zealand, I was in downtown Auckland. My flight had just landed, and I’d put my stuff in the hostel room I was staying at until I found an apartment. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and lost, and honestly was just wandering around the city aimlessly. Auckland is a city of 1.4 million people, and within half an hour I ran into the girl from North Carolina that I knew from before.