The song says, “It’s a Small World After All.” Last week we asked about your RVing real-life small-world experiences.
What do we mean by a real-life small-world experience? Things like meeting friends, or friends of friends, far from home and other strange phenomena that make you think, “Wow! It really is a small world!”
These scenarios happen all the time. In fact, I was surprised at the large number of responses we got on this one. So many, in fact, I could not possibly include them all in one post. I apologize if yours did not make it in yet, but I am only allowed so much space in a post. I broke this post up into two parts, so make sure to check back next Saturday for part two.
This week we cover the really off-the-wall and kind of weird ones. Stay tuned next week when people ran into friends from home, and friends of friends, in the oddest of places and circumstances.
So, without further ado, on with the show!
Weird real-life small-world encounters: When it rains it pours!
“In Boquillas, Mexico you have to take a row boat across the Rio Grande from Big Bend National Park in Texas, then walk, then ride a donkey or truck to get to town and go through customs. Four couples ended up at a little café for lunch. We started talking to the couple at the table closest to us and found out they were from a town in Michigan where we knew a family that had a big farm. The couple’s daughter worked for the family. The next couple heard us say we were from Kentucky. They were, as well. My husband knew someone they knew at the University. So the last couple spoke up and said that we wouldn’t know anyone from their area as they were from Canada. We actually did know a family in their town who they knew as well!”
“The wife and I were in our RV about 1,500 miles from home. While checking in I heard the man in front of me say he was from my hometown. The counter man laughed about it saying what a coincidence, there was another camper from the same town. I got the site number and met the family and found they lived just around the corner from us. Three RVs from the same town meeting in the same park!”
“While walking a campground in Grand Junction, CO, I passed a camper that had a Michigan sign. Originally being from MI, I stopped to talk and discovered we both knew a friend from an up north city. As a matter of fact, this person had just spent an evening with them before going camping. Two weeks later we were camped in CA and walking around we see the same MI sign! We stop to chat again. It was weird to have this conversation again, much like déjà vu.”
Long-lost relatives found
“While hosting in a State Forest campground, we were greeting incoming campers and noticed a sign displayed on a campsite with the same last name as a relative. We greeted the family at the campsite and commented on their last name. Turns out that the husband’s grandfather was one of my grandmother’s brothers, whom I had known very well as a child.”
“I was a teenage girl traveling with my parents from Boston, in Miami on spring break, trying to ignore the fact I was with the family. All of a sudden I hear my Dad exclaiming with joy and turn to see him hugging a woman, not my Mom, right on the beach. It was his sister from southern Connecticut that we hadn’t seen in years. I’m 75 now and still smile at the memory of that travel encounter.”
You can never go home!
“As a young boy traveling with my parents, we entered a store in Oasis, Utah, to get some lunch. It had been forty years since my dad had been back there since moving away when he was nine years old. Immediately a man came up to my dad, called him by name and said ‘I’d know you anywhere, you’re the first person to tell me that there’s no Santa Claus!'”
Hey, isn’t that our RV?
“In early 2020, my boyfriend and I bought a new Tiffin Allegro and traded in our 2015 Tiffin Phaeton. This happened in Florida. Several months later, we were in a campground near Columbia, SC, and saw a Phaeton that looked very similar to our old one. My boyfriend went to take a closer look and came back shaking his head in disbelief. ‘It’s our old Phaeton,’ he said. He recognized markings that were unique to our old RV. How do you like that for a small world?”
That wasn’t supposed to happen!
“In the late 1980s, I was a Sgt. shift commander on the night shift for a Sheriff’s department near St. Louis. I rarely saw the day shift or evening shift sergeants. It was a policy that as shift commanders we could not take a vacation at the same time. About four days into my vacation my wife and I decided to stop at Wall Drug. While walking through one of the stores I was down at the end of one of the aisles. If I remember correctly, these aisles were so long you could see the curvature of the earth in knickknacks! I looked up and thought I saw my fellow sergeant. I took a couple of steps back, as did he. I was correct. Our Captain had boo booed and signed off on both our requests for the same time off. Here we were 1,500 miles from home. We both enjoyed our vacation time and enjoyed that our Lt. and Capt. had to fill in for us.”
Folks from home, far from home
“We were traveling toward Chicago from Louisville and stopped off in Northwest Indiana. It was mid-morning and my wife had her hair in curlers. She said that we wouldn’t know anyone. She goes to the restroom and when she comes out, she was startled to see me talking with friends that we had volunteered with in the Texas Hill Country a few years prior. They spotted her before she could dart out the door to our RV.”
“Let me preface this with the knowledge that my father was a car salesman in a small town. He knew EVERYONE! I worked in a retail environment with close interaction with my customers. Many people knew me, much to the dismay of my sons. It was a source of embarrassment that wherever we went, someone would surely know me and delay us with conversation. While traveling, we stopped at a Walmart for forgotten toothbrushes. Barely in the door, a voice rang out; ‘Hey, Dan, how the hell you doing?’ My youngest slipped away but grumbled ‘I can’t believe it. 2,000 miles from home and you still know somebody!’”
“About 15 to 20 years ago, we were packing up after a weekend at what was once called Walnut Hills Campground in Virginia. The couple in the site next door were packing up, as well. The conversation among us included the typical ‘heading home?’ and ‘Where is home?’ The gentleman reluctantly began to admit that he and his wife were leaving earlier than planned because they got news about an unauthorized party their teenagers had thrown in their absence that had been busted up by the police. He told my husband ‘I can tell you this because we don’t know each other.’ But as fate would have it, we lived just down the street from his neighborhood!”
Be sure to tune in next week for more of your amazing real-life small-world encounters! There are some good ones coming up.
I’m from Needville, Texas, a town of 1000 in the 70s. Recently, while camping on at a 25 site hill top RV park that straddled the states of NM and CO, while walking the dogs as people do around sundown, we met a man from Beasley, Tx, a community of about 60 people about 6 miles away from Needville. Another example. Recently, while camping in Bandera, Tx. we mentioned my 50 year HS reunion and the person’s name organizing it. Our neighbor gasped as the person was her college roommate. Most incredible. While camping at Garner State Park in the remote SW region of the Texas HIll country in the mid 70s, my girlfriend and I floated down river for over a mile. We thought we were very alone, only then we spied another couple floating down river as well. When we got close enough we discovered they were old friends from Needville which is approximately 250 miles away. All these encounters makes one wonder who you may have just missed.
While RVing in Florida we spent a day at Seaworld. We hail from a small southern Vermont town, population less than 800. While watching baby animals my husband suddenly found himself elbow to elbow with a lady from our Town! We turned and their whole family was standing there. Oh, its a small world.
I think being a campground volunteer probably increases the chances of these encounters because you come in contact with so many people in a day. Even on the road, there has not been one trip we can think of where we did not have some kind of “close encounter.” For us the strangest encounter was the one where we actually left the RV at home!
We had a large diesel pusher and for short trips it was sometimes just easier to leave it at home and rent a cabin at the park. We were a few hours from home when we checked into the park. My husband got to talking to the ranger and mentioned that we did have a camper but were going to sell it because it was bigger than we needed. A gentleman who was visiting the office overheard us, said his father was looking for one, and ending up buying our RV!
Just today at a funeral ran into a lady I worked with 52 years ago, and that she lives just across the highway from us.
I was well over two thousand miles from home, during public school vacation week, having dinner and multiple drinks in a nice restaurant with my husband. A man walked slowly past our table and said my name… When I looked up, he introduced himself as the father (whom I had not previously met) of one of my current kindergarten students! He gestured toward the rest of his family, sitting at a nearby table. We had an awkward friendly chat until our entrees finally arrived. The child was completely flabbergasted.
Had a friend who is a Kansas farmer, he was visiting Point Barrow Ak. They were at some venue when he heard someone yell “what the hell are you doing here?” It was a fellow farmer who lived about four miles away!
Very interesting, Steve. Reminds me of my dad being stationed at Point Barrow as a Seabee during WWII. While there, even though he was a very intelligent guy, he pulled a Ralphie and, on a dare, stuck his tongue on a frozen ax blade. He lost part of his tongue, but I think he gained a little wisdom in the process. Have a great day! 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
we were in Buena Vista CO for Gold Rush Days last summer we were hiking across the Arkansas river. We ran into some friends hiking. We are from Black Mountain NC