Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Incredible, mind-blowing stories: Running into unexpected friends far from home

This is part two of the responses we got to our small world RVing question asking RVers to share their real-life, small-world experiences. Click back to read part one for some really strange ones of people having multiple experiences at once, finding long-lost relatives, and more.

In this post, we are focusing on times people ran into friends, or friends of friends, far from home. It happens more frequently than you think! Here’s what you shared.

Small world RVing: Old friends in new places

“I met Chuck Woodbury while traveling through Wisconsin. I recognized their Winnebago Class C with WA plates and waited until they pulled over.”
—Drew M.

“We took a trip to Cody, WY. While standing in line at a small store, I turned around and behind us was our next-door neighbors from Jacksonville, FL.”
—John A.

“I was hiking in the tundra in Rocky Mountain National Park. One thing I love about the tundra is you can see for miles. For some time I watched a small dot in the distance evolve into a person hiking from the opposite direction. Eventually, we came face to face. To our amazement, we knew each other from Indiana, having worked in the same lab years earlier in graduate school.”
—Terrie U.

“We lived near Charleston, SC, but were visiting New York City. While walking through the Natural History Museum, our then fourth-grade son crossed paths with a classmate (also visiting from SC) and said, ‘Hey Javar.’ Javar said, ‘Hey Jacob.’ And they both walked on in opposite directions.”
—Peter S.

“My wife and I took our new trailer on its maiden trip about an hour away on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Next door to our site was a 5th wheel. As we were setting up, the couple next door started chatting and we eventually introduced ourselves. We joked about the proper spelling of our names, Brian or Bryan. I started telling about my grade 5 class having five Brians, in a school in a very small town in Saskatchewan. He asked where that was, as he lived a short distance away. When I told him where I was from, he blurted out that he lived there for a year. When he told me his last name, we both realized that we were two of the five Bryans in that class 58 years before!”
—Bryan L.

“Nearly every time we go on a trip my husband will strike up a conversation with a stranger and end up knowing someone in common. Case in point, we’re from Michigan and in Silver City, NM, ran into a woman whose sister was the ex of my husband’s old boss. Running into someone who knows someone my husband knows is freakishly common. He’s also met former high school friends that he hasn’t seen since graduation thousands of miles from home.”
—Marty D.

“We’re from NC. After retirement we traveled the West in our motorhome. One night we settled into a campground near Colorado National Monument. On a walk around our loop, I saw a license plate from NC, so I walked around to the other side to see if the owners were home. They were a couple that I had worked with years ago from the little town of Waynesville. The shock was evident. One in a million chance.”
—Dave I.

“Camping at the Grand Canyon, we decided to walk some of the ridge trails. We walked into one of the enclosed observation areas and were laughing about something when we all heard ‘OMG, LaDonna is here!’ It was the mom of one of the cub scouts that was in my pack back in Louisiana. She had recognized my laugh!”
—LaDonna S.

“I worked for the military and we lived in Eastern North Carolina until 2009. There was an older couple there that befriended us. In 2015 we were on a “dream” vacation to Yellowstone. On our last day, my wife needed to stop for a bathroom break. The rest stop was crowded. All of the sudden, she takes off (totally out of character for her) and practically chases down a man. She recognized the man’s voice as our former neighbor in NC. They were out west for a big family reunion. Truly a small world!”
—Bruce W.

“My wife and I were traveling somewhere through the mid-west heading to our home in California when we pulled into a rest stop. While there I noticed an RV with California plates. Being an extrovert (a word I like better than ‘big mouth’), I had no problem starting a conversation. From there the location questions whittled down until it was discovered that the woman, Susan, and my wife had not only graduated from the same high school together more than 35 years before but were best of friends!”
—Eric K.

“My husband and I are from the Dallas area. We had stopped over in Frankfort, Kentucky, 890 miles from our home in Texas. The people in the campsite next to us not only were from the same town in Texas, but the man had also gone to high school with my husband and … wait for it … my husband had actually dated the man’s sister in high school!”
—Dawn A.

Friends of friends

“While in an upper NY state park, we met a couple from Alexandria, VA, who recognized our last name. He said, ‘You wouldn’t know Bob V. would you?’ Why, yes, he’s my brother. Turned out they were my nephew’s Godparents!”
—Roger V.

“In 2016, we spent the summer RVing in Alaska. At one of the many pull-offs on the way to Valdez we notice a pickup camper with Minnesota license plates. We are from a small city in southern Minnesota so we asked them where they were from. They said, ‘Oh, you probably haven’t even heard about it. We live in the country just west of Medford.’ I replied that I have a friend that lives out that way and mentioned his name. His reply… ‘He’s my neighbor!'”
—Dwayne N.

“Years ago I pulled over at the entrance to Valley of Fire State Park, in Nevada. I noticed another RV pulled over and its license plate showed it was from the same county in Florida where my office was located. I struck up a conversation and it turns out they were clients of my office.”
—Jon Y.

“Hubby and I were sitting in the waiting room of an RV repair center in Elkhart, IN, along with another gentleman. We got to talking and found we were both full-timers. As the conversation continued, the gentleman said things that connected with us in a way I couldn’t make out at first. Finally, he made a comment to which I interrupted and asked his name. When he told us, we whooped and realized he was the brother of my mother-in-law’s husband, whom we had heard about and knew was an RVer. When he heard our names, he, too, knew of us.”
—Lee Ann B.

“We spent a night in Rock Springs, WY, a couple of years ago. While walking the dog I had a conversation with a woman who said she was from Truckee, CA, and I said so was my brother, Tim. She didn’t know him but maybe her father did, and called him out of their RV. He had a WHOA moment and said he was Tim’s boss for years and they played senior softball together. He said he saw Tim the day they left on their trip!”
—Jim K.

“We were in Savannah (3,000 miles from home) on a trolley tour of the city. Two women were talking to other tourists and said something like, ‘We are from the dreariest, rainiest city in the country.’ My husband turned around and jokingly said, ‘You must be from Eureka‘ (CA, where he grew up). They said, ‘We are!’ They knew his mom and other family members and friends.”
—Diane M.

“We were part of an Airstream Caravan heading north to Churchill, MB. At one of our gatherings, we were telling our fellow travelers a little about ourselves and mentioned where we lived. A traveler commented that his best friend and best man at his wedding lived in that town. It turned out that his best friend was our next-door neighbor.”
—Randall G.

Make sure you didn’t miss part one!




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Wayne Caldwell
22 days ago

“It’s a small world” stories: Back around ’86 when I was stationed at Goodfellow AFB, Texas, Chuck would come into my office while I was starting my workday and we would chat while drinking coffee. One day Chuck asked how he could find out where someone was stationed. I asked who it was and he said “You probably wouldn’t know him, but his name is Donald Smith (not the real last name). I replied, ” Yeah, I know him”. Chuck said, “Oh, BS, there’s no way you could know him”. I looked at Chuck and.said, “Think back ten years ago when you were stationed at Nellis AFB, Nevada. In your little Orderly Room was a young lady, about 5’4″, brown eyes, brown hair. Her name was Linda”. He said, “Ok, so what?” I smiled and said “Linda is my sister. Donald is her husband. And they’re stationed at Offutt AFB, Nebraska”. Chuck was speechless.

robert gardner
23 days ago

In the mid 1970’s I was on holiday from my job in Esfahan, Iran. We were in Paris and bought tickets for an evening show at the Moulin Rouge. In the middle of the performance I heard a laugh that I knew from an earlier life. Turned around and at the second table behind us was a man and his wife that I had worked for as a teenager in Indiana during the early 1960’s! We had not seen each other or corresponded for 10 years! It truly is a small world!

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