As I was walking to the library yesterday here in Brisbane, a girl caught my eye. I crossed one of the pedestrian bridges carrying my laptop and as I stepped onto the south bank, two girls were standing there chatting. I thought I recognised them, and upon second glance realised where I had seen them before. One of them was this girl.


I met them on Fraser Island, on the same coach tour for the two days I was there. I liked this shot as the people can be used a reference point to understand the ships size. I didn’t say hello as I was already walking away when trying to figure out how I knew them. I regret it now, as I may never see them again and it would have been nice to know where they have been since Fraser.

Fraser Island is pretty far away from here. For an idea of the distance, I’ve added a map below. You guys should know I love my Google Maps as a reference.


It is a good 8 hours from here, so seeing them again was pretty cool. However this isn’t the first time I have bumped into people in a far away place, nor is the furthest distance. On my travels down the east coast, I bumped into two people in Noosa that I did farmwork with up in northern Queensland.


Pretty far indeed. This became a regular occurrence on my way down the various stops from Ayr to Brisbane, every destination I went to I checked into the same hostels with the same people doing their own thing. I eventually became friends with a group and I would hang out with them wherever we were. People are either going up the east coast or down and often staying in hostels, so bumping into the same people on route is a regular occurrence despite this being the sixth largest country in the world.

I am sure I will keep seeing people I have met whilst I travel, and I like that it is so easy to do so in Australia.

Still, Noosa isn’t the most impressive example of this.

When I visited New York City in 2008 with college, I was checking out of my hotel quite close to the Empire State Building. As we were all sitting with our bags waiting for the coach to pick us up, I heard ‘Sam, is that you?‘. We all looked up to see who was asking, and it turned out to be a friend from my hometown. I couldn’t believe it, and it still didn’t sink in as I was boarding the coach. How crazy was it to be on the other side of the world yet in the same building as a friend from home?


Have you ever bumped into someone in a place you wouldn’t expect? Where were you at the time?

The world is a very small place.



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38 thoughts

  1. Yes, sometimes it happens to me too and I always like to say “how small is this world”. I’ve relocated 6 years ago to Singapore and only after a few months, Facebook was suggesting me friends nearby…and I was puzzled to find an old friend which I did not see from when I was a kid…we come from the same country but we did not see each other for more than 20 years and then we find each other at more than 10,000km…☺️

  2. My first overseas destination was London and it was great knowing that I knew nobody, I was free. Wrong! In busy Kensington High Street I was recognised by a former work mate. No escape!

  3. Sort of….One of my school mates came up behind me in a store in a city we had moved to. She & her husband had also moved to this same city. Her husband worked at the same company my husband did, & they knew each other!

    1. That is nice to know that you knew someone in this new city. And regarding your second comment, I understand the size of the province makes this pretty impressive!

  4. Happened to me a couple of times when I was living in London. I was stood next to a friend I had been at school with on the platform of Euston Station underground and it turned out he was living about a quarter of a mile from me in north London. Another time I was crossing the Thames when I met someone I had been at art school with, he was in London for the day.

    1. A few readers have mentioned people they have met from school including yourself and I cannot help to think that schools and colleges are great for introducing us to so many people. It would probably surprise us if we were able to count how many people we have met in our lives and would recognise again in the future, and this makes it much more possible to bump into people anywhere in the world!

      1. After I posted my response I remembered another small world incident. I was at the Reading Rock Festival when I met someone I had been at art school with. A couple of years later I was walking along Finchley Road in north west London and met her again. It turned out that she was living in the area.

      2. I love this not just for the double meeting, but because of Reading Festival. I went to Leeds because it was closer. But a great festival!

  5. It’s so strange how this can happen! It’s happened to me a few times. When I was travelling, I did a tour of Uluru and the surrounds… then I bumped into a couple of girls who were on that tour when I checked into a hostel in New Zealand!

    1. It is so strange how easy it is to meet the same people in hostels… even internationally like you have! It’s as if the backpacker community is a small one with just the same people hopping between hostels, haha.

  6. Interesting post! I once worked at a hospital and passed this lady every day in the big main corridor for several years but somehow we never even managed a nod between us. During a holiday in Europe I was disembarking a ferry in Belgium, and ….. yes,

    1. She was there? Isn’t it funny that sometimes we don’t find the urge to talk to one another but as soon as we meet in a different environment it gets us talking. It’s a good ice breaker for sure!

      1. Yes, for sure! One of the advantages of travelling alone too I think. It always makes me want to chat to new people which I tend not to do if I have company.

      2. Absolutely. I tell people that are nervous about travelling alone that they shouldn’t be, as there is no better way to make friends!

  7. I feel that my blog name fits much better with your posts than it does with mine 🙂 “It’s a small world”, isn’t it?
    And to give a really recent example to prove it, here’s a fragment of my story: About two years ago, I went to China on summer camp and met this chinese girl I got along with really well. Turns out the year I’m leaving home for university, she decides to study her 3rd year in the same city I’m studying too! And it gets even crazier… we literally live 5 minutes away from each other in Romania’s capital city, Bucharest xD We actually met last night and it was awesome to see each other again!

    1. Haha wow! So it wasn’t even meeting in either of your countries, it was in a neutral city! So crazy. But great to hear you met again recently 🙂

  8. I live on a small island (Isle of Man 🇮🇲) and when I first moved here in 2000, worked with a very small team of 5 people. I left that job 2 years later. In 2011 I bumped into one of my ex coworkers who I hadn’t seen for 9 years up a mountain in Yosemite, CA, USA. (I haven’t seen her since!)

    I have also bumped into a client at Tampa Airport, and in 2010, been on a plane from UK to Florida and bumped into a former colleague from when I lived in Jersey (🇯🇪) as well as a fellow member of a Male Voice Choir in Jersey from my time living there, up to 2000.

    1. A few encounters! It must be strange to bump into someone you know up a mountain, I can only imagine the surprise you both shared haha. All of them are such big distances too, which really adds to it!

      Thanks for sharing, very cool.

  9. I am completely agreeable to this. Australia is the one that makes small grand. The other side of the world is not something that includes me in my lifetime. Australian coastal camping trip to add to my senior years at a little more blog activity will be beneficial. 😁 also known as the most safest place in the world helps me stay grounded.
    However I do enjoy seeing it through your eyes and other writers

    1. Thank you for commenting, I love to blog of my travels and pleased you can relate to this. I hope you keep reading my travel posts! 🙂

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