Thursday, March 03, 2016

Big Coincidences on a Little Island: A "Small World" Story and Beach Bum Dream

The other night, I was sitting at the beach bar with one of my girlfriends having an interesting discussion about books we're reading and such (I recently just binged on all of Francesca Marciano's books, if you are curious), when I spied another girl across the bar. I had seen her before and knew she lived on-island. There was something familiar about her, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I chalked it up to small-island life and left it at that.

I continued chatting with my friend and casually mentioned something about Chicago when all of a sudden the girl across the bar perks up and says, "Did you go to Loyola University and live in Mertz Hall?" Astonished at the mention of these far off places from my past, I looked up. With a mix of shock, confusion and anticipation I replied, "I did!" She busted out laughing and with a huge smile said, "I knew it was you!!!" banging her fist on the bar to punctuate being spot-on. Her smile showed her pride in finally solving the mystery of vague familiarity that we both had been pondering. "I lived in Mertz Hall too! We went to college together!" I immediately went over to her side of the bar and mentioned how she had looked so familiar to me each time I saw her. Of course, we laughed and hugged. When you make such an odd connection in such an unlikely place, there is really nothing else to do.

We got to chatting. While we didn't hang out together in college, we met once at a house party and she said she never forgot that I told her I always wanted to live on a beach and be a beach bum (which at the time she thought was very strange and impractical, and I must admit - seems highly unambitious for a college student). What's even more strangely coincidental (and pretty incredible!) is that we both lived in Africa for three years after college during the exact same period. What are the odds of that? She in West Africa (Ghana), me in East Africa (Tanzania). And now, we both live on the amazing little island of Tortola. It's come full circle. Wild.

So...Here's to small-world connections and collegiate dreams of being a beach bum in the islands coming to fruition! 
It's a small world, but we run in big circles.
- Sasha Azevedo
(I previously shared this story on our Facebook Page and it got such a great response, I thought I'd transpose it here as well. Hope you enjoyed!)


Tasha | Turf to Surf said...

I love this and the fact that the world is so small. For a little while, I used to collect phrases/idioms in other languages that translated to that idea that "it's a small world." I think it was in Russia they used to say "the world is like a handkerchief" meaning if two people were on opposite sides of the handkerchief and you folded it up, it would wrinkle and the people would find themselves right next to each other. And I can't remember what language it was now that said something like "the world is a bowl" - as in, everyone is walking around the edge of the bowl, but if you fall off, you all end up in the middle of the bowl together. I find it incredible whenever I run into someone I know unexpectedly in some far-flung corner of the world.

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