Published: Oct. 27, 2015

As many of you may know, for the first half of 2015, I spent six months traveling on a gap Ben and friend
year. As would be expected, I met a lot of new friends on my travels, some more than once. There was a girl whom I had met in a hostel in Queenstown, New Zealand—I then happened to bump into her in Siem Reap, Cambodia and then again in Lausanne, Switzerland. Talk about a small world! Going off of this idea of a small world, I have also met another person from my travels, right here in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. It can be magical to see people in this fashion, over and over again in different locations around the globe—and it can be magical for the people I meet now to finally see me without a grizzly beard.

The subject of this story is a woman, whom we will name Jess. I had met Jess in Greece, initially when she walked into my hostel and claimed the bed next to mine. We got to talking about where we had traveled, and then decided to summit a mountain in the middle of Athens for the sunset. As we peaked the mountain, we talked about where she should go next, and I suggested she go to Japan and Southeast Asia. So, to my surprise as I saw her Facebook photos once we parted ways, that’s exactly what she did. I continued to follow Jess’ travels even after mine had come to an end. One day, I see that she posts a photo from Rocky Mountain National Park, so I get in contact with her—she had apparently moved to Denver. So we set up a time and place to meet and catch up.

It was one of the strangest things ever seeing someone I had met traveling in a normal, unexotic setting. I’m sure that she felt the same, as the first thing she said to me was “I can see your face!” Over a coffee, we talked all about her travels post-Greece and my attempt at integrating back into a life of studying. After thoroughly catching up, we went on a stroll through Pearl Street, remarking the whole time at how the culture here is very reminiscent of the backpacker culture in Thailand and Cambodia. We bought maybe too many posters and too many shirts and fulfilled our shopping desires, and focused our attention on our stomachs. We discussed our travel plans for the future, and I helped Jess with information on her upcoming trip to Iceland. Unfortunately, dusk began to fall and Jess had to catch the bus back to Denver. We parted ways, and before she left, she remarked on how people always meet at least three times in their lives. I’m most certainly looking forward to the third time in the future.