Small World

Once I started traveling, I got used to running into same people here and there, sometimes across the country, sometimes across the world. Some of the stories are quite fun by themselves, but I wanted to share one from a week and a half ago when I was in Portland for the World Domination Summit (which deserves a blog post of its own). When I signed up for WDS back in April, I mentioned in the blog post that there were two other attendees coming, one from Tulsa area and one from Kansas City. By itself, it was quite remarkable since there were very few people coming from the "heartland".

As I mentioned back then, I played stalker and found both Jonathan and Sammi on Facebook, sent them messages introducing myself and… have not heard anything back.

I wondered why that was the case. After all, we had something in common by coming to this event. But then I figured out why - and it is once again a peril of Facebook.

Did you know that at some point Facebook started separating messages from people you do not know into a separate Inbox, sort of a spam filter?

Well, they did. To top it off, there is no way to tell you have a message in that Inbox until you actually go directly to your messages inbox, rather than selecting a message from the drop down list.

I found out the hard way when I finally 'discovered' this in March to find messages dated as far back as November from some of the people I met while traveling.

So fast forward to WDS, day 1. During one of the break-out sessions in the afternoon, I was in a classroom of about 25-30 people. The topic of our session was How Not To Let Overwhelm Kick Your Ass and as part of it, we had to do some exercises with our neighbor. Because we were in a rush, this was the first (and possibly the only) person I met that I did not ask where they were from. Only after the conference was over and we connected on Twitter and Facebook, I realized that it was Sammi - the lady from Tulsa!

But that is not all. At the end of day 2, after we finished up with the 'official' program for the day, I ended up talking to a few guys and we decided to go back to the place they rented on AirBnB to cook dinner and enjoy the view of Portland skyline from the roof. As we were walking there and introducing each other, one of the guys turned out to be Jonathan - the guy from Kansas City who lives almost across the road from where I used to live there.

We had a great time and ended up hanging out with Jonathan the next day and will definitely meet up next time I am in Kansas City. Similarly, I have met up with Sammi and her son in Tulsa already to keep the 'high' from WDS going.

So, small world? Or was it 'meant' to be? Or was it the result of me making a conscious effort to reach out to them prior?

Whatever it is, it is wonderful how these things work out in the end!