Oh My God! You’re from Canada?

5 Apr

When traveling, it’s funny how meeting someone from your native country is so exciting. It’s as if they’re your neighbours or something and you feel like you need to catch up on each other’s lives. I definitely fell victim to doing this.

When you meet other travellers it’s seems as if the initial exchange is always the same.

“What places have you been so far on your trip?”

“Where are you going next?”

Then there are the other, simple, polite questions about how old you are, whether or not you’re traveling solo, what do you do for a living, etc.

However, the most significant questions, it seems, is:

“Where are you from?”

This is pretty much the first thing someone asks me (sometimes even before they ask what my name is!).

If you’re both from the same country? Instant conversation starter. Instant feeling of belonging. Instant feeling of comfort. At least, that’s how it felt for me, especially as a solo traveller.

And it’s exciting! As if people don’t travel and it’s SO odd to meet someone from the same country as you (do you hear the hint of sarcasm there?).

One encounter really stands out in my mind.

A friend and I had just arrived in Huacachina, Peru at around 9 p.m. We checked into our hostel and then decided to go wandering around the town because it was tiny so knew we wouldn’t get lost. We ended up at this bar called ‘The Pub.’

Posing in front of The Pub. I swear this wasn't a staged photo!

I was wearing a hoodie with the name of the university I attend written on it.

We walked into The Pub and immediately noticed that two of the guys working at the bar were ‘gringos.’

So we went up to the bar to get a drink and one of the guys said,

“You go to Western?”

I was a little taken aback because I didn’t even realize I was wearing my university sweater.

“Um, yeah! I do.”

“No way! I go to Laurier!”

Western and Laurier are not only both in Canada. They are not only both in Ontario (a province of Canada). They are literally within an hour drive from each other.

And then on top of that, I found out that he was from Toronto, which is about 20 minutes from where I live.

Such an exciting moment. I love how you can live 20 minutes away from someone and never meet them, but then you go to a different country and you meet, by chance, in a tiny, off-the-beaten-track town.

The fellow Canadian and I frolicking in the sand

The world is seriously SO SMALL.

Is it as exciting for you as it is for me to meet someone from your native country?

Any stories like this one?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: