We had been In North Curry, England for exactly one week when a truly amazing event happened.
It was a gorgeous Saturday morning at the monthly market in North Curry, England, and we were quietly enjoying a cup of coffee surrounded by strangers in a foreign country. We had already come to love this small village of 800 homes, with cornfields, pastures, sheep and cattle, footpaths to enjoy them all, and very friendly people.
A man approached our table asking if the extra two seats were occupied. Of course they were not, so we asked if he’d join us. Before long, we were engrossed in a lively chat with Andrew and Susan Meehan. We learned that we had something in common, Andrew had attended the University of New Hampshire, also our Alma Mater.
Andrew was born in England, but grew up in Pembroke, New Hampshire. His Dad, a doctor, had a practice there. As it turns out, his brother, works at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Our lively conversation picked up steam and we shared anecdotes about our experiences growing up in N.H. and attending UNH. It concluded with Andrew and Susan inviting us for lunch. Their home was perhaps 200 yards from where we are house and pet sitting. We had walked by it several times during our first week in North Curry.
This is not our only serendipitous encounter since beginning our On The Road journey. In 2015, we recall bumping into (almost literally) Bill LeVasseur, owner of the Mask Museum in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
(www.CasadelaCuesta.com/gallery.html) . He and John had worked in two different advertising agencies in Boston during the early 1980’s and knew each other well. Bill moved to New York and they lost touch. Some 30 + years later, during our visit to San Miguel we arranged for a tour of the Mask Museum and Bill was to be our tour guide. Upon arrival, John heard a voice to his left. The man said, “Hey John, how the heck are you. It must be 30 years.” Who knew?
And, we’ll never forget the homeowners of our first two pet sits in England in February, 2017. Both were vacationing in Grenada (that is why we were pet sitting) and ran into each other at a restaurant. They sent us a video explaining their shock to learn that the same couple Bev and John) were caring for their darling pets, Fynn, Zula, Domina, Hamish, and Greta, pretty much at the same time.
In January 2019, while visiting Ubud, in Bali, we noticed on Facebook that an old business acquaintance, Diana Ruddick, was staying in a nearby hotel as she was coordinating a photographic workshop. We met at a wonderful little restaurant and shared what has been going on with our lives over wonderful food.
On the first or second day of our first trip to Paris together, we were walking through a shopping area and spotted our Airbnb host from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. We had just left Rotterdam a few days earlier.
Seriously, what are the odds of one, let alone five of these serendipitous events happening in such a short period, to the same two people, in different parts of the world?
It all started by us making two life-altering decisions:
- Deciding to travel in retirement
- Deciding to downsize, meaning we would rid ourselves of most of our possessions to free ourselves up to do extensive travel, unencumbered by stuff.
As it turns out, these decisions did more than free up space in our luggage. They meant we had less to think about (managing “stuff” can occupy lots of emotional space) and, therefore, we had more space to observe what was going on around us, thus, allowing us the space for serendipitous moments to occur.
Give it a try and see what space opens up.
See you on the road,
Bev & John
Caring for two dogs in a small village in a foreign country
can be daunting. But, not for us. We have done it before,
As International Trusted House Sitters we get to make new friends with all sorts of critters. The best part, however, is making new human friends.
We have rented our home and rid ourselves of most of our “collection of stuff” so we could explore the world, unencumbered. Join us as we learn how to live like locals, throughout the world, without it costing a fortune.
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