I've heard it said that nowadays we are only six people away from anyone else on the planet. That is to say that between you, I and any other person on the face of the Earth there are only six people who'll know someone who knows someone who knows etc...
What an amazing thought! That the world is so rapidly shrinking, that there should be so few people between us all. This in itself should be reason enough to stop all wars, all crime, all hate.
For my part to try to prove this I wil illustrate two personal examples.
I have travelled to over 15 countries in Europe and Asia and I've 'bumped into' people in South Korea of all places, whom I've previously known in the UK.
Even back in 1991 when I first started travelling I had an experience that set me on this train of thought.
I checked into an 18-30 style hotel in Corfu, The Pink Palace (not a gay club-just in case you were wondering!) Greece and the guy who checked in my passport was a big Canadian called Rick. As he looked at my passport he noted that my hometown was Grimsby in the UK.
"Hey, my best friend comes from Grimsby." he exclaimed. At this time in my life I wasn't thinking about the close links we all share but it was approximately three years later and one day I was meeting my best friend who works in the local college pub in Grimsby. This day I was wearing a t-shirt I had from when I worked in Gibraltar only a few months after my stay in Corfu.
I was chatting to my friend and his boss noticed my t-shirt and asked where it was from. I replied that I used to work at this Sandwhich Shop in Gibraltar. At hearing this he told me that he worked in corfu for a few years.
"Really? Did you ever go to the Pink Palace?", I asked.
"That's where I was working!", he replied.
So we talked and did he know this guy and yes he did, etc.. and then I asked,"Do you know a big Canadian guy called Rick?"
He replied,"That's my best friend."
In January '98 I was out on the town in the Shinchon area of Seoul with a few friends when a young Australian guy, Mike, who was out on his own asked if he could join our soiree. Loudly and drunkenly I announced that this newcomer was 'Sydney' who comes from 'Mike' and asked "can he come play?"
We had a good night out and exchanged E-mails (this modern day we live in!) and started corresponding.
In May I spent one weekend checking out Taipei, Taiwan and had the chance to use the Internet for free. The first message I had was from Mike who apologised for not having written for a while as he had a new British girlfriend who (wait for it) comes from Grimsby. Thinking that maybe I'd told him where I'm from and thinking he was joking I wrote back with the message "You're taking the P**s!"
As it turns out his girlfriend, Tracey, not only knows me but also my sister and we all went to the same school.
With this in mind I shall start showing photos on my website of friends around the world and also people I've lost touch with.
If anyone recognises any of the people on my photos, please drop me and them a line and let them know of the site. It'd be great to catch up with some of the people I've met travelling as I mainly travel alone.