One of those events occurred this week when my wife and I were away for a few days in the English Lake District, near Windermere. For visitors to the UK this is one of most beautiful areas of England, with wonderful lake views, surrounding Mountain peaks (although they are very small compared to The Alps, Rockies or Sierra Nevadas) and a poetry captured by Wordsworth.
We sat just outside of Bowness on Friday evening watching the sunset over Lake WIndermere with the Langdale Pikes in the distance, it was so tranquil and serene - we enjoyed sharing the moment with visitors from Japan, France and Australia.
On returning to our small hotel, The Willowsmere (can certainly recommend it, with one good accessible bedroom), we were enjoying a drink, when a chatty visitor from the USA came in. Within a few minutes we knew she was called Linda and was travelling with her 84-year old Aunt, called Jan, who after realising she had been abandoned in the garden came and joined us. Wow what a sprightly Old girl, I just hope I am going so well at 84.
Jan and Linda explained they lived in Puyallup, Washington State, USA and had only arrived in the UK a few days before at the start of a 4 week holiday. A few years ago Jan had been researching her family history (her Grandfather had emigrated to the USA over 130 years ago) and discovered she had distant relations living in the UK. Jan had contacted these relations and struck up a friendship and had visited them 10 years ago and was on her way back for another visit. Of course being curious I asked where her relations lived and was told Bedlington, Northumberland - quite amazingly the same little Coal Mining town which my great-grandfather lived in and where I still have relations living.
A chance encounter but what odds, that 2 people from the USA, over 6,000 miles away would meet us, in a small hotel and that both of our great-grandparents and relations come from the same small village in Northumberland!
We so enjoyed the evening, well into the early hours of the morning, chatting about our countries, relations and travels - A chance encounter but 4 people who found so much in common and who shared a few hours together - it is one of the pleasures of travelling.
Jan and Linda, have a great holiday in the UK and we hope you get to Scotland