Serendipity - A "fortunate happenstance" or "pleasant surprise".
Horace Walpole 1754
We recently related a moment of serendipity we experienced in Salt Lake City. The following short tale is our latest serendipitous moment and help’s explain why we travel.
If you have been checking our Current Location page, you will have noticed we are presently in Bozeman, Montana. Part of our reason for an extended stay here is to provide us some time to plan the next European leg of our travels. We are targeting mid September for departure and are planning to use all our allotted 90 days in the Schengen area. (We’ll write more on navigating the visa requirements for long term EU stays in a future post.) Since arriving in Bozeman, we have been busy settling in, getting to know our new town and trying to enjoy some of the numerous outdoor activities this lovely area has to offer. So this week we went for a short hike. Nothing long or demanding, just a locals favorite, short 3 mile round trip to the towns “M”. You know, the big letters often seen on the surrounding hills above some towns. This trail is popular with trail runners, families, people running their dogs, para gliders and I guess out-of-towners. Lot’s of “Hello” and “Enjoy your hike” from everyone all along the trail.
So here’s the part where serendipity, our fortunate happenstance, comes in. Michelle and I are on our way back down the trail and come across a rock outcropping just off a side trail I want to investigate for pictures. Standing nearby, as Michelle is about to discover, is Evi waiting for her husband Frank to come back from the same outcropping. I head out and Michelle and Evi say their “Hello” and “Nice day” when it becomes evident from her accent that Evi might be German. Evi and Frank were spending just two nights/one day in Bozeman before heading to Glacier Park and had decided on the "M" trail for that days activity. They get to talking more and when I get back on the trail to join Michelle, Evi, and now Frank are discussing our upcoming trip to Germany. (Their english was excellent by the way.) Because Evi and Frank are headed up the trail and we are heading down, we exchange phone numbers and plan to meet later for coffee and get some first hand Germany travel tips from locals. How fortuitous! Back in town, we find a bookstore and get a Germany travel map to bring to our meeting. A couple of hours later, we pick Evi and Frank up from their motel and head to Starbucks where we spend the next hour and a half getting to know each other while planning the highlights of a Germany visit from a locals perspective. By now it’s dinner time so we wander downtown to a local brewpub, have a terrific dinner, and talk more about our planned Germany visit.
Long story short - we now have terrific new friends and already have made plans to spend our first weekend on arriving in Germany at Evi and Frank's house. We can't wait to see them and their Germany.
Go for a hike, meet someone new, have new friends halfway across the world eager to share their hometown and country with us. Just one of the reasons we travel.
Thanks for joining us on our journey.