A post listing the serendipities of my EuroTrip has been on the backburner for a while now. After discussing this subject with my Latvian host she conceded that explaining synchronicities is not unlike describing dreams, whilst potentially being the most interesting thing in the world its almost always tedious.“Hell is a place where nothing connects with nothing.”- T.S. Elliot
Even when we're told that someone dreamt about us there is only a momentary curiosity and novelty. Unless we're a part of the experience we don't fully grasp the gravity of it. Frustratingly the more we try to validate, demistify or examine the dream the quicker the feeling fades. The same goes for coincidences.
My Latvian host did mention one thing that was encouraging, "Déjà vu is assuring because its letting you know that you're on the right path".
I recall the first time something momentously serendipitous happened to me, my friend offered "Its all chaos dude". I began to adopt this view as I realised the value isn't in the mathematical improbability but in the meaning we assign to the event. I recently enjoyed comedian Daniel Kitson's new show 'Where Once was Wonder', its premise was that life is comprised of moments that are "impossible until they become inevitable". The real magic is in what we create that justifies the experience.
VIDEO: Matt Besser Pete Holmes on "Connecting like things"
'You Made it Weird' with Pete Holmes: Episode 39 - Matt BesserAt the risk of instant tedium let's count the serendipities of my EuroTrip:
MATT BESSER: (1h 34m 20s) I watched the show 'Touch' with Kiefer Sutherland. I kinda dig that its very Improvy. Yeah the whole concept of numbers and strings
PETE HOLMES: Why does that show 'Touch' resonate? Its such a simple idea
BESSER: Because things connect. Its funny to connect like things. Connecting like things going back to what I was saying earlier - You have a set up, you draw an analogy or a metaphor and go to that. That's the same thing with connecting things, you're going "See this thing way over here and this thing they have this in common and sometimes that produces a laugh pointing that out. Or its at the very least interesting
HOLMES: What I feel 'Touch' did is that they took 'Lost'. The idea of lost and meaning and everything being meaningful. They just took it off the island and put it in the real world. What if everything that happened meant something. That's what we want, that's what we yearn for...
Note: Brackets indicate distance from first encounter
- Met a Lithuanian in my hostel room in London. Told him I was going there for EuroBasket. Bumped into him on the street 2 months later in the Capital of Vilnius. We never hung out (2.5hr flight)
- Was having dinner with newly made friends in Panevėžys, Lithuania. 2 ladies joined us as there was no room to watch Lietuva play against Poland. No luck getting details but bumped into this charming person again in Vilnius 2 weeks later. We hung out (1.5hr busride).
- Bumped into a friend in his hometown of Düsseldorf. He was part of a crew of Germans I regularly visited at their hostel in my hometown of Sydney the year leading up to my EuroTrip. As I was walking around with my CS host, he walked past us. We hung a few times including that night, the two of them have since become good friends (21.5hr flight)
- Met a polish girl in Malaga who was vacationing from Sevilla with her mother. Upon returning to Sevilla, while bike riding from an underground Flamenco show I jumped off my bike to walk past pedestrians in my path. Someone grabbed my arm, it was her. We never hung out. (2.5hr busride)
- My Latvian CouchSurfing host had been mentioning she was hosting a Slovakian and Estonian after me. I was Couchsurfing on my next destination alongside the Slovakian and Estonian it took me several hours to connect the two. I Ego-Tripped with the Slovakian afterwards (2hr Busride)
- I bumped into a comedian I know from Sydney walking the alleys of Lisboa. He informed me that there had been an exodus of Sydney Comedians migrating to Europe, equipped with this information I sought them out at the Edinburgh Fringe. (20.5hr flight)
- Was getting a haircut in an open kitchen by a busstop in a small town in Portugal. Worried we'd be ejected we were eventually sprung by someone we knew, the receptionist of the hostel I stayed at prior to the roadtrip. She was taking guests out on a fieldtrip. They joined our merry band. (1.5hr bus ride)
|Reconnecting with my German buddy at a Lomography tour in Köln|
|Our CouchSurfing host invites friends over. Ventspils, Latvia.|
The Slovakian and Estonian are pictured behind.
|After the shock encounter, we roadtripped until we got pulled over.|
Thankfully we escaped a fine for our unsafe capacity (7 in a cargo van)
The original 3 and the 4 people we collected which included the receptionist
|That was then. My running mate at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.|
- Pete Holmes collection: Adjacent experiences
- Zach Cregger: Being a kid again and the power of "play"
- Matt Besser: Travel coincidences and Counting the serendipities
- Duncan Trussell: Traveling, living the dream and remembering it
- Kyle Kinane: Being excited everyday
- The Sklar Brothers: Performing, possibly failing - That's living the dream
- A question answered with a quote: Comedy Podcasts
Have you ever felt Synchronicity? Is it all chaos or does it mean something?