Having lived “turning strangers into friends” for a decade, you can imagine the countless times I’ve called my Mom with a, “Holy Moly you won’t believe this story!” But, she’s never really surprised. Why? Because synchronicity is the story of my life. However, on November 20, 2018, my “Holy Moly, Mom!” hit a new level.
I wasn’t even there!
This is the Story of 2 Women, Bali, Indonesia, Intuition and Synchronicity and Me.
First, meet Marcy Morrison.
Our Story: In 2009, after working for 4 years as a Travel RN Recruiter in San Diego for the same company, I was ready to move on. As any manifesting machine (that’s what I call myself!) would do, I focused my intention into manifesting a layoff. As crazy as it sounds, it worked! Ok, now what. This new widow of opportunity inspired two things: the “invention” of my first Strangers To Friends card… and… the questioning of “My Purpose”. Have you questioned this before? Fortunately, a former co worker mentioned ‘her son was best friends with a boy who had a Mom, who was the Founder of Careers With Wings, ‘ – I gave her the green light to introducing us via email. Cue in the Marcy! In 2010, Marcy became the first ‘Coach” I ever hired. At this turning point in my life I began to recognize my gift of connection. My awareness opened me to explore more passion in “what do I want to do” for a job. Within a year, I took the knowing of my calling and leaped through the window of opportunity to pursue my “purpose” of turning strangers into friends. How? I decided to leave my home of 7 years in San Diego and pursue a 6 week, 15 city, cross country road trip and start over to Wilmington, NC, having never been there and not knowing a soul. But, I arrived with 500 Strangers To Friends cards so I knew I’d meet the right people. Before leaving, I gathered my favorite friends and threw an awesome going away party! This photo of Me & Marcy was snapped at my party! 8 years later, fast forward to Nov 2018. Though we don’t regularly keep in touch, thanks to Social Media we’ve literally been each others “cheerleaders” from afar. If anything, we never miss the chance to wish each other a “Happy Birthday”. That’s how I knew Marcy chose to celebrate her 50th this year in Bali, Indonesia, one of my favorite places.
Next, meet Sara Leger:
January 2018, when promoting an upcoming Strangers To Friends Experience in Denver, I sent a newsletter to the Strangers To Friends Meetup, announcing giveaways at the event from one of my favorite Colorado Local Businesses (another Strangers To Friends Story), Be Hippy. (PS: Enter code “Friends” to receive 10% off) Believing I worked with Be Hippy, the next day I received a message from a gal asking if they wanted to sponsor her retreat! Seeing the value of their connection, I emailed them both… and you guessed it, they agreed to partner a win win. But, it wasn’t their success that sparked my excitement. As Sara and I moved from Meetup to Facebook, I asked questions! Turns out she’d recently relocated to Fort Collins, CO via Boston (where I was born) AND…. I was friends with the gal speaking at her retreat (shared a house with her for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2 years prior!). I literally felt our synergy. Clearly, we were meant to meet. So, I initiated a day to be in Fort Collins and invited her to connect over coffee. Sara was thrilled I was willing to come her way! In fact, this photo was taken on Jan 16, 2018, on our “first date”. For hours we story swapped and salivated over our synchronicity — and this massive slice of lemon cake! (Side Note: the man sitting behind us overheard our eyeballing his piece of cake… and surprised us with a slice to share!) But, the real story: this coffee date was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. For the last year, we’ve shown up for each other in countless ways. From Business and Personal Coaching, to Event Planning and Collaborating, to even helping each other move, figuratively and literally. Moments she “needs” a friend and the moment I need a “pick me up”, we seem to know. That’s why I was so excited she was off to Bali, Indonesia for the month of November for the trip of a lifetime. The next photo was taken Jan 20, 2019 unaware it was our 1 Year Friendaversary! You can follow Sara on Instagram!
Now…the REAL STORY BEGINS:
An 18 hour time difference text message pops up from Sara, “You’re not going to believe this, but I channeled my “inner Carlyn” and met a friend of yours in Bali!”
Wait, what is she talking about??? Who do I know in Bali?
It’s A Big Small World:
After traveling for 2 weeks in Asia with her job as the Alumni Events Director for Semester At Sea, Sara was on the last leg of her trip, now waiting in the Denpasar Bali Airport to get picked by her Uncle to head to his home in Ubud. Feeling all the feels from a day of travel, she found herself craving connection, perhaps with a friendly American woman, another traveler… someone who ‘got her”.
Have you ever thought to “randomly” talk so someone across the room? Did you follow the nudge? If so, what happened?
Though I know Sara as a natural leader, I also know, she’s not the gal to typically head across the room and strike up “stranger” conversations. That is, until she found herself in deep though thinking, “What Would Carlyn Do?”
In Sara’s words, she began to think about my stories and the choice we have to connect. These thoughts happen to pop into her mind right as she spotted a woman sitting by herself, who Sara thought… looked just like me! Blonde hair, same height, glasses. It wasn’t that she looked friendly but she actually did a double take as she felt she was my dooperganger! She instantly felt ‘a nudge’ from me to encourage her to “turn a stranger into a friend”. Letting go of any self doubt and stepping into her smiley self, she confidently walked over and initiate a conversation with the line, ” You looks so much like my friend I had to come say hi”. And you know how this goes….they immediately fell into a comfortable flow. Imagine two American’s in the moment discovering shared small world stories. This is one of the best parts of traveling! The moment you meet someone on the other side of the world who get your “real life” world. But for Sara, it wasn’t so much what they had in common but, per how she felt: at ease, reassured, confident. Their instant connection reinforced Sara’s trust in her intuition… and my words of wisdom.
After talking for 30 minutes, it was time to say farewell. THIS is when the story went from good to… holy moly you’ve got to be kidding me! Without thinking anything of it, Sara casually said, “I’m so happy I came and said hi! You really do remind me of my friend, Carlyn”. Cue Marcy! The friendly American looked at her a little funny and without skipping a beat, blurted out, “Wait, Carlyn Shaw?” In their exchange, Marcy learned Sara lives in Colorado, I lived in Colorado and really, how many Carlyn’s in Colorado could there be?
—–holy moly record scratch—-
Think about this: Sara thought “what would Carlyn Do?”, spots a woman who LOOKS LIKE ME (on the OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD), in a small airport, builds up the courage to practice what “Carlyn Preaches”, and as a reward…. the universe hands her MY FRIEND! Even I pinch myself with this one.
So, imagine if her initial hesitation stopped her from saying hi. What a heartbreaking thought!! I mean, this story is so good! It’s proves when we intentionally say YES TO CONNECT – that’s when the magic happens! Second guessing due to a real fear of safety in a foreign country is one thing; but self doubt from a fear of rejection is another. Sara’s action created more action: a new friend and a kick ass story.
Since both of them know the power of “following up”, they swapped info to connect again in Bali! I don’t know what I love most: how my words of wisdom inspired action on the other side of the world– or, that Sara felt we looked so much alike and THAT’S what ultimately pushed her to say “Hi”.
All I know is: It’s All connected!
People. Places. Timing. Thoughts.
My Favorite Follow Up
Both of them couldn’t wait to email me their version of the story. Ultimately, their story reconnected me & Marcy! Having not spoken face to face in several years, she invited me to hop on a Zoom Chat and be interviewed for her new show, The Passion Purpose Academy. Of course I jumped at the chance. Just think, 10 years after I hired her as my “Purpose” Coach and she’s interviewing me to learn about Strangers To Friends. Talk about a Big, Small, World.
Check out our 15 minute interview below!
My hope: this story not only brought a smile to your face, but inspires you to act on your intuition when it comes to feeling the nudge to talk to a stranger. Maybe they look like me, maybe they look like your friend from college. Maybe it’s curiousity. Or maybe you think “What Would Carlyn Do?”. You never know where the journey will lead, but there’s only one way to find out.
Do you have a favorite Small World Travel Story? I’d LOVE to hear your tales of synchronicity and connection! Send a photo if you have it & your story and I’ll share on Instagram and Facebook! to Carlyn@StrangersToFriends.com