Travelling is about seeing things you've never seen before, eating things you've never eaten before, and sometimes it's about meeting people that sometimes you've seen before.
Anyone who has travelled for a few weeks in roughly the same geographic area has had it happen. "Didn't we see those people in the last city we were in?", "Hey isn't that the guy who had that hilarious shirt on in the previous country we were in?". It's weird but it happens. People, like you, are often traveling to the few must-see areas and are following the same guide book's schedule as yours. Sometimes though you meet the person who writes the guidebooks.
While sitting in a massage parlour in Siem Reap, Cambodia, two ladies came in and sat across from me. Instead of the awkward sit and be silent I decided to ask where they were from. They were originally from the Boston area but one was now living in Bangkok and the other, her sister, was living in southern California and was in Asia for the first time visiting. I say something like "Bangkok, nice. We're going to be spending a few days there in a few weeks. Any suggestions on what to do?". As it turns out she wrote the Moon guide to Thailand. We exchanged email addresses and a day later we had a customized itinerary for Bangkok. Awesome.
Today, two countries later and four of five days later, Becky and I rent kayaks and are skirting between the giant limestones cliffs of the Thai coastline in the Krabi province. A snake is clinging to the cliff just a few feet above the water. A fellow kayaker has paused to look at it. We chat for a minute and I ask him where he is from. He's from Boston but has been living in Bangkok for a few years. He points over his shoulder and introduces us to his fiance and her sister in another kayak pulling up. Lo and behold it's the same two girls from the massage parlour in Cambodia.
We look forward to bumping into them in the days to come. We must be doing something right if we keep running into the guide book author of the country we're visiting.
Check out Suzanne's blog. Her travel writing is a must for anyone visiting Thailand and its surrounding areas. All of her reccomondations have been bang on for us.