19 People Experienced “Small World” Encounters

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Two Decembers ago, I was at dinner in Brooklyn with an old friend and her coworker. After a few glasses of wine, my friend asked about the guy I was visiting/dating that lived in New York. I replied with, “Well, he lives in Clinton Hill and is a photographer.” Her coworker (who I just met hours earlier) chimed in, “Wait, is his name _____? And is his roommate ____?! Her girlfriend is my best friend!”

My jaw dropped, almost spilling my glass of wine I said, “Are you serious? Yes, I know his roommate and have met her girlfriend! What the f*ck, what a small world!” How is it that out of a population of 8 million, I found someone sitting next to someone that knew the guy I was dating (who I never really talked about because our situation was uncertain).

The tiniest tidbits of information that I’d given immediately led to the “small world” connection proving that real life “small world” encounters actually happen IRL more often than you think. From re-meeting old college roommates, to discovering your future roommate was in the background of a photo you took abroad, these situations arise and surprise the sh*t out of us.

The following 19 people experienced “small world” encounters:


My first ever sexual experience was with my brazilian boyfriend when I was 15. We broke up after only a few months (as was normal for 15 year olds) and it was messy. A year later, I went on a student exchange to Brazil. I started dating a guy, only to find out that this new fellow was the first guy’s cousin. 190 million people in Brazil and I date the guy’s cousin.


I was on a Training Cruise for a Maritime college (took classes aboard a decommissioned Naval vessel during a summer), and we were calling Honolulu for three days. While I was out at one of the ABC stores kind of outside of town, I ran into one of my old friend from High School in California. Turns out she was there on Vacation for a week.


When I got to college I saw a bunch of people outside my dorm playing sand volleyball. Being a freshman and having arrived earlier that week and being desperate for friends, I went out and asked to play even though I had never played volleyball in my life. I hit some girl on the head on my first serve. She wasn’t even near the court. Years later I’m walking through campus with my then fiance and telling her about college memories. I say “That’s my room up there, and my first week I played volleyball there. I hit some girl on the head on my first serve.” She said “Where was she sitting?” I pointed. It turns out it was her!


A friend of mine played soccer in college. Went to Africa for a foreign service trip, found a kid wearing our school’s soccer shirt in some small village in the middle of nowhere.