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Travel Train Wrecks "Miracles" & Synchronicities
TW1. Debacle at Old Hotel in Baden
Traveler: Jim Currie
Date and Place: Baden, Suisse,June, 1994
Full story in The Mindful Traveler

{American traveler arrives late an archaic spa hotel in Baden after getting lost. It seems to be the only reasonably-priced hotel that is still open. On the mezzanine floor of the hotel he encounters a surly female manager who tells him he is "too late", despite the fact that the old hotel seems empty}....As I trudged despondently down the stairs toward the door, I realized I was in trouble--if I exited the front door, I was going to be spending the night outside in 30 degree cold. It didn't make any sense--the hotel was practically a mausoleum. There was only one course of action that made any sense.

I reached the bottom of the staircase and streaked down a dark hallway. I found my way into an open men's room and laid out my plastic tarp on the floor. This was a lot better than braving the cold, if only someone didn't discover me. My main fear was the surly manager's hound. He was pretty decrepit, but that didn't mean he couldn't pick up my scent and he might have also picked up on his master's snarly attitude toward me.

Several times during the early AM, I heard him rooting around and making noise, but to my great relief he didn't seem to pick up my scent. Around sunrise, the manager unlocked the front door to the hotel. As soon as she was occupied at the other end of the floor, I streaked past her and into the street. It wasn't one of my better moments on the road, but I have to admit that I was a little proud of myself for dodging a really miserable night outside.

TM1. Encounter in a Monkstown Pub
Traveler: Jim Currie
Date and Place: Monkstown, Ire, June, 1994
Full story in The Mindful Traveler, Chapter 1

{American traveler drops into an Irish pub on the eve of his birthday. His day has been full of struggle and friction. He looks up and notices six Irishmen trouping into a small ante-room--they are toasting the birthday of one of their mates--Michael.}

...I turned and blurted out, "It's your birthday today? Mine is tomorrow. Can I buy you a pint?" The words had barely escaped when they invited me to join them. A few minutes later we were exchanging stories about faeries, singing rocks and the magic of travel.

"You know you should join us at the party tonight," piped Seamus, the jolliest member of the group, who could have passed for a leprechaun.
"Yes," the others seconded.

I explained that I still needed to locate a hotel, and they said that wasn't necessary--one of them would put me up.
After paying the tab, I turned toward the door following Michael. "Where are you headed?" he asked.

"Down south." (I was actually headed for a psychology conference in Killarney, but figured this would kill the conversation--after all, these people seemed pretty down-to-earth.)

"Down south--Cork, Killarney?" Seamus spouted.

"Killarney," I answered. "Going to conference there."

"Oh, you mean the International Conference on Transpersonal Psychology. We're all couselors and headed there ourselves.."
Incredible. There couldn't be a dozen people in all of Ireland attending the conference and I had run into most of them here in a pub, 500 km away on the eve of my birthday.
The party that night was more inspired and heart-warming than I could have imagined--full of eloquent toasts, joyful traditional dance, musical solos and recitations. We sang; we danced; we shared ideas and outrageous stories.

TW2. Michelin Man of Interlaken
Traveler: Jim Currie
Date and Place: Brienz, Suisse, June, 1994
Full story in The Mindful Traveler

American traveler arrives just before curfew at Swiss youth hostel in Brienz, only to discover that he has been locked out. His warm clothes are inside the hostel, along with his currency. Unless he can find shelter, he faces the prospect of getting sick or worse, as the temperature is dropping rapidly.

After failing to find any rooms available in the town, he takes refuge in a fire-station lavatory. Huddling in the cold, he is struck by inspiration--the thought of using toilet paper as insulation. He stuffs himself like the Michelin man and even spends the night in cozy comfort under the stars on the edge of the Brienzsee.

At dawn he discovers he has left a 1 KM trail of toilet paper all the way back to the fire-station.

TM2. Bizarre Meeting with Neighbor in Kathmandu
Traveler: Parents of Richard Plotz
Date and Place: Kathmandu, Nepal,1970

...About 1970, my parents went to see the sunrise over Everest. This wasn't easy to do:first, they had to first get to Kathmandu, which wasn't easy at the time, and then they had to take a four-seater plane 150 miles west to a small lodge with an overlook from which one could get a good view of the sunrise. The puddle-jumper arrived after dark, and there was nothing to do there, so they went to bed. They rose at the crack of dawn, dressed, and headed for the overlook. There was one other couple there already waiting for the sunrise. It was the niece of their next-door neighbor from Brooklyn, on her honeymoon.


TM3. Surprise Meeting with Cousin in UK
Traveler: Richard Plotz
Date and Place: Cambridge,UK, 1966

...It was summer of 1966 and I was 18 at the time, hitchhiking around England. I would arrive in each town and seek out a cheap guest house (B&B), which typically cost about 1 or a little less for the bed and greasy eggs and sausage for breakfast. In Cambridge, that meant lodging near the station, about a mile from the town centre.

I walked into town to find an Indian or Chinese restaurant for dinner, my usual reliable choice on that trip. Then I walked back toward the guest house. As I rounded the corner of a building, I literally bumped into my cousin, who was rounding it in the other direction. This surprised her a lot more than it did me, because while I knew she was studying at Cambridge, she had no idea I was in England. We went back to her rooms, where we talked until 1 or 2 in the morning.


TM4. Psychic Communication in Vancouver
Traveler: TL
Date and Place: Vancouver, Canada 1974


...In 1974 my Radcliffe roommate Lucy and I traveled together on the west coast. We spent several weeks rambling around from San Francisco to Oregon. We parted ways in Seattle when I took off with some other friends and she went to Vancouver to visit someone she knew (an emigre there to avoid the draft). I ended up going to Vancouver as well with my friends.

I thought of calling the youth hostel (though we had not talked about her staying there) to see if she might be registered. I talked to the clerk and he said, "We don't have anyone staying here named Lucy" In the background I heard her say, "I'm Lucy!" She was not staying in the youth hostel but had just wandered in from the beach to ask the time. He handed her the phone and we were able to spend another evening together.

This was one of the clearer examples of psychic communication in my life.

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