5 Crazy, Spooky Coincidences We’ve Had While Traveling

Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

In this post, I wanted to do something a little bit different and share some really strange, serendipitous, spooky feeling coincidences that have happened to us while we’ve been traveling and living abroad.

Not only were they super strange and almost too unlikely to be coincidences, but they also made us feel like the universe was showing us that we were on the right path.

Even though I have a scientific and analytical mind, and tend to prefer proof for everything, I can’t help but feel like sometimes there is a higher power guiding us in the universe and it feels like it’s just up to us to read the signs.

If we miss them, we miss that path in life, but if we acknowledge them, they often lead to something amazing.

5 Spooky Coincidences We’ve Experienced On The Road

Before I lose all the non-believers, let’s get into the article. Here are 5 crazy, spooky, weird synchronicities that have happened to us while we’ve been traveling and living abroad for the past 15 years.

1. The Spooky Alarm Clock

A magic, mystical alarm clock hovering over a man's hand

This one still gives me chills to this day and when we tell our friends about it, we often get the feeling that they don’t actually believe us. But I assure you, this one is totally true.

So we were traveling in Malaysia at the time backpacking around and up until that point, we had been using our little Nokia phone as an alarm clock. 

We almost never took flights on this first trip because we preferred to travel by land, but on this particular day, we had a flight out of KL the next morning early. We needed an alarm clock!

The morning before the flight we set a goal for ourselves to go find an alarm clock before the end of the day so we’d be able to wake up on time for our flight.

Well, as the day went on, we were having a lot of fun and we completely forgot about the alarm clock. 

We finished dinner, and we were walking home down a dark alley at about 9 pm when we stopped at the same time and said “SHIT! We forgot to find an alarm clock.” 

I’m not kidding. Just then, we heard ringing from a garbage bag in this dark alley. We looked at each other like What the fuck…

I still get chills telling this story

We walked over to the garbage bag, peeled it open, and there inside was a red alarm clock ringing.

A spooky alarm clock in a dark alley

I know. That’s weird. But it gets weirder. Because we had no other choice but to get woken up, we took the trash clock back home, set it next to our bed, and set the alarm to wake us up in the morning.

The alarm went off right on time, we got ready and were about to leave the house and I grabbed the alarm clock off the end table and it had already stopped working. Literally just 20 minutes after it did its job of waking us up, it shut off. Never to work again.

For me, this was the most blatant case of the universe telling us either we were in the right place at the right time, or we absolutely needed to get on that flight in order to keep following our path.

Creepy yes. A coincidence? I don’t know…

2. Krishna Das

Krishna Das concert, Rishikesh, India

This is another really weird one and given the odds on this, I think that you’ll agree it’s a bit too spooky to be a coincidence.

Back in 2012, we were traveling in India for around 3 months. You know… the country with 1.4 billion people.

During that time, we were listening to this one singer known as Krishna Da. We had never seen what he looked like, but we loved his music. It’s really calming and still when we hear it, it brings us right back to India… the calm parts of India.

Anyway, while traveling in the country we decided to do what many young, lost, backpackers do while traveling in India, we visited an ashram. Our Ashram was in Rishikesh and it was beautiful.

During our visit, we went all in. We only ate the ashram food, we did 4 hours of yoga per day, 2 hours of meditation, silence, the whole deal.

Well I can’t lie, there was a morning mantra at 5 am every morning and we may or may not have only gone to that once. But other than that… we were full-on.

After about 3 weeks in the Ashram, one of the leaders of our meditation group mentioned that there would be a band coming to play some music at the Ashram.

“Cool”, we thought. “We’ll go check it out.”

A couple of days later, one of the rooms in the ashram is all set up for the performance, and guess who it was… Krishna Das.

Turns out he’s actually a white dude from New York singing some of the most popular Indian Kirtan music in the country, but what makes this even weirder is the odds of him being at our Ashram.

Head Shot of American Musician Krishna Das
Photo Of Krishna Das From His Wiki Page. Not What We Were Expecting To See, But His Music Is Amazing

In India, apparently, there are around 23,000 musicians with record deals. We only listened to one of them, on repeat, for our entire trip through India. Not only that but there are also nearly 13,000 ashrams in the country.

On top of that, according to his calendar history of shows, his busiest year of performances was in 2010, but even then he only managed to do 11 shows that year.

The fact that we were at that Ashram (one of 13,000), at that time, to see that show, by that musician out of 23,000 in the country who only manages 11 shows max in a year… just blows me away.

Strangely enough, a few years before we met him, our New Yorker Indian Rock Start was convicted of Money Laundering and was sentenced to 2 years of parole and 6 months of house arrest.

Then the year after we saw his concert he was Nominated for a Grammy Award for the best New Age Album. When we saw him, he was a pretty unknown artist as far as we knew.

3. Narrowly Missing a Massive Earth Quake in Indonesia

Photo By: WikiCommons

This one is hard for me to tell because this particular earthquake was the second in a series of earthquakes and aftershocks that ended up taking the lives of 81 people, injuring over 1,200, and displacing nearly a quarter million more.

It was no doubt a tragedy, so this story is not a celebration of us missing the earthquake, but just a strange coincidence that likely saved us from a very difficult and scary situation, one that we, coming from a low-earthquake-prone area in Canada, would have been ill-equipped to deal with.

This is how it went down.

We were traveling around Indonesia back in 2009 and were supposed to take a long bus ride to Jogjakarta from the small town we were in. There was only one bus per day and it left early in the morning.

A Typical Indonesian Bus Stop Back in 2009
Our Photo: A Typical Indonesian Bus Stop Back in 2009

Remember that story I told you about the alarm clock waking us up just in time to catch our flight, and then never working again?

This story is kind of the opposite. We had replaced our little Nokia phone as our alarm clock by this time and for some reason, that we still don’t know to this day, it didn’t go off and we missed our bus.

That bus would’ve taken us to the center of the 6.2 earthquake that rocked Yogyakarta at a little past noon that day. Because we missed our bus, we were far enough away to only feel slight tremors.

This event is a coincidence, but it always surprises me how many of these stories there are. We are definitely not the first people to narrowly escape a disaster by missing a bus, flight, or ride somewhere.

These stories are so common that their frequency is spooky in itself.

4. The Final Chat With My Grandpa

Old Dial Phone

This story is kind of the opposite of narrowly missing a disaster because of a missed flight. In this case, our missed flight granted me the opportunity to say goodbye to my dying grandpa.

We were traveling in Africa at the time and we had a massive flight to get to Nepal, where we were set to start the Annapurna Trek the very next day. A 10-day trek in the Himalayan Mountains which at the time, meant complete disconnection from wifi and the outside world.

As we were boarding the first lag of our flight, I noticed that I was missing my Yellow Fever Vaccine card. At the time, it was a requirement to enter South Africa so I was terrified that they weren’t going to let me board the flight in Dar Es Salam Tanzania.

As we slowly made our way up the cue at the airport, I was sweating bullets. At the time, we were budget backpackers and all I kept thinking was that there is no way we could afford to miss this flight.

Luckily, as we neared the guard, he was one of those border police guys who really didn’t care much about his job, so he just stamped me and let me pass. We were elated.

immigration border guard stamp

In most cases, it’s the departing airport that will check these things and when you arrive, you’re home free.

When we landed in South Africa, we walked up to the desk to take our connecting flight and luckily she again didn’t ask for our Yellow Fever Vaccine Certificates. But she was taking an awful long time giving us our boarding passes.

Suddenly she stopped and said to us… Your connecting flight in India goes out of a different airport than the one you land in. That means you need an Indian visa to board this flight.

Because we booked this ticket together and figured it was just a quick layover in the airport, we hadn’t bothered to get our Visas for India.

Turns out this little setback would take 12 days to rectify. We had to go to Johannesburg to apply for the visa.

A few days into our stay in Johannesburg I got an email from my dad saying that my grandpa was dying of leukemia and would likely be gone within the next few days.

I immediately called my grandpa and got to say goodbye to him. It was a gift and I can’t even express how much it meant to me.

Had we boarded our flight and not been held up in South Africa for 12 days, we would’ve been high in the Himalayas at that time and there would’ve been no way for me to get that email from my dad and know that my Grandpa was critically ill.

Nepal, Annapurna Circuit - Hiking High In The Himalayas Part #1
Us Young “Goats” At The Start of Annapurna in 2011

We ended up boarding the flight a few days later and trekking the Himalayas as planned. My grandpa died while we were nearing the Throng La Pass.

As a gift to my grieving grandma, I made a video of me burying a letter to my grandpa at the top of the pass and I gave my Grandma a copy of that letter when we returned home.

I feel like the universe tried to get me to miss that flight first by me misplacing my Vaccine card, but the backup all along was that we had booked the wrong flight.

It’s one time in my life, I couldn’t be happier that we missed our flight.

5. Serendipidous Sponsors

City of Chicago Skyline

So first off, as travel bloggers, we get a lot of emails from different brands and companies wanting to ship us free stuff in exchange for sharing it with our audience. It’s one of the great perks of running a travel blog.

What’s weird for us is how often these emails come in immediately after we’ve expressed to each other that we want the thing that ends up getting offered to us.

For example: A few years ago when we were planning a trekking trip, we noticed that our Pocket Rocket stove was broken. We both concluded that we’d need to go out and buy one, but then the next day, we got an email from Pocket Rocket offering to send us one for free.

Back in 2014, we were traveling around Mexico, and out of the blue Dariece pointed out that we hadn’t been to a dentist since we left Canada in 2008… I know… gross.

Then just 2 days later we checked our email and what did we see? An email from a Mexican dentist company that caters to expats and tourists who want us to go to their dentist for free. The experience was great and what made this one weird is that we never get random offers like a dental visit. It came at the perfect time.

dentalia cancun dentist
Dariece Getting Her Serendipitous Dentist Treatment

Another time we were planning on traveling by campervan for a few weeks and I was researching off-grid solar batteries and the next day one of the companies I was researching reached out to us to offer us batteries.

And lastly, a pretty big one. We had plans to go to our friend’s wedding back in Canada but Dariece and I were broke and only had backpacking clothes. I mean old backpacking clothes. We were about 2 years overdue for a big shop. We were living in Grenada at the time where there weren’t any really big malls or good places to buy suits and clothes for a wedding.

Then, Mashable contacted us and offered us a trip to Chicago for the weekend. We hopped on the opportunity and joined some other cool bloggers and YouTubers on the trip.

During the trip, there was a surprise visit to Macy’s Clothing Store. Macy’s had given all of us bloggers $1500 each to spend on clothes in their store. We had one hour to get what we wanted.

Always on a budget, Dariece and I got a couple of nice, but affordable items for the wedding, and then tons of other clothes that we could use for our future backpacking trips.

Myself & Dariece A Little Too Excited For Free Clothes

Meanwhile, the fashion bloggers on the trip spent $1500 on two dresses and looked at us like homeless vagabonds as we piled up 2 years’ worth of shopping on the Macy’s checkout counter.

Not only did this trip get us to Chicago, where it was easy to get clothing given to us, but it also paid for the clothes, which was ideal for us broke backpackers at the time. On top of that, we got paid pretty well for the trip in Cash. All in all, it was a massive win.

These are just a few instances of sponsors coming at the perfect time and it happens so often that it still trips us out. I guess we should start talking about Lamborghinis more often!

In Conclusion

Whether you’re a believer in the universe and the law of attraction or not, there are often these pivotal moments in life where you can almost feel that you’re meant to go in a certain direction. These are the signs we get and if you stay alert and watch for them, amazing things can happen.

Right now we’re in a place in our lives that we’re extremely happy to be. Who knows, if each of these little things didn’t happen along the way, maybe our life trajectory would’ve been a lot different.

What about you? Have you ever had a spooky coincidence happen to you? While traveling or while at home? Click here to watch our video about these coincidences on YouTube and leave us a comment there 😉

Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

Written by

Nick Wharton

Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his expert knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. He has been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and has more than 10 years of experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship.

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