Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world are six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.
As most of you know we started our trip with the Trans Mongolian Express. On the train, we met some amazing people! First, a couple from Thailand who were both studying to become doctors and were on there holiday, they got off the train with us in Irkutsk. We still need to visit them again in Thailand.
When we got back on the train in Irkutsk it was very quiet on the train. The train only had a few wagons and we shared one whole wagon with just four people. We started talking and right from the start we had a strong connection with two of them, Donald and Dianne.
The train ride to Ulaanbaatar was an overnight train. During the night there was a lot of sound and bumps. The next morning we were all a bit shocked our train went from only a few wagons to a proper full-size train with over 25 wagons. When we arrived in Ulaanbaatar we said our goodbyes and talked about meeting again in Australia.
After arriving at our Airbnb in Ulaanbaatar, I’ve posted two stories about myself on the Australian Aquaponics page with a story about traveling to Australia and wanting to meet up with people who had Aquaponics systems. I’ve built them at home and wanted to talk with people in Australia about it.
One guy, Richard Tan commented on them both and invited me to come and have a look. Richards Aquaponics system and fish farm sounded really interesting.
We arrived in Australia in mid-March, almost one year since we met Don and Di. We kept in contact regularly by mail and planned to come and visit them the next month, first we had to start working and build our campervan to travel around.
Around mid-April we drove up to Biloela, to finally meet Don and Di! We were welcomed with open arms, made us feel like family and even let us stay in their wonderful full option cabins
(If you want to book! => http://www.booking.com/Share-eO9Kb4).
We stayed with them for a week and did some extra work on the van, helped them out with final preparations for a fundraising dinner they had organized at the end of the week.
We first had planned to leave Biloela to find work before the weekend, but Don and Di invited us to stay until after the fundraising dinner.
By now you must be thinking what has this all to do with Six degrees of separation?
Well, during the preparations there was one name that I had recognized from something so I started talking about my aquaponics story and the post. Surprised as well Don and Di said he was indeed the same guy.
At the fundraising dinner, I was sitting almost next to Richard Tan! The whole time I spend mailing with Don and Di we never talked about Richard and my plan on meeting him. I didn’t even know he lived in the same small country town. So during the dinner, I showed him the post I had placed on the Facebook page one year ago and he responded, “It’s a small world we live in”.
That coming week we had agreed to meet and he gave us a tour of his property. His main thing was breeding squab (the biggest pigeon we’ve ever seen) and fish for aquariums. Most of his fish and aquaponics setup was destroyed by a couple of storms. But what an amazing guy!
When we started working again we were telling our colleague the whole story and right at that moment Don and Di appeared on television! They were on a new fundraising mission, a bike ride from Winton to Darwin, that’s over 2.000 km through the Australian outback! What a wonderful couple and we are so grateful we met them back in Russia.