While in Europe one summer, I decided at the last minute to take a train from Zurich, Switzerland to Fussen, Germany to do some sightseeing before heading to Frankfurt for some business meetings.   A friend had recommended that I visit the famous castle, Neuschwantein, so I decided to detour my plans for a weekend there.  As the train was getting ready to pull into Fussen station, I started a conversation with a guy standing by the door holding a bike helmet, asking where he was from and he said, “Iowa.” 

I said, “Me too, where in Iowa?”

“Des Moines,” he said with some surprise I replied,  “Me too!”  

It turned out he was visiting Fussen for the long holiday weekend and had been there a few times before and gave me all sorts of great advice on what to see and do.   Ironically, a fellow Iowan was giving me advice about a small town in Germany!

However, the coincidences didn’t end there!  After we got off the train, he mentioned that he worked for Principal Financial Group in Des Moines.  I told him that both my mom and husband did, too! Out of a company of thousands of people, I decided to throw out my husband’s name just in case he might know him.  Not only did he know my husband but he also worked in the same department—he was a co-worker! 

The following week, back in Des Moines, he bumped into my husband at work and said, “By the way, I ran into your wife in Fussen, Germany last week.”  You can imagine my husband’s surprise!

But, there is still more to this story.   After I learned that he worked at Principal and knew my husband, I asked him if he knew a woman named Barb who also worked in the same area.  Coincidentally, he had a conference call with her that night.  I told him to tell her, “hi” from me from Germany.  The amazing thing is that Barb and I had met when I’d moved to Australia for the second time and she had later introduced me to my future husband—a fellow Iowan—who’d just moved there! 

Meeting My Husband’s Co-Worker on a Train in Europe

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