In the world of geocaching, there’s a fun activity that involves the use of what’s called Travel Bugs. Basically, Travel Bugs are items of virtually any nature small enough to fit inside a geocache, with a unique tag attached to each one. These tags are shaped like dog tags, and have tracking numbers that can be used to log a retrieval or a drop-off of a Travel Bug, or just to prove you discovered one. Each bug has their own profile page where you can track their progress online and learn about what its mission/objective is. Some bugs have a goal of traveling to specific locations, while others have no specific objective in mind except to move from cache to cache.
To join in on the fun, I decided to release two Travel Bugs of my own last year. I went to a Walmart and found one of those split heart necklaces (those sappy necklaces where two lovers wear one half of a heart each,) then bought two tracking tags off Geocaching.com so I could release them separately into the wild. I released the first half of the necklaces in Boston near the sight of the famous Boston Tea Party, then the second half at a geocache in Central Park, Manhattan on Valentine’s Day. The goal I set was that these two necklaces (now Travel Bugs) would someday be brought together by a geocacher. Whoever accomplished the task could then keep both necklaces.
I know, silly right? I was feeling particularly sappy and stupid when I came up with this idea, but I figured why not. It’s been over a year now and both Travel Bugs have already traveled over 1,500 miles since their release.
Guess where they are now?
The first half is in AUSTIN, TEXAS, specifically in the hands of a pastor, who is planning to hand it off either to me or a nearby geocache once I arrive. The second half is in DALLAS, the very same city I’ll be visiting shortly after Austin.
What are the odds that the very same Travel Bugs would be in exactly the right cities, at exactly the right time when I’d visit, over a year and several thousand miles of journeying later?? It’s nearly unfathomable.
I used to daydream that I would someday go out and retrieve these bugs on my own, and in the course of doing so I would meet the girl of my dreams, who would also happen to be looking to unite the Travel Bugs as well. Two hearts, at long last united through geocaching, after a lifetime of looking. Sigh… if only.
It’s a silly and stupid dream, and I know it won’t come to pass. Sometimes a coincidence is just a coincidence after all, although in my case, they’ve become more like instruments of torture. Just fate continually playing cruel jokes on me, to the point that I’ve lost all belief in the idea of there being soulmates, that the universe wasn’t random and senseless, and that there really WAS a purpose to all the events I’ve experienced in my lifetime. Nope. Life is random, cold, cruel, vacuous and utterly meaningless.
… Isn’t it?
Still, for them to be so close by, at just the right time in just the right places, it behooves me to resist going after these two hearts while I’m down there in in the Lone Star State. Maybe there’s a reason for it, and maybe not, but either way, I’ll have a story to tell.