More than a month ago, Mate Tokic spent an unplanned week in London when a winter storm crippled Heathrow Airport and curtailed his plans to be with family in the Washington, DC area a full week before Christmas.
Tokic was able to avoid overnight stays at the airport with the help of social media. He used Skype and Facebook to solicit the kindness of strangers who provided comfortable, if unfamiliar, dwellings throughout London. His travel saga is documented in a story we posted today.
At about 10 p.m. on Wednesday Tokic is scheduled to depart on a flight from Dulles Airport some 25 miles west of Washington. His ultimate destination is Egypt, where he works as a European history professor at the American University in Cairo, and he’s got a scheduled layover in London.
There’s a good chance his flight will be delayed out of Dulles due to a storm that weather.com has predicted could dump from four to eight inches of snow in the area. If Tokics’ flight is canceled, at least he’ll have some experience dealing with the inconvenience.
The story is a testament to a more traditional social network. I’ve known Mate for about 15 years. We met playing pickup soccer in College Park, MD and have become good friends. Typical of our weekly Saturday soccer gatherings, we end our invigorating game with a few beers most often in Town Hall, the local dive bar. That’s where Mate explained at length his travel saga that ultimately became his essay on our pages.
As yet another winter storm blankets the eastern and southern U.S., we hope you read the story with an appreciation for a traveler’s enterprise aided by a thriving social network and the generosity of others.