At the time few thought that Toronto man Jordan Axani, 28 had a shot but that didn’t stop him placing a post seeking a woman who just happened to have the same name as his former girlfriend, Elizabeth Gallagher to take him up on a free round the world trip ticket after his then girlfriend called out on their relationship.
In his post, Axani would explain he was loathe to let the heavily discounted round the world trip (non transferable) ticket go to waste but would have no option unless another Canadian woman happened to have the same name and was game to join him.
Wrote Axani at the time: ‘While our relationship has come to a close, I am still planning on going on the trip and she is not (naturally).
‘And because I hate the idea of a ticket around the world going to waste, I am looking for a Canadian named Elizabeth Gallagher who could use the ticket.
‘Anyone familiar with with the archaic system that is modern air travel will know that a name change on a ticket is damn near impossible.
‘Moreover, the flights were purchased during a massive blow-up on Priceline and were frankly so cheap and on so many different airlines that they’re not worth the headache or money to cancel.’
Before potential candidates started applying to accompany him, he laid some ground rules, but also offered to buy the first glass of wine before jetting off.
‘I am not looking for anything in return. I am not looking for companionship, romance, drugs, a trade, or to take selfies with you in front the Christmas Market in Prague.
‘If you feel compelled to toss me a couple hundred bucks, great. Really the only thing I ask for is that you enjoy this trip and that it bring you happiness.
‘We can travel together and see some cool stuff – or not. I’m easy and have no problem with someone taking the tickets and doing their own thing (see ya on the plane!).
‘Embracing the spontaneity of life is more my thing, though, so if you want to travel together (and are not an axe murder) I’m likely game.
‘This is for the flights only. In the wake of the breakup I have deferred all further planning for the trip. No hotels, trains or anything have been booked. You’re on your own, bucko. Having said that, I will buy the first round of vino at JFK upon departure.’
Proving that miracles and adventures do very much still happen, a 23 year old woman with the same name as Axani’s former girlfriend, Elizabeth Gallagher from Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia would eventually reach out to the jilted boyfriend and take him up on his offer.
At first, the new naturally weary and cautious Elizabeth Gallagher thought a trip with a stranger whose ex-girlfriend’s name was the same as hers was ‘crazy’ but she hit it off with Axani after talking on the phone with him for hours.
‘It definitely did seem a little bit creepy at the beginning but now that I talked to him it’s less creepy and more awesome,’ she said.
But there’s a hitch. The new Elizabeth Gallagher already has a boyfriend.
Reiterated the Novia Scotia woman: ‘This is totally sort of like as friends,’
‘I have a pretty serious boyfriend. We’ve been together for a while. We’re planning on buying a house and we have a puppy, so yeah I’m not really looking for anything at all.’
To boot Gallagher has acknowledged her boyfriend isn’t thrilled. Would you be?
Adding: ‘He understands that I’ve always wanted to travel so while he’s not happy I’m taking off for nearly a month at Christmas with a random guy he’s smiling through it.’
Axani, who works for an international real estate development and advisory firm, said the tickets were purchased for a couple of thousand dollars, but their cash value today is around Canadian $5,000-$7,000 (US $4,400-$6,200).
The trip is scheduled to start Dec. 21 in New York City and continue on to Milan, Prague, Paris, Bangkok and New Delhi before ending in Toronto on Jan. 12.
Axani has also told since the breakup he deferred all other planning for the trip, such as making hotel reservations.
But here’s where the added magic kicks in.
Since Axani’s story became public, Marriott International has now offered to put him and the new Elizabeth Gallagher up, in separate rooms, during their trip.
Axani said the trip will be documented and shared online. He said that he was so moved by some of the emails – including one from an 8-year-old boy who said he was going blind and wanted to see the world before that happens – that he and his brother created an organization called A Ticket Forward to help people who desire to see the world but lack the finances to do so.