Is your name Elizabeth Gallagher? Are you Canadian and interested in a trip around the world? Are you OK going on that trip with a recently dumped man whose ex-girlfriend was also named Elizabeth Gallagher? HAVE WE GOT AN OFFER FOR YOU!
OK, OK, I know how it sounds. But Jordan Axani, 27, is really in a bind. Last March, the Torontonian planned an extensive around-the-world trip with his girlfriend, a vegan baker named Liz Gallagher. Then the two broke up. And in a twist straight out of next winter's big Christmas romcom, he can't change the name on any of the tickets, so anyone using them would have to have a Canadian passport and the same name as his ex. He's not asking potential Lizes to stay with him, or even sightsee together, although he "will buy the first round of vino at JFK upon departure." Traveling Gallaghers would merely be following the same itinerary--the only place they'd be guaranteed to see Axani would be on flights between destinations.
The trip is free. He's not looking for romance, money, sex, drugs, or even selfies. "The only thing I ask is that you enjoy this trip and that it bring you happiness." Later in the statement Axani expresses his hope that the lucky Liz will "pay it forward" later in life, in her own way.
Axani first posted the offer to Reddit and Imgur yesterday, and it's very quickly picking up speed on Twitter, Facebook, and just about everywhere Elizabeth Gallaghers can be found. We got in touch with Axani to talk more about this proposition in between frantically Googling "Jordan Axani nice person?" and "Canadian name change amount of time + forms."
VICE: Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Jordan Axani: Why, sure. I'm a fairly standard late-20s guy living in downtown Toronto. I work in real estate development, but dabble with visual art, music, and nonprofit work. I travel a ton, like me some talk radio, and enjoy the hilarity that this Reddit post has turned into.
Do you travel a lot?
Absolutely, I think there are few things more thrilling than realizing (over and over again) how small you really are, and traveling makes that resoundingly so. I'm getting into the swing of traveling more often, doing two or three international trips a year.
So what was the original plan?
A year ago, I decided that I was going to spend virtually every cent I made on traveling the world until settling down with kids, etc. I've been on a bunch of great trips already over the past year, but this one is the best and was booked spontaneously during a big pricing error on Priceline. You could basically fly from NYC to Milan, and then from Prague to anywhere in Asia, for a steal of a deal. Needless to say, we jumped on it as a Christmas present to ourselves.
And then the relationship ended. What happened there? Any hard feelings?
No comment. Suffice to say that she's an incredible person and remains a great friend.
How gentlemanly. What's the itinerary of this trip?
December 21: NYC - Milan
December 28: Prague - Paris
December 29: Paris - Bangkok
January 7: Bangkok - New Delhi
January 8: New Delhi - Toronto
There's the possibility of extending time in New Delhi, but only if both tickets are extended.
Anyone biting so far?
Yes, but no bites that will work. A couple people with the same or very similar name have gotten in touch, but all have other commitments during the trip. We'll see what all this media attention will bring in.
Are you getting a lot of media requests?
I haven't been able to keep up with the phone calls from reporters today. I was so not expecting this at all. But hey, I think there's a positive story here, and it's great people are interested.
What do you think people are responding to?
I think the idea that we can take what would otherwise be a sad situation and make it into something adventurous and positive.
It's a pretty wild idea. What made you decide to do this?
For months I had no idea what to do with the other ticket. Over dinner on Saturday night, some friends asked me, "What's going to happen with the other ticket on that big-ass trip of yours?" Someone suggested that I should make a post on Craigslist or Facebook and see if I could find anyone with the same name--and here we are. Ultimately, the ticket will literally go to waste if I can't find someone. It's not worth the headache or money to cancel the flights with all the different airlines. I'd like to think this is my own way of putting some good karma out in the world.
What would be your dream outcome?
That someone will be able to put the ticket to good use by seeing parts of the world they've always wanted to see, but maybe haven't been able to. My hope is that it'll be an epic life experience that they'll tell their kids about one day.
To be fair, this sounds like exactly a romantic-comedy premise. Are you maybe even seeeecretly hoping to fall in love, a bit?
Not at all. We'll save that part for when the Hollywood writers get a hold of the story.
What qualities would you hope this traveling Elizabeth Gallagher would have?
Hopefully someone sane, smart, and interesting, as per the Reddit post. Someone who's always wanted to travel but maybe couldn't afford to or hasn't had the opportunity.
And lastly, as due diligence for all the curious but nervous Liz Gallaghers out there: Are you a serial killer?
Good news for all of us. So how should interested Liz's get in touch?
Send me a message through the Reddit post. Looking forward to seeing what happens!
Follow Monica Heisey on Twitter.