6 Friends Theory- trip of a lifetime!


I had little idea what I was getting involved in when I received my invitation to the 6 Friends Theory event from Mercure Hotels.  A bubble of excitement rose inside me as I read the details and then watched the video.  If I understood correctly, Mercure were planning to send someone around the world!  I needed to know more.

How often have we said ‘it’s a small world’?  The Six Degrees of Separation theory is what lies behind Mercure Hotels initiative.  This suggests that everyone is six steps away or fewer, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world.  A chain of ‘a friend of a friend’ statements can be made to connect any two people, in a maximum of six steps.  Such is the theory set out by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929.  In this age of social media, Mercure are proposing to test the theory, offering one lucky person a round the world trip to do so.

Six Mercure Hotels will host the winner, on an unprecedented 30 day trip, starting in Paris, and scheduled for March 2015.  Could it be you?  I have wonderful memories of Paris last Summer.

Is there a more exciting city in the world than Paris?

Paris, in all its evening glory!

If you’ve watched the video you’ll know that Mercure propose to select an individual, and take them to meet an Aboriginal from the Bundjalung tribe in Australia.  They will meet through the chain of friends, and friends of friends, that connect them.  Exciting?  I’ll tell you how to get involved soon.

First I need to tell you a little about your hosts.  Mercure are passionate hoteliers, dedicated to providing a warm experience in their network of 707 hotels in 53 countries around the globe. Part of Accor, the world’s leading hotel operator with more than 3,600 hotels, the Mercure brand has a strong personal identity.  From the second I walked through the doors of the Mercure London Bridge, I was greeted with warm smiles.  This continued throughout my stay, and everyone from the receptionists to the hotel maids had a friendly greeting for me.

Click on any photo to see it enlarged. 

The bedroom was fully equipped, with tea and coffee making facilities and a plate of delicious fresh fruit.  The first thing I did was to kick off my boots, put the kettle on, and check out the free high speed Wifi connection, which worked to perfection.  Slippers and a towelling robe beckoned, and a full range of toiletries in the bathroom.  A hot shower, and London waiting on the doorstep. What could be better?

The reception area has sleek modern lines, with inviting vases of sweets on almost every available surface.  I don’t know how I restrained myself!  Perhaps the prospect of supper in nearby Borough Market?  The 4 star hotel is situated on Southwark Street and is just minutes from the London Bridge or Southwark Metro station.  I have yet to visit beautiful Southwark Cathedral, but I thoroughly enjoyed my tour of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, just around the corner on Bankside. Tate Modern and the London Eye are a wander away, while St. Paul’s Cathedral is just across the river.  The area is also perfect for a romantic evening stroll.

St. Paul's, across the Millenium Bridge

St. Paul’s, across the Millenium Bridge

I think it’s probably time I got to the competition details, don’t you?  Of course, it involves social media.  Mercure are interested in the question of human bonds in the digital era.  A societal study of friendship is being conducted alongside the Six Friends Theory operation.

To take part in the competition, you need to post a 60 second video on Facebook.  In this, you should describe your personality and motivations, and explain why you think you are the best person to undertake this trip.  As one of the judges says, ‘The candidate will be the nice friend everybody would like to go around the world with’.   Is that you? You have until 10th February to convince everybody and pull in the votes on Facebook.  Follow this link for full details.  It just remains to wish you good luck, or ‘bonne chance’!

Mercure were kind enough to invite me to their promotional event, as part of a group of bloggers, but all photos and opinions are my own.




  1. So are you taking the plunge? I think you should give it a try Jo. You know you can count on my vote when you get shortlisted 🙂 Enjoy the sunshine 🙂

    1. I really didn’t have time before I went to the Algarve, Elisa 😦 I surely could have used your help! My smartphone is so much brighter than me, and I forgot to take the cable to download from it. What might have been… 🙂

  2. I think I’d struggle with the technology Jo! I’ll stick to taking photos on my trusty old digital camera 🙂 Great concept by Mercure though it really is a very small world at times and I invariably find I can find a connection with many people I meet along the way even tenuously! Enjoy your time in the Algarve too 🙂

    1. It’s priorities for me, Rosemay. I either write and do the stuff I love to do or I do all the social media stuff, which is time consuming and I’m slow. Not really what I started out to do, but it’s very tempting. 🙂 Thank you!

  3. I think you should have a go Jo a new skill 😉 as if you needed one Lol ! Sounds like you’ve got an awful lot of fun and info out of this weekend … whoo only a couple of days and you’ll be in sunshine 🙂

    1. Oh, I hope so, Poppy! Slithering about in snow’s not my idea of fun 😦 You’re right- it was a terrific weekend and I’ve now got a week or two to play at home movies 🙂 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for the info of Mercure’s challenge – it is challenging!! Haah, I am more a photo girl than video girl I am afraid 😀
    Love your review about Mercure – I like this hotel chains and they are everywhere around the world!

  5. I hope you will have a go at the video Jo. You would be a super candidate for this adventure. I am sure they are looking for personality, not computer skills. And, maybe, you don’t use Instagram but your WordPress blog is way more worthy.

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Ann. You are very kind. Priorities this week are to catch up with some of the lovely bloggers who have been my way, maybe one more post, and keep an eye on Murray in the Australian Open. After Rafa went down, I needed to find a new chasmpion 🙂

    1. Bless you for that, Viv! I haven’t given it serious thought yet, but I might when I’m in the calm of the Algarve. Life’s a bit hectic right now, and we’ve got that white stuff! 🙂

    1. Nope! 🙂 I’m finding it hard just to keep paddling upstream, Meg. The thought of me making a vid has me falling about laughing. Maybe that would impress the judges 🙂

  6. It’s an interesting concept. But how would they test the six-degrees-of-separation theory by sending someone on an around the world trip? I imagine they have it all figured out. You’d be a wonderful traveler.

  7. I stayed in that Mecure after I completed my Yachtmaster in England and LOVED it. Mercure was very wise to include you in their promotional event. Such beautiful photos and a wonderful summary of this great opportunity

    1. Lisa, that’s great to know! I thought we might be getting the special treatment for publicity purposes but everybody really was extremely kind. Thanks so much for your support 🙂

  8. What an exciting opportunity for you and you’ve already made a great impression to have been invited. Don’t underestimate your chances because while the younger folks may have the technical know how it’s the older folks who have the time and money to travel and stay in hotels and that’s what the hotel chain is interested in…bon chance!

    1. I did think I was doing my bit for the oldies 🙂 One blogger told me her Mum wouldn’t have a clue what to do with her laptop. I refrained from replying that I was clueless about Instagram. Maybe I should have asked for a crash course 😦

    1. Just maybe, Lynne 🙂 They were so much younger than me and far more ‘together’ at the event I attended. Instagraming like crazy! Flattered that you think so. Thank you very much 🙂

    1. I don’t stay in too many hotels, Sue, but I really liked this one and they couldn’t have been nicer. I may have a fumble about with a video while i’m in the Algarve, just for fun, but I’ll probably die laughing 🙂

    1. I’ve never made a vid in my life, Richard! I lie- I think I’ve done it accidentally when I’ve been intending Macro on my phone. That’s how competent I am. I do have an Instagram account, but haven’t used it in anger. At the event they were all Instagramming like mad so I’m going to have to get to grips. Might use some of my lazy time in the Algarve to try. 😦

  9. So you haven’t made yours yet? I can’t wait to see it! If it’s anything like the favourite city competition they did, if you get shortlisted then you have to get the most votes on social media. Sounds like Facebook for this one, Twitter is for the other and I don’t really use it. What a fun idea though, good luck 🙂

    1. I do use Twitter and FB a little but Instagram seems to be the big one and I’m nervous of that. My video making skills have yet to be explored and I’m not hopeful. I might have a try, for fun, but I’ve no hope of selection. 🙂 But thanks, Gilly!

  10. This sounds like a wonderful opportunity for somebody. I am almost tempted to get my son to help me make a video (since he has the stuff to do it with), but I am still waiting for him to help me with basics as far a ‘linking’ goes, in general. He and his wife are kicking butt with their internet business, so I won’t complain about sitting on the bottom of the totem pole.

    Remember Harry Chapin ?

      1. I couldn’t afford to take time off if I were to win, Jo. I was sick last year which really threw a monkey wrench into ‘my long-term’ plans. So at this point, I am trying to ‘regroup’ and will have to keep my nose to the grindstone to catch up. Thank you though for your encouragement, though. It is always appreciated. 🙂

      1. Well, they’re probably not looking for someone with great video skills as much as someone with a great personality. So you should definitely have a go. As Starsky and Hutch would say, “Do it, just do it!” And then have a lovely holiday.

  11. Much as I would love to go around the world (though I’d like a lot more than 30 days) my social media skills are zilch and the last thing I could/would do is make a video of myself! So I guess I won’t be taking part in this. Interesting to see how it goes though. And you got a nice trip out of it 😀

    1. I had a great weekend out of it, Jude, and my social media skills leave a lot to be desired (as the event demonstrated to me 😦 ). I’m thinking about it but I’ve never done a video. Falling about laughing, just at the thought 🙂 🙂

      1. It was wonderful! Viveka is such a warm, funny, and above all generous person! And d’you know, she had given me the wrong mobile number…she was so sad that I had been to Brighton yesterday, taking pictures of the pier, because she was staying in Brighton…….and taking pictures earlier than me. We had a lovely lunch, great chat, and I just wish we had longer.

      2. Funny, I had thought she was staying in London too, till I ‘spoke’ to her on WP. Did you remember my hug? 🙂 No worries if not. Glad you had fun!

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