TORONTO - A Canadian man has picked a stranger who will travel the world with him on tickets bearing the name of his ex-girlfriend whom he split from before their scheduled trip.
Jordan Axani, 28, and his former girlfriend Elizabeth Gallagher booked the three-week trip in May, including stops in Italy, France, India and Thailand. But the pair broke up, leaving Axani with plane tickets booked in her name, Reuters reported.
Wary of the hassle of changing names on tickets booked with several airlines, Axani put out a call on social media website Reddit in November for someone with the same name as his ex-girlfriend and a valid Canadian passport.
After worldwide media attention, Axani received thousands of responses, including from Nova Scotia student Elizabeth "Quinn" Gallagher, 23, according to Reuters.
Axani picked Gallagher, a homeless shelter volunteer, after talking with her on the phone and becoming impressed with her social conscience.
"It's totally platonic," Axani said from New York. "Do I think we'll become friends? Sure."
ABC News reported that Gallagher, who has never been to New York, will arrive on Thursday and their trip will start on Sunday and end on Jan 12.
Gallagher said she has a "serious" boyfriend, The Associated Press reported.
"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," she was quoted as saying.
Axani bought the tickets for several thousand dollars during a travel site's blowout, but they are worth twice as much, ABC quoted him as saying.
Gallagher, a recent graduate of St. Francis Xavier University, will have to buy her own food and souvenirs, which amount to a fraction of the actual cost of the trip, according to the report.
Axani said he received emails from hundreds of people, male and female, who offered to change their names legally.
Axani has turned the attention into a charity called "A Ticket Forward" that aims to fund trips for underprivileged people. Marriott agreed to be the charity's travel partner and to house the pair in separate rooms, reported ABC News.
What does the original Elizabeth Gallagher think of all this? Axani said she has been in touch but he declined further comment.