Meeting Online Friends In Real Life

by Melissa on May 1, 2017 · 2 comments

Since I began my blog back in 2010, I’ve accumulated my fair share of online friends. These have mostly been other travel bloggers, whom I’ve been able to connect with on a personal level, through a shared interest in travelling, and blogging about our experiences. It’s a funny dichotomy, growing up in this day in age – we are the generation who were once told not to talk to strangers on the street, yet as adults, we’re going out and meeting our online friends as if we’ve known them forever. But is meeting online friends in real life REALLY that strange?

Perhaps it is strange to older generations, who just don’t seem to get how one can formulate a connection with someone else, half a world away. But it’s possible! Now, this isn’t to say we should throw basic safety precautions out the window – every single one of my online friends that I’ve met in real life, I’ve had longstanding friendships with. We’ve tweeted, snapped, blogged and most importantly skyped with each other plenty of times prior to meeting.

meeting online friends

In the last 7 years, I’ve had my fair share of positive experiences meeting my online friends in real life. Here are just a handful of my encounters.

My Experience Meeting Online Friends

Pack Your Passport and Bear Grylls

Beverley of Pack Your Passport and I went to see Bear Grylls and Rhys Darby in Auckland, after a few days of us gallivanting around the city. When I was moving back to Canada after spending the past 18months in Australia and New Zealand on a working holiday , Beverley was just starting her New Zealand adventure. We had previously met for dinner and drinks while I had been passing through Sydney, and we had a great rapport. Beverley continued on to thrive during her year in New Zealand, then returned home to her native UK where she is now freelancing and kicking ass!

Aussie on the Road and a Trip to Tea Gardens

 

Chris of Aussie on the Road became one of my best friends when I settled down in Sydney for a couple months – we shared so many good meals, cold beers and hearty laughs. We had become fast friends via twitter and had even jokingly agreed on marrying each other for our respective country’s visas. Before we’d even met in real life, Chris invited me along on a weekend road trip to the sleepy coastal town of Tea Gardens. I remember meeting in person for the first time and it feeling like we’d known each other for years. We did take that road trip, along with Annie from Wayward Traveller and a few of Chris’s lifelong friends, and I can honestly say I had a blast, and immediately felt like I had a friend circle Down Under! meeting online friends

Master Your Mission with 6 Months to Live

 

I spent a week playing retreat photographer for Jacqueline from 6 Months to Live, when she hosted her 2nd annual Master Your Mission retreat for female entrepreneurs. Jackie and I had become online friends shortly after my return to Canada. We’ve supported each other’s endeavours for the last few years and we’ve both guest posted on each other’s blogs – mine is here, hers is here. When she told me she was going to be hosting the 2nd Master Your Mission at Julia Child’s former summer cottage in the south of France, I knew that I had to make it happen and attend. The week was truly inspiring and I walked away with a better grasp on being an entrepreneur with a greater purpose! meeting online friends

Reclaiming Your Future in London

 

And the gorgeous Toni from Reclaiming Your Future – a woman I consider to be my blogger bestie- made the 4-hour trip to London when Kris and I passed through the UK last summer. She played tourist with us as I tried desperately to find Prince Harry to claim for my own, and together we had so much fun. She even came out with us when Kris’s friends arranged a big restaurant dinner – something that could have been very intimidating to someone who didn’t know anyone except Kris and myself, but she handled herself like a pro and we had an amazing time!

meeting online friends Meeting Toni in real life was the most natural meeting I’ve ever had with someone I’ve met online. Maybe that’s due in part to the fact that we have Skype conversations every few weeks, but I didn’t feel as though I was meeting a stranger… it was just Toni, and we’ve known each other for years!

Travel Massive

 

On top of all of these interactions, I also meet people from the blogging world on a regular basis at the monthly Travel Massive events held in Toronto. A year after returning to Canada I was asked to become one of the chapter leaders and our community continues to grow! Travel Massive has allowed me to not only connect with people I’ve considered to be my online friends, but I’ve fostered friendships and working relationships with the awesome people that attend – everyone from bloggers to tourism board representatives to marketing people.  Travel Massive has more than 130 chapters around the world, so if I ever find myself in another city, theoretically, I could always find myself a local network of online friends to help guide my way!

meeting online friends Meeting online friends in real life really isn’t that scary, and I hope that my positive experiences help to prove that.  Of course, as I said in the beginning, don’t just throw all caution to the wind.  Be sure to use common sense and put safety first.  But in the end, the majority of the online friends I’ve made – especially those in the travel and blogging world – have all been incredible folks who were just like me!

 

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What has YOUR experience been, meeting online friends in real life? Comment below!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Toni May 2, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Meeting you was one of the highlights of my year darling! I was so happy to spend just 48 hours with you and finally meet Kris – it felt like we had been (physical) friends for years…thank you so much for allowing me to spend that time with you xx
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Chris May 2, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Aw! Such fun memories of our time hanging out in Sydney. I’m glad you remember them as fondly as I do!

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