Back when the internet was new, I started a blog. It seemed like a great place to store thoughts, process ideas and put my words ‘out there’ for people to read. I started writing about my children, my life at home and just little thoughts here and there. Slowly, I started gaining a few followers, and of course, followed them in return. What started as a way to simply share ideas started growing into friendships.
You Don’t Even Know These People
I met people from all over the world and I considered them to be my very close friends. There were a lot of people in my everyday life who thought I was absolutely insane for having an online community. But these people were real to me, and we became a very tight knit group. I watched children grow up, I helped friends through divorces and marriages, and we exchanged care packages and phone calls. When time allowed, we slowly began meeting each other ‘in real life’ face to face. I had friends from Japan, New York to California, Mexico and the UK.
As I began to meet them, it allowed me to travel! I spent two weeks in Japan with my own personal tour guide, and met up with several other online friends in Tokyo. The summer after my daughter graduated from High School, she and I spent a week in Mexico in Cancun with another online friend. She lives there, so we had lodging and food at very low cost.
Having friends all over the world has allowed me to travel more affordably than I ever imagined! And living in Kansas, several of them have traveled here to stay with me and experience the wide open spaces of the Great Plains. It’s always fun to take a few days and show someone around who has never experienced the slower paced life of the country. Doing so also renews my own love for my state. It gives me the opportunity to show off the beauty of my home and see it through new eyes.
Lifelong Relationships and Friendships
It’s been 14 years since I first logged on to my computer and started my blog. The friendships I formed at the beginning are still just as strong today. Some of us still blog; some of us simply use Facebook to keep in touch. But the bonds between us are just as strong now as they were then. Some of my friends I’ve still not met face to face, but we have regular chats and keep up on each other’s lives.
Now that everyone uses social media on a daily basis, it’s not uncommon to hear of people who don’t know each other forming friendships. Back then, it was unheard of. My online community is just as close and dear to my heart as the friends I get coffee with or take shopping. We are a motley group and I’m so thankful that all of those years ago, I took a chance and I opened up to a bunch of strangers.