Note: there are several links in this post, to other bloggers who I follow and enjoy. there are many others, but check out the posts I’ve included.
Over the nearly two years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve had the good fortune and pleasure of meeting some very interesting people in the blog world (on line). As bloggers, we share one main thing right up front: we put it out there, in our writing. Some bloggers write about their personal lives, some write about interest topics (food, travel, news, etc) and some combine themes. Many of us travel in the same circles, and so we eventually notice each other. From there, the we check out each other posts. It’s a wonderful circle, where one good thing begets another good thing. Consequently, some of us get to know a lot about each other as we read each other’s work, and/or comments, and eventually we sometimes connect through follow up emails—where things are a little more personal. As fellow bloggers we often challenge each other; we roast each other; we comfort; we educate, we support each other in our journeys, and sometimes, we actually meet… face to face.
Mike, at the blog Applecore, is one of the people who I’ve gotten to know over time. He started following my blog many months ago, and I then checked out what he was writing about. At the time, Mike was living in Panama with his wife. The first few posts that I read were interesting, as I love to travel and it was fun to read about their experiences. Then I learned that they were not just traveling, they have created an amazing lifestyle that I find fascinating: The Six Monthers. Mike and his wife sold everything, boxed up the few things they could not part with (only a handful of boxes that fit in the corner of her parent’s garage), and they now live in locations around the world for six months, and then they move on to a new country. They are seeing the world, six months at a time— Wow! That really caught my attention, and I’ve been a fan ever since.
Over time I left comments on Mike’s blog site and he left them on mine. Mike read a post about where I live and let me know that he too hales from the state of Washington. Then we figured out that I live a few towns away from his daughter, and somewhere along the line we agreed that if he was ever in the area we’d try and meet up for coffee. And we went on reading each other’s work. He sent me some edits when he found little mistakes on my post, and I did the same for him. Our blog friendship grew, and I figured one day maybe we’d meet.
When he recently emailed me that he was in the area, and that he’d that he’d be a few miles from my home, to run some errands, we agreed that some facet to face time, and coffee was in order. Today it finally happened: I had the pleasure of meeting up with Mike to talk blogs, family, travel, writing, and life. What a pleasure to meet this lovely man, who’s living such an interesting and dynamic lifestyle. When I pulled up to the location where we were meeting, I knew his face instantly from some of the pictures he has shared on his blog. We met with a big hug, which just seemed natural. After months and months of sharing details and touching base with each other in a comment box, it really did feel like meeting an old friend, finally.
We fell into easy conversation and compared notes on so many things in the blog world. We both love writing our blogs, and we love reading other blogs. We both want to improve our “readership,” but we also want to remain true to what we write. We agreed that it’s frustrating (Hurtful? Disappointing?) when you follow and comment on posts for other bloggers, but they don’t visit yours. It’s a slippery slope sometimes… remembering that we’re all strangers on one level, but we also have gotten to know each other on another. The ties are vague, but we’re all putting ourselves out there and that can lead to some expectations. I struggle with this more than Mike. We both worry about word count, finding interesting topics and not losing an edge.
It was fun to talk in real time— to use our kids’ real names and ask questions we’ve each had about the other’s posts, and each other’s lives. It was so relaxed and fun. Two hours were gone in a blip and I think we both could have chatted on. I’m grateful for a lot of things that blogging has brought my way, but new friends tops the list. For a long time I’ve enjoyed Applecore, and the stories that Mike has to share with his readers. After today, I know that I like Mike, too.