Answer: They're all real people I've met on the Internet, either through Twitter or my blog.
I know some people wouldn't want to associate with such an odd mix of people but I love it. I thrive on getting to know people from all walks of life.
It's amazing it's so easy for us to meet new people these days, and that more people don't take advantage of it.
But Only Losers Meet People On The Internet!
I thought only losers met people on the Internet too, but recently I had to reassess that prejudice. In fact, one of my best friends met her husband on the Internet several years ago, so it's clearly not true. The happy couple keeps how they met secret, but why should they be ashamed of having met through a dating website? Apparently one in eight of all weddings in the USA are people who met on the Internet.
How I Overcame My Prejudices
The first time I met someone on the Internet it was an accident. Here's the story. In April I submitted my blog to expatwomen.com. The owner emailed me back asking:
“Out of curiosity, where in Australia are you living? :-)”
She's called Andrea, uses smileys liberally, and coincidentally, she lived near me on the Sunshine Coast. Next she asked me how old my kids were and I emailed back:
“Our kids are 10, 7 and 4. We moved here in November after 18 months in Costa Rica. Before that we were in New Zealand for ten years. All our kids are Kiwis but my hubby, Rich, and I were born in England. Rich was raised in Kenya though so he's been an expat since 6 months old.
We're very happy and loving all the amenities in Australia after our time in the jungle. Rich is setting up a website development business – we sold the one we had in New Zealand – and I'm writing full-time though I haven't earned any money from it yet. I'll give it until the end of the year:)
I've just read your biography on the site and seen your lovely photo. What a good idea to set it up. You sound very well-traveled. How old are your kids and where would you like to go to next?! You can't get much better than where we live now but I don't think I'll ever kick the travel bug!”
Andrea then emailed me again telling me about her family travels and ending:
“We have some friends coming over this Sunday. Would you like to join us? I don't normally send invites out left, right and center… so I must have a good feeling that we're going to get along. I hope I'm right.:-)”
Overcoming Fear Of The Unknown
What a brave lady Andrea was. Have you ever invited five strangers to your house for supper? We were also worried about going with the usual fears:
- What if we had nothing in common after all?
- What if they belonged to some weird religious cult and tried to convert us?
- What if they frowned on our wild, shoeless children who eat spaghetti bolognaise with their fingers?
But in the end we all got on brilliantly. Andrea and her family have just moved to Indonesia for their next big adventure but I know we'll keep in touch and catch up with them again sometime. Unless they moved to Indonesia to get away from us…
Since Andrea helped me shed my prejudices, I've met more people on the Internet. Some live overseas or too far for me to meet in person, but many I've met in the flesh, including a lovely lady who found me on my blog, and lots of people I met on Twitter.
One night I even went to a local ‘Tweet Up', where people from Twitter come out into the real world. It turned out to be a blind date with me and six men. They were all geeks though and I already have a lovely computer boffin husband. It's just good to get outside your comfort zone and get to know people you might not have met otherwise.
How You Can Meet Interesting People All Over The World
- Be open to the idea of making new friends.
- Overturn your prejudices about meeting people online.
- Try using Twitter, have a look round, see who interests you.
- Visit their site and leave a comment if it tickles your fancy.
- Email or tweet them and see what happens. You might be surprised.
Let Me Introduce You
Check some of my new mates out for yourselves. They're all smart, friendly and funny too.
Catch up with Andrea, the brave, friendly expat lady here.
Maybe you're more interested in Josh, the American librarian with Tourette's syndrome?
The bi-sexual mother from Alice Springs appeals? She's hot, taken though.
The Tibetan monk? I was in touch with Choejor. Say Tashi Delek to him from me.
But Wait There's More!
Connie, a stunning foodie in Florida.
Jackson the Antipodean alpha geek and surf dude.
And the latest is Chris, creator of the art of non-conformity.
Amazing isn't it? There are others too, but I'll save them for later. It's your turn now. Have you ever met any great people in unexpected places, or done something that you thought you'd never do?
Please Subscribe and Share the Love
I'd love it if you take a moment to use the handy tool below to add this to Stumble, Tweet or share on Facebook because that will help me get more readers. Thank you, friends.