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Sometimes, just sometimes, it happens. In Real Life.

After you’ve been blogging a while you somehow, bit by bit, miraculously it seems, become a part of a community. The number of participants varies, as does the frequency of connection, but that doesn’t matter, you’re all storytellers and adventurers at heart and the sharing of experiences somehow creates a bond. Like-minded people find each other. You come to appreciate the stories and adventures and courage of others in your community. Heart connections are born. People become friends even when you’ve never met in person. The World Wide Web that connects us instantly with just about anything and anyone can be cruel and destructive. It can also be a very wonderful thing, a warm inviting place, uniting people who would never normally find each other. I’ve been lucky enough to “meet” many very cool people through this blog, even if I’ve never met them in person, and most likely never will. Okay, there are some people that I really really hope I get to meet in person one day.

Because of  this blog, and following others’ blogs, I feel like I have heart connections with people all over the world – people I’ve never met.

And then there are the bloggers, and the people who follow this blog, that Don and I have been lucky enough to meet in person. In Real Life.

In 2016 we had lunch with Angeline in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; that same time in SMA we met Kaye and Larry then connected with them again when they were in Vancouver later that year; having lunch with Barbara and Lawrence when we were in the Yucatan (and I’m sure there was at least one other time, and I’ll never forget their invitation to visit them in Manitoba one day xo); Meeting Donnae for coffee here in Vancouver (Travelling Crone); several meals with Kelly and J (Compass and Camera) because they lived in Vancouver for a while (and also offered us their home in 2017 when they were away and we needed a place); lunch with Hedy (Sloppy Buddhist) in Richmond (2019), then again in Crescent Beach (2021), then again in White Rock (2022); a big dinner with Karalee, Paula, Joe, Silk, and Helga, who once had a blog called 5 Writers 5 Novels 5 Months, plus house/dog sitting for Karalee and David in 2014.

And then just last September we finally got to meet Lexie (One Foot Out The Door) and her husband in person here in Vancouver. It was, inevitably, a sweet easy connection and a truly enjoyable evening. Lexie and I have been following each other’s blogs for about eight years!

We’ve known all these people online for seven or eight or nine years, and every in-person meeting has been fabulous because we already knew we had a lot in common and similar views on life. It’s as if we’d been pen pals for years.

Not one of us ever thought to take photos of finally meeting In Real Life!

From the Urban Dictionary – Pics or it didn’t happen:
A phrase used on Internet forums to counter the vast range of unverifiable claims made by users.
Guy 1: Dude, I drank four bottles of bourbon last night, then hooked up with 4 chicks at the same time, then Donald Trump came to my house and gave me a million dollars!
Guy 2: Pics or it didn’t happen.

All those meetings really did happen, despite the lack of pics.

And then I searched in the archives and found this pic of us with Kaye and Larry having lunch at The Naam in Vancouver.

And now I have more pics!

First with Matt and Avic (Explore Tayo!) who I met through a Facebook travel group. By chance we were all in Athens at the same time last June. It was such an effortless connection even though we hardly knew each other beforehand. Nomads understand each other.

And just a bit over a week ago we went out to White Rock to have lunch with Curt and Peggy. Curt’s blog, Wandering Through Time And Place, has been part of my life for nine years. To finally meet them in person was a real joy.

White Rock, a small seaside community, is about an hour’s drive from Vancouver down by the US border. Even living in Vancouver for years I’d never been there. Now I’ve been three times; in August to have lunch with Hedy; a couple of weeks later I took Don on a surprise date there because Hedy told me that you can get a double-decker bus from Vancouver – that was a fun trip; then again to meet Curt and Peggy, who were driving up from the US. All the following pics are of White Rock. I guess it really happened!

Next post: I’ll finally get to that truly weird airbnb in Split, Croatia

All words and images by Alison Louise Armstrong unless otherwise noted
© Alison Louise Armstrong and Adventures in Wonderland – a pilgrimage of the heart, 2010-2022.