The friends I’ve made through the help of this blog know me better than the friends I had at home before I started blogging and traveling. Most of my old friends from New Jersey and New York have no idea where I am in the world and have no clue whether I’m back in the states or in China. These are friends I grew up with. Years together growing up all throughout elementary, middle school, high school, and quite some time after that . Now I hardly talk to most of them at all. Is that the way life just is or is it because of my lifestyle change?
I didn’t have a lot of friends but I had good friends. I remember thinking to myself when I younger how it’d be impossible to separate us. Some that I had even had known since kindergarden now barely speak to me. Nothing happened. We just drifted and the clear dividing line that changed everything was when I left to travel the world.
I have most of my old friends as Facebook friends and I see on occasion what they’re up to. Some of the same groups still survive but it’s just not the same. Each year I come home during the summer for a few months. I try to make an effort to see the few friends that I have left but most are too busy. I don’t own a vehicle and my mom moved an hour away from where we grew up. Most of them don’t have the motivation to hang out with me. Two of my friends in the last three years came to actually see me when I was at my moms house.
I have to admit, some of tried to hang out with me but sometimes I can be hard to track. I’m not in places long enough but most of the summers lately have been at least 2 or 3 months.
In the last close to four years of blogging though, I’ve met a lot of people. I see the friends I’ve made from travel blogging more often than old friends from home. They know where I am because they follow me on Twitter. They see the pictures of places I’ve been because of Instagram. They know me personally because we’re friends on Facebook. They know my whole story because they read my blog.
I never thought I’d say “Hey. Last time I saw you was in X country. How you been?” then at the end say “See you in X (another country).”
What’s nice is that many of the travel bloggers have the same mindset as I do about life. We’re all traveling and we have a passion for it. What we look for when we travel might be different but it’s the traveling lifestyle itself that brings us together. If you sit with us at the dinner table, you’ll find us talking about at least five different countries in about an hour. I don’t know what to talk about with my old friends anymore. I seem to overpower every conversation and I don’t like it. I’m always asked what my favorite country is or some other super common question travelers usually get. Somehow most of our conversations lead to me talking about some memory of my travels. When everything I do revolves around travel, it’s hard not to talk about it.
At the last Travel Blog Exchange in Colorado, I realized that my best friends are travel bloggers. I never realized before just how many people I knew within the community and how many people seem to know who I am. It feels nice.
What sucks is that I don’t get to see the people I really like hanging out with often enough. It’s not like meeting up for a house party and driving five minutes away. Instead, we take six hour long buses out of the way in another country just so we can meetup with other travel bloggers. We’ve been lucky a few times like when we lived in Buenos Aires for a few months and other travel bloggers stopped for awhile in the city as well. It was many nights of eating BBQ and drinking wine all night.
TBEX feels like a reunion. All the people we’ve met throughout the year and since the beginning all meeting at once. Hundreds of us. It’s overwhelming and the few days we were in Keystone wasn’t enough. I wanted to talk to everyone.
So Stephanie and I bought our flights for the next TBEX in Spain and we’re excited not just for the conference but to see all of our good friends again. Who knew that travel blogging would introduce me to so many wonderful people.