Friday, February 17, 2023

From URL to IRL

On the tails of Kyria's visit, I thought I'd talk about how so many of my blogging friendships have progressed from URL to IRL. I've been blogging since the summer of 2008 so am definitely one of the "old school" bloggers. I started blogging at a time when most of my peers were getting married and starting families. Meanwhile, at age 27, I was nearly perpetually single. I was happy to be the 5th wheel but my social options started to diminish since having kids makes it much harder to do things like girls weekends, dinners out, etc. But luckily, blogging allowed me to connect with all sorts of (mostly) women across the continent who had similar interests; namely, running and/or reading. 

My first blogger meet-up was in the fall of 2010. I'd been friends with a woman, Amber, who is no longer blogging (womp womp!), for several years. We decided to virtually train together for the 2010 Portland marathon. At the time, she lived in Kamloops, BC so it was a destination race for both of us. She picked me up at the Vancouver airport and then we did a 5-day road trip down to Portland. It may sound odd/crazy to go on a road trip with someone you've never met in person but our friendship was at the point where we were exchanging Blackberry messages (remember when everyone had Blackberries?) on a daily basis and had done many google hang-outs/video chats. We had the time of our lives on that trip and an innocent bystander would never have guessed it was our first time meeting in person. We also met up with another woman who is no longer blogging at the marathon. To this day, Amber is one of my closest friends. 

That was just the start, though. I've done countless meet-ups and hosted friends from all over the place over the last 13 years. These relationship were and are incredibly significant. It's notable that I have been in the weddings of 2 bloggers, gave a blessing at another blogger's wedding, and had 2 tables of blogger friends at my wedding - including Kyria, of course! 

I'm glad that I'm feeling ready to dip my toe back into travel again now that the boys are a little bit older so I can start to reconnect in a more meaningful way with these women. There is no replacement for spending time in person with a good friend, in my opinion! I'll be meeting up with Amber in the Banff region of Canada this summer. It will be our first time seeing each other in over 6 years as I last saw her at my wedding when she was pregnant with her first child! We now are moms to 2 kids each so a lot has changed over the last 6 years!

I'll be forever grateful for the friendships I developed through blogging. These ladies (and one guy - hi John!) came into my life at a time when I was feeling a little out of place with the friends I'd made in college and at work. Of course I was very happy that my friends were getting married and starting families, but I had an out-of-place sort of feeling. Meeting similar-minded people was so good for me. If you are reading this blog, you know how well you can feel you know a person - especially once you start to comment back and forth on each others' blogs and especially when you take those friendships to email/text. 

I'm a little sad that most of my original blogging friend gang are no longer blogging, although I recognize how hard it is to fit everything in when you are juggling career, family, friends, etc. But I'm glad that I've met a whole new batch of people through blogging in the last couple of years! With my return to work travel, maybe I'll cross paths with some of you in the future!!

Have you ever turned a relationship from URL to IRL? 


Elisabeth said...

I could not love this more if I tried, Lisa!
As a newby blogger, it's so fun to see the real-life relationships that blogging can lead to. I love that you, Amber, and Kyria are still so close. <3

Also, you are a stunning bride and look absolutely radiant!

P.S. You know you have to come to Nova Scotia, right?!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

You must have felt your ears ringing; I was going to write a post about the same thing, connections! Spoiler alert: I would rather have less followers who I interact with more, than a ton of followers (or whatever you call them) who never even comment or never comment back. I love the back and forth exchange and the getting to know people by reading their thoughts and sharing mine.

Definitely I think nowadays meeting someone who you met online is not as big of a deal but back when we started blogging (I started in 2005 or 2006 I think) it was definitely a little "strange." I am so glad I did not hesitate to meet up with you when I did; I am a better person because of it! Thanks for sticking around! Also, as to E's comment above, I have never been to Nova Scotia, have you?? :)

Suzanne said...

This is so lovely! I have had a handful of bloggers with whom I interact IRL - but I have never met a blog friend in person. I am excited for your trip to Banff. What a wonderful way to reconnect with your friend!

Nicole said...

BANFFFFFFF gosh I hope I can meet up with you! We shall see on the timing, as we've discussed. In any case, I am proud to say that Banff is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It's really special.

Two of my closest friends, who I "talk" to almost every day (i.e., message), I met through blogging. I could not imagine life without them.

I really do think that the connections we make here, online, are so real and so important. I think of you as a friend and really, everyone else in our blogging community. I would be happy to meet any one of them in real life and I hope I do, someday.

NGS said...

I'm hoping to meet a blog friend this weekend and hopefully it will bloom into a long-lasting relationship. It's so lovely that you've been able to transition friendships from URL to IRL and it's an inspiration for all of us!

Jeanie said...

Lots of my blogging relationships are now IRL. (And by the way, congratulations on so many years of it and of making the effort to turn those into IRLs.) Like you, I've visited some, some visited me, and I've had meet-ups. And I look forward to doing it again! (With you!)

coco said...

I've been blogging over ten years and many of the people I followed then and met in person no longer blog, especially after having kids. I did make a good friend from blog when I was in the US, she came to my house couple times and I went to hers too. We are no longer in touch but it was a beautiful friendship then.
I like old fashion bloggers, those who blog as hobbies and not as influencer, like yours, Kae, Shu, Elizabeth's and few others... more authentic and smaller group of "good blogger friends". I like following your life.

Sarah said...

This is the CUTEST title.

I met my OG mom blogger friends IRL at BlogHer in Chicago in 2009, and we had a Madison weekend after that. Another blog friend and her fam came to visit on her way to see her in-laws, and that was a delight, too. None of them still blogs, but we are all still URL friends through social media and a text thread about raising teens that sustains my life some days.

I am all about blog friend meet ups— its so fun to meet a friend through their writing and then get to meet in person.

Grateful Kae said...

This is so amazing!!! So, so cool. I loved reading about this. It's like old fashioned pen pals, but better. :) I feel confident that we will meet someday! We are not really that far apart. My old best high school friend lives in Minneapolis, too. Maybe sometime I'll take myself on a little personal weekend retreat and make plans to meet up with you one day and then her also in the same weekend or something! I haven't seen her in ages either. How fun would that be!?

Katie said...

That's so amazing, thanks for sharing!

I first met an old friend on Faceparty (ha!)

My best friend is someone I met on Babycentre almost 15 years ago! - we love to tell people we met online lol...

I have lots of old blog friends from Livejournal who moved across to Facebook and we are Facebook friends almost 20 years on, I love seeing their updates but haven't met any of them in real life, they are all in America and I'm here in England :-)

Stephany said...

Even though I know most of this history, it was still fun to read about! I've made lots of friends through blogging, some of which I've met in person and some I've only exchanged very long emails with! It's amazing the strong relationships you can build through blogging.

Carolina John said...

Love you Lisa! I've met several other blog friends IRL but Twin Cities is still the only marathon I've done on a meetup like that. Remote friends are the best.

San said...

As you know, I feel exactly the same way about the blogging community and we do have some of the same (blog) friends. I am so thankful we were able to meet up when you came out to California way back when. I still remember the great chat we had over Thai food:)

I just returned from a fun (race) weekend in Las Vegas, where I met a bunch of (Peloton) workout friends and it reminded me of the old blogger meetups!