Imagine being close friends with someone you've never met. That's the story of my friend Liz and I.
We first met online through our workout blogs on an old site called Konamoxt. She was training for a triathlon and I had just completed my first (and only) half marathon. We started commenting to each other on our blogs, and then moved to emailing each other. Eventually, it turned to daily chats on google chats before it became hangouts.
Over time we progressed to phone calls, Skype, and now we use Voxer to keep in touch on a regular basis. During that time we had both started our marriages, have had two children each, and have helped each other through a myriad of life events.
I venture to say Liz is one of the bestest friends I've ever had as she knows a ton about me and is non-judgmental. We both have such differing views on life, yet we are able to make such a connection with each other. I'm not sure if we lived in the same town we would be friends, as the span of distance makes it so easy to hear each other's stories without being personally wrapped up in them.
We've never met in what we figured has been a 10 year friendship. We had made plans every few years, but for one reason or another it didn't work out. This summer when she mentioned she'd be near D.C. I decided we'd make a quick trip to meet up. Otherwise, we live about 7-8 hours apart.
Chris was game and we booked our first AirBnB. I think we were both more nervous to stay in an AirBnB than to meet Liz. After all, I've known her forever it feels like!
Liz and I just picked right up on our conversations from days past. We hugged, walked around the capital and enjoyed a ice dinner together. We both ended up with headaches at nights end from the heat wave, but I am so glad we made a little time to see each other!
Liz will tell you I've always had a fear of meeting people from the internet in person. It's a fear that has slowly subsided as I've seen so many friendships bud from shared interests. I find it so much easier to connect with others who share the same interests online than actually finding those people locally. It's strange to me, but the world is such a smaller place than when I was a kid. Yet it's endless at the same time.
Our AirBnB was a very nice place and all that was described. I wouldn't choose a private room with a shared bathroom again, but otherwise it was a pretty cool experience for half the cost of a hotel and our hosts were friendly and helpful.
I can't believe most of the pictures we have together were riding the Metro. We're both photographers (I a former) and you'd think we would've staged some amazing photo shoot. I think our brains were fried from the heat and walking 5-7 miles around town!
When will we meet again? Maybe sometime in the coming year or two we hope to go to Hershey Park together or go visit Liz in NYC if she ever is up. Either way, I look forward to hanging out again!