Tomorrow hubby and I leave for Brisbane, and then onto our much anticipated trip to the USA. Bags are almost all packed. Camera gear at the ready. More gluten free snacks than I think any carry-on suitcase has ever seen before. Not much to do now but count down the hours.
And apart from all the wonderful things I hope to see and do (and photograph)… this trip, more than any other we have gone on before…will be about people. We have travelled to the US many times during our marriage, and always taken time to visit with family there. But I can’t remember a previous trip that involved meeting new friends… people we have known online, but never yet met in person.
I have met so many wonderful, supportive, loving and kind people online. Some I have known for many years, some fairly new. I have met none of them in person before, and yet feel as though I know them as well as if we went to school together. Hubby also has some new found friends (thanks to MLB), who have not only opened their hearts to us, but who are also opening up their homes.
I’m not usually a very sociable person. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good chat. But I’m very shy at heart (it’s a self confidence thing). A great deal of my time is spent in solitude, or communing with nature. People can be confusing. They can be scary. They can take advantage. They can harm you. I have known my fair share of those experiences, and for the most part, I guess I have cut myself off from a lot of human contact. Which is why online friendships can be so wonderful. For some reason they seem safer to me. If things get too “real” I always have the option of logging off.
But every now and then I do miss a good warm hug, from someone who genuinely has my best intentions at heart. I have always been a very expressive talker (must be my European background), but I so often talk with my hands, and facial expressions. There is just so much that can never be conveyed over the telephone or via the internet. When I write a blog post, I have to just trust that you understand what I am saying and how I am saying it. Sometimes I manage to express myself very well…. sometimes, not.
So to be meeting so many new/old friends next week is exciting. It’s a little scary. Mostly I think I feel truly blessed to be able to thank some people in person for all the love and support they have shown me. I am not even sure if they truly realise just what having them in my life has meant to me… or how appreciated their friendship was in some of my darkest moments.
But then again… from the moment I was abandoned at birth… I guess deep down… I have always relied on the kindness of strangers.