Blogging Friendship

The Importance of Reaching Out

Have you ever thought about reaching out to someone…but then hesitated….and the moment was lost?

If this incredible blogger had not reached out to say that her cruise ship would have a four-hour stop-over a short distance from my home…


And if this engaging (and very observant) blogger had not asked if she could join in…


And if these very receptive bloggers (1, 2) had not agreed to abandon their hectic schedules, and brave the rain…


And if these understanding husbands had not been extremely supportive of their blogging wives…


Then these remarkable opportunities for stimulating conversation, endless laughter and deepened friendships would never have happened.




I am very grateful that they did! Thanks, Sue, Natalie, Ann, Jude, Mike and Richard. It was a wonderful weekend!

By Retirement Reflections

Prior to retirement, I lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years (Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing). Leaving international life behind, my husband and I retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. To document both this transition and our new adventures, ‘Retirement Reflections’ was born. I hope that you enjoy reading these reflections, and will be willing to share your own.

84 replies on “The Importance of Reaching Out”

It’s such a great network that blogging brings us isn’t it Donna – glad you got to enjoy part of yours over the last few days. I can’t believe that Sue made it to the other side of the world and managed to see you – just fantastic!

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Hi, Leanne – It was absolutely incredible meeting Sue. As you know, she is a very remarkable woman. Being able to meet (the always inspiring) Natalie at the same time, and then share this experience with Jude and Ann was remarkable. It would have been wonderful to have you along with Sue on that cruise ship! 😀


I would have been over there in a heartbeat if I won Lotto Donna – that’s the only way I’ll be affording a cruise on the other side of the world for now. But if I’m still blogging in 10 years or so……maybe!
Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

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Hi, Kate – Good to know that you offer respite to weary travellers. 😀 It’s wonderful to live in an area that is easily accessible. When we first moved to a small town, on an island, only accessible by boat or ferry, I had my doubts about regular visitors. Luckily, the Island is so large and diverse, this has not (yet) been a problem at all!

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Yes, yes! I’m with Miriam: Here’s to those blogging connections that become real life friends. A wonderful example of how blogging connects you with kindred spirits all over the world. What a treat to actually get to meet some of them.


Reaching out can change our lives… for the better. You’ve shown us time and time again, Donna, how life can be enhanced by a willingness to take a chance! You inspire me and so do the other bloggers you’ve connected with. Courage comes in many packages and it takes courage to reach out.

Susan Grace


Hi Donna! I think you point out something that is absolutely critical…reaching out. I don’t think the magic happens if at least one person isn’t willing to reach out and attempt a connection. Of course it helps that you are such an amazing person so most people WANT to meet you, but I’m always a little amazed when I read that other bloggers were in my area and I never heard a word until after they write about it. Now it could be me 😉 or???? As you say, it can be such an amazing experience so I hope to try it more often and see what happens. ~Kathy P.S. you all look like you had an amazing time!

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Some day … I’d love to. I have actually been, but it was just a day trip from Vancouver to visit Butchart Gardens. Early to mid 90s, can’t remember exactly. My first visit to Canada anyway, and it was a heatwave year. I raved about BC so much my best friend visited the following year and it rained the whole time! (We are still friends).


Ok Donna, here you go again with the awesome blogger meetups, and this time with SUE! et al as well…
I will have to stomp my feet again, notfairnotfairnotfair.
Still, how great that you guys got to meet in real life. I am such a fan of you both!

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I am so thrilled that you got to meet Sue from Australia! I feel like I know her personally after all these years! I couldn’t get over how petite she is standing next to you in the Facebook photos, she is a tiny one! On our winter road trip in late December/early January, we plan to connect with bloggers in PHoenix and Nevada. Reaching out is easy and yes, our husbands LOVE hanging out with us and the other hubbies!

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I’m so impressed with people who can reach out like that. I can’t. Even knowing that my cowardice means I’m missing out…I couldn’t. Somewhere along the way shy became terrified 🙂
My hat’s off to all the brave souls out there who can walk into a room and say hello to a stranger. You’ll find me in the corner hiding behind my cell 🙂


Thank you, Donna, for all you (and Richard) did for me in Parksville, and your kind description of me in this post. I enjoyed our meetings in Victoria and Parksville very much. I agreed with you about reaching out. I’ve had a great time in Tofino…Heading back to Victoria tomorrow.


I am so happy to read this Donna and loved meeting up with Sue! She’s a real treasure and although petite she is a full of heart and honesty. I met up with a fellow blogger in England last week and we both enjoyed the time together immensely. One day I’ll be reaching out to you too! I’m really pleased you all got to meet up 🙂 xx


Hi Donna I’m writing this from Banff as we continue our travels. The one of my most treasured highlights of our Alaska/Canada tour will be having the opportunity to dine with my dear blogging friend (that’s you btw) and her husband Richard. The bonus was also having Natalie join us as well. Mike and I enjoyed the evening with you all and it ended far too soon. Xx


Hi, Sue – It was a true highlight for me too. I agree that it was way too short!! Richard and I had been so conscientious of getting you and Mike back to the ship on time….that we didn’t realize until later that we still had time to spare.
Enjoy Banff. And let us know if you decide to stay longer in Canada!! 😀 😀


Hi, Jennifer – Thanks so much for stopping by. Meeting up with fellow bloggers is such a great opportunity. I’ve been fortunate to have met eleven bloggers (to date). Each time, I’ve been amazed at how there were never any awkward silences! 😀


Wow, friends from half-way across the globe, meeting up in real life. What a treat. I am sure the conversation was rich and intelligent and insightful. Great memory making on everyone’s part!


Love all the smiles in the heading photo, Donna! I am sorry I missed the “stimulating conversation, endless laughter and deepened friendships!” It looks like fun was had by all. I hope to read some more follow up stories:)


Oh how wonderful. I don’t usually like to ask…. I went to Sydney recently and said something on my site about being down there ‘in case’ anyone wanted to catch up. I ended up catching up with someone which was very nice.


Hi, Jude – You are very kind. I’m glad that Project X is done and dusted (as well as having been an incredible source of inspiration). If you are free for any part of tomorrow, Erica, Deb (WBA) and I are meeting up in Ladysmith. You are most welcome to join us.


I’ve been blogging for over 15 years and yet have really never established any rapport with fellow bloggers until recently. It’s not for lack of trying. I am blown away when I see the volume of comments on a post like this. I now have 3 bloggers who leave comments fairly regularly and one or two IRL friends who do as well but often it feels like I blog for me. Which is in essence what I do as I love the written word. Anyway it was nice to stumble on your blog today and read about your connections with bloggers and IRL folk. Seems you live in a neck of the woods I’m familiar with as I have family in Qualicum and got married there.
Have a good day.


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