Blogging, Friendship, Vancouver Island

What WordPress Neglected to Tell Me

Almost six years ago, when I pressed ‘send’ on my first blog post, I knew no one in the following photo (except for Richard and myself, of course). WordPress gave me no hint about the amazing friendships that were soon to develop.

Blogging buddies and spouses (now simply called ‘friends’), The Black Goose Inn, Parksville, BC. August 2021.

Janis (RetirementallyChallenged, second from the front right) was the first blogger that I ever followed. I was fortunate to meet her in 2016 when Richard and I were in California.

RetirementallyChallenged meets RetirementReflections. There was an instant connection.

From there, other ‘Blogger Meetups’ just kind of happened (on return trips to California or when other bloggers were on Vancouver Island).

Bloggers included in the above collage: Kathy (SmartLiving 365), Janis (RetirementallyChallenged), Terri (Second Wind Leisure Perspectives), Ann (The Unretired), Judith (Dr. Sock Writes Here), Natalie (Natalie The Explorer), Erica (Behind the Scenery), Liesbet (Roaming About), Sue (Women Living Well Over 50), Deb (The Widow Badass) and Joanne (My Life Lived Full / Following a Bold Plan). How many of them can you identify? *I’ve also met Susan from Swooning Grace, Fran from Travels with Fran and Lisa and Rand from Randoneurds. My sincere apolologies. After a massive photo cleanup, with some very accidental deletions, I no longer have those photos. 😦

This past month, Janis and Kathy were back in British Columbia (despite ongoing COVID restrictions, border closures, border strikes and other assorted obstacles). That gave these Vancouver Island bloggers (Deb, Erica, Jude, Ann and Donna) the chance to do what they do best: Meet, Greet and Eat! We’re only partway through our adventure but we did have the opportunity to spend Monday afternoon together. As I previously promised, here are some of the photos of that meetup.

Have you met up with another blogger (or bloggers) IRL? Now that WordPress’ secret is out, please share!

Please stay tuned for more adventures to follow.

107 thoughts on “What WordPress Neglected to Tell Me”

  1. Holy cats, this post made me smile! So many shining faces, so many new friends. And all because of blogging. The polished driftwood is beautiful. I absolutely love “Meet, Great, and Eat.” Could be my motto. 😉 Finally, the dog’s expression cracks me up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad that we were able to make you smile. We’ve been doing lots of smiling ourselves during our meetups. And you’re right about Abby – she’s totally priceless. I’m sure that there will be more adventures to follow. I will continue to keep you posted.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been lucky to meet up with two bloggers. One from my state but 2 hours away and another from a greater distance. Both were exactly like I expected from their blog. There is something about reading someone’s blog. You really get a feel for what they are like.

    Like

    1. Hi, Kate – Your experience meeting up with fellow bloggers has been my experience as well — ‘what you read is what you get’. I believe that there is a generosity of spirit common to not-for-profit bloggers. That shows through in their writing, their photography and their IRL personalities!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I have met another blogger in real life. It was an accidental meeting. I knew who she was from her photos, she didn’t know who I was. She was rude and condescending, a person who I’d never associate with in real life. I never told her who I was, btw. And that’s my one experience of meeting another blogger. Aren’t I lucky? 🤨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow – what a let down! My experience has been that bloggers are the same in real life as they are on their blog. If you like their blog and comments, then you’re virtually guaranteed to like them in person. Sadly, it sounds like you met a dud 😕

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Donna and all Meet, Greet and Eat ‘blogging buddies’ – I salute you … seems extraordinary I was only down the road for a year – yet wasn’t really in a position to meet up … but I feel affinity for you all and like-minded souls. I have met a couple – and they’re around but I don’t meet up with them any more. I feel that affinity for many bloggers without actually meeting them – but I’m sure I’d enjoy most people’s company: we learn so much and have that open outlook … cheers Hilary

    Like

  5. What a fun post! I’m like you. When I started my blog I never dreamed I would make blogging friends with so many interesting people. I’ve never had the opportunity to meed any of them in person. Hopefully one of these days it will happen!

    Like

  6. The title of this post is so appropriate. I think we’ve all been nothing short of amazed by the wonderful community of friends we’ve developed from blogging. I too never imagined it from my early days.

    To you and all the other ladies in these photos, I no longer think of you as just bloggers. You’re friends … very good ones ❤️

    Like

    1. Awwww…you were missed Joanne. Now you are the only one I haven’t met in person. I guess I’ll have to fly back to eastern Canada sometime to meet you in person. While zooming has certainly filled a void in our lives, it isn’t the same as that physical connection. I’m hoping we do it again sometime in the future. Either as a group or just a few of us at a time. And as you say…good friends. ~Kathy

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I had a wonderful time getting together with everyone, despite being at half-wattage due to recent events in my life. I think Abby should start a blog (with Mama Jude’s help, of course!). She will forever be an honorary member of our group, regardless… 🙂

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I ❤ the idea of Abby starting her own blog — or being a frequent guest writer on her Mama's blog — hint, hint, Jude! 😀
      It was a wonderful get-together. I admire your stamina in getting together after a hectic week a long, late-evening flight and jet-lag. You totally ROCKED it!

      Like

  8. I too have met up with a bunch of fellow bloggers and hope to meet even more. Many of those encounters have turned into life long friendships. Who would a thought? Looks like a fun get together. Cheers to many more!

    Like

  9. I love this about blogging too. In fact, I’m meeting three fellow bloggers in Scotland next week, on the Isle of Arran. Hopefully, I´ll be able to meet up with you too someday.

    Like

  10. How wonderful to be able to meet in person. Thee are so many bloggers I’ve “met” over the years that are in far flung corners of the world – the chances of meeting them are remote but I live in hope

    Like

    1. It’s amazing how some never-dreamed-of opportunities really do present themselves — when you least expect it. I also agree that virtual ‘meetings’ can be just as strong as IRL ones. Thanks so much for stopping by. I greatly appreciate it.

      Like

  11. Donna, not only is meeting fellow bloggers in person, an absolute joy, but the referrals from other bloggers who suggest I should follow someone are also amazing. Thanks for including me in the first pic–didn’t we have fun that weekend? Your list of bloggers mirrors mine and it is such a pleasure to meet IRL and continue the relationships. In fact, I’ll be hanging out with Marsha, from Always Write, a former Californian who moved to Prescott, Arizona just a few months before we moved to Washington. I can’t wait to get to BC and meet up with you again. I’m already angling to meet Wayne from Tofino Photography and take up his invitation to go out on his boat and take eagle pics with him. Shooting for 2022! This warmed my heart to read this as I head off on my short blogging break!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Donna – what a great post! So full of friendship and fun – the joy just shines out of all of you. There’s nothing better than meeting a fellow blogger and finding that you like them even more in person – I guess what draws us to other blogs is a similar mindset and life journey that resonates – and that makes it so easy to find common ground when we meet. Enjoy every moment of being together – these tricky times have made me appreciate the IRL meet-ups even more than I did previously. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Leanne – You are so right. Tricky times do make us appreciate all that we have so much more. I aim to never lose sight of this. Hope that all is well for you and that your lockdowns (and most importantly, the reasons for them) end soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Donna, this is exactly what blogging is all about – connection! I will always treasure our visit together and have been so fortunate that our connection has grown to a deep friendship despite the distance. So lovely for you all to be able to have these special times together. I know for me that some of my most dearest friends are bloggers who don’t live nearby. I’ve been fortunate to meet in person with several bloggers in Australia. I also want to add that it is your beautiful, generous, supportive spirit that has developed these connections. I can see the joy in you all and it has made my day. Looking forward to when I can see you again IRL xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Sue – You are so right about ‘connection’. If I boiled the benefits of blogging down to one word, that would be it! Thank you for your lovely comment. Your generous, uplifting and supportive spirit is one of the many (many) things that I admire in you!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hey Donna! I’m so glad you decided to put this post out right away and remind us all of the awesome time we had. It was truly wonderful to meet in person, and like you said, “Meet, greet and eat!” of which we all do pretty well. There is something about talking with each other for months. (like we have on zoom) and reading each others blog post –AND quite another meeting in person. That physical connection is very special. I am so grateful everyone was able to make the meet-up and hope that there will be more in the future. ~Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Kathy – It does mean that I now need to write another #WOYP post. It also means that I will be publishing two days in a row (sigh deeply here). 😀 But I agree, it was good to get this post out now. I too am incredibly grateful for the deep connections made. I look forward to the rest of the adventure.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I think this is awesome. When I started more than two years ago, I had no idea that I would develop friendships with other bloggers. I have yet to meet anyone in person, but there are some plans to meet up somewhere down the road. When fellow bloggers are having health issues or haven’t posted in a while, I sometimes reach out and check on them. It is a terrifically supportive community.

    Like

    1. Hi, Peter – I love when other bloggers reach out beyond their blogs to communicate with us. Janis (yet again) was the first to do that for me. That’s when my blogging world took a huge (and very positive) paradigm shift!

      Like

    1. Hi, Denyse – I agree that Blogger Meet-Ups are an amazing idea. When I first read about another blogger doing this (Janis again), I was a bit wary…and my husband even more so. The meetups have truly been incredible with a surprising lack of awkward silences. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  16. First of all, congratulations on the wonderful title for this post, Donna. It’s an eye-catcher and, I’m sure, will get lots of people reading your post.

    It’s wonderful to read this post and see all the smiling faces in the photos you’ve included. Blogging certainly has many doors to forming friendships with people from all over the world. I recognise some of the names you’ve included in this post, so it’s nice to be able to put faces to names. Some of the mentioned bloggers also visit my blog and leave comments, so it’s good to see them here.

    As for meeting other bloggers, yes, I’ve met many, mainly at the Bloggers’ Bash events from 2015 – 2019. Sadly there are no plans to have any more, but I hope to meet up with blogging friends in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Hugh – Its wonderful to hear from you! I am sad to read that there are no current plans for further Bloggers’ Bash events. I loved following the ones from the past, and always planned to attend one (although our youngest son’s current move from the UK to Hong Kong does throw a wrinkle in my original plan).
      Thank you for your positive feedback on my title. I’ve learned a great deal from your blog — including that! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  17. How very wonderful when “virtual friendship” turns into the real deal. Enjoy every minue of your time together. I wish I were a fly on the wall so I could listen in to your conversations because you are a a very talented group of ladies.

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for your positive feedback, Bernadette. No need to be a fly on the wall. You are most welcome to join us at any meetup that I am at (so far that has been limited to Vancouver Island and California…but I am always open to new places and would LOVE to travel again)!

      Like

  18. Donna,
    Shame on WordPress for not letting us know that making connections and, ultimately friends, was a treasure hidden inside this endeavor. I have made many online friends through blogging and love keeping up with the events of their lives as though they were family. The “Meet, Greet and Eat” get-together had to be a delightful experience, and I’m so glad you shared it with us. You and I have traded comments for over five years now, and I’m very hopeful we can meet up in the future. Now, please continue the party and keep those cameras handy! Joe

    Like

    1. Has it been five years already, Joe? That’s incredible! I’ve only actually been blogging for 5 years and 5.5 months. That puts you in my first group of followers! I look forward to meeting you and Helen in person. I am confident that it will happen! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  19. The blogging world is certainly an amazing place to meet like minded people that has the benefit of turning into friendships. We started our blog site in April, 2015 primary to chronicle our travels and expat experiences, so we have a record to look back on when we are moving at a turtle’s pace!

    Like you, we have personally met several other bloggers and have made ongoing friendships. A few we have followed in their travel wakes with great and up-to-date current information for our next adventure.

    Like

    1. It’s so true that many of us began our blogs for a different purpose…and then it morphed into something else completely! My purpose was to document my initial retirement experience. I had begun to document my China experience in 2001, by email…but I never sustained that and have regretted it. I absolutely love following your travel adventures. They have been a breath of fresh air — especially during lockdown!!

      Like

  20. So wonderful, Donna! What a fantastic meet-up – the group is growing. It was fun seeing Mark and me in some of the photos. Such good memories. It shows yet again that Vancouver Island is pretty much the best place to live. Blogging central! 🙂 Don’t you love Jude’s art gallery? And, so nice there were gifts and prizes as well. A huge success. Enjoy the rest of your get togethers!

    Like

    1. Hi, Liesbet – There are so many great places to live and I am incredibly grateful that I ended up in one of them! After meeting Janis, you were in the next official bloggers’ meetup that I ever attended. I still remember it clearly. You were just as awesome as I thought you would be. How cool is that?!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I started my first blog in 2006. Second in 2012. Until I found a portion of your blogging friends in had no idea there was a world. I’ve yet to actually meet an OL blogger IRL. Makes sense that you would know and like each other but seems a long ways off my original radar when I started blogging and maybe even now. Glad you had such a fabulous time – think your timing was spot on as it’s all changing with wave 4. Love the motto!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Bernie – I’m impressed that you began your first blog in 2006. Blogs were way off my radar at that time.
      I’m incredibly gratefully that everything lined up for Kathy, Janis and their husbands to finally make it across the border (they originally were supposed to arrive 9 days earlier).

      Like

      1. Our original blog (which I still maintain and did a ton of work on this past winter) is a “journal” of our catalogue house restoration. It’s all been a long labour of love. From a blogging perspective it was an easy way for dial up internet folks to see pictures quickly. There are only like 150 posts in it but it’s a great record of our journey with our house. My main blog has 1000+ posts but in 10 posts I might, but highly unlikely, get as many comments as you get on one post so still trying how to connect with readers in a more meaningful way.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s so cool that you began blogging in the days of dial-up internet connection. I can’t even imagine! Catologuing your Home Restoration project is quite a feat and an invaluable record to have.
        I really love connecting with others via blog comments, but comments themselves can definitely be hit and miss. One of my most read posts (about attending Richard’s 50 year HS reunion) has the least amount of comments. So you never can tell!

        Like

  22. So much fun Donna! Thanks for sharing with us all and I must say I can’t wait for the Aussie bloggers invasion of Canada to be planned one day soon! Love the photos and the real sense of friendship that exudes from your post and comments. You’re right, WordPress never told us this could be a result of blogging 🙂

    Like

  23. I truly hope to meet a blogging pal or 3 IRL … so far, not! I so enjoy the posts of a few over the airwaves, and I KNOW they’re the sorts of people I would love to meet. Loved your post Donna, always lifts me! Maybe one day, I’ll be lifted into the skies – on an aeroplane heading over to your neck of the woods. And I hope you’ll do the dame and come south ..

    Like

  24. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say in this post, Donna. I especially like your phrase how blogging buddies and spouses and now simply called “friends.” Thank you for your kindness, generosity, bringing out the best in people and bringing people together. I love the serendipity of our initial meeting and how we have become friends on many levels. I look forward to many more get-togethers and adventures.❤️

    Like

  25. What a great post! In the beginning, I never thought I would connect or actually meet people through WP. It was just something I thought I’d try in retirement. However, it a great, supportive community of fun loving people.

    Like

    1. Hi, Tracey – I agree that our little corner of the blogging world is such an amazingly support community. I am incredibly grateful for this.
      If you ever find yourself in this neck of the woods, VI bloggers would LOVE to meet you!

      Like

  26. I feel so uplifted after reading this post! what an amazing community we belong to!
    Although I have never physically met any BlogFriends, I cherish the friendships that have been cultivated through the years. And when someone decides to stop blogging, they are very much missed and are still remembered.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I have a big smile on my face after reading this post. I recognize quite a few faces, yet have never met. I have met up with other bloggers, one to one, in various places around the world so I can agree that it is a wonderful experience. MInd you, this group seems to have taken it to the next level. I doubt I will get to USA but if any of you reach my neck of the woods you are most welcome and I would love to meet. Meeting other bloggers is like meeting an old friend – and not only that there is an instant connection! It is fabulous and the looks on your faces seems to suggest it was like that for you, too?

    Like

    1. I’m glad that we brought a smile to your face. It’s been wonderful having Janis, Kathy and their spouses here. We are all grateful that we could have both individual and group get-togethers. Australia is high on my bucket list of places to visit. If (when) I get out that way, I will definitely let you know.

      Like

      1. Thanks for reading! I’m slowly building readers and following more blogs. I can see how blogging can become addictive and, well, time consuming! And yes, Erica is amazing. She and her group are in Peru!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s