Meeting Strangers On The Internet
Meeting people on the internet. Something that could go very wrong, but could also go very right. We're going to focus on the right. Flashback 2-ish years ago (give or take, I'm awful at time lines) when we received a message from a couple who called themselves The Switchback Kids. They were looking to team up with some outdoor brands/people as they embarked on a year long journey to visit all 59 National Parks. We were immediately drawn to their sense of adventure and courage in taking on such a project. We followed their journey and made sure they had some great gear to take with them and very slowly got to know a bit more about who they were and what they were doing. This was our first "online relationship", if you will, as a brand so it was definitely a learning experience in how to work with bloggers and adventurers and what the appropriate expectations are from both ends. Lucky for us, the are the kindest, most laid back, and understanding people that were willing to learn with us as we went.
So, when we figured out both Elizabeth and myself would be at the Women In Travel Summit, we were pretty excited to meet in person! It's a funny moment when you first meet someone in the real world that you've been chatting with online for a while. It feels as though you're seeing a long lost friend until it hits you that you've never actually met this person. The summit was a great opportunity for the two of us to get to know each other and I was able to meet her other half, Cole, as well.
Shortly after the summit, Cole and Elizabeth had a road trip planned that would take them right through Grand Rapids, MI. We were excited to offer them a place to stay and a night out on the town so they could finally meet Dan and we could all catch up in person. While they were here, we agreed to be interviewed on their podcast, as well. I was super skeptical as talking on cameras/recordings/etc. is really not my thing but they made it easy and very comfortable. After a great dinner downtown, we came back, grabbed a beer and settled in at the dining room table. It ended up being one of the most fun conversations I've had in a long time. Without much time to prepare or think, I felt like we were able to answer from the heart and actually surprised myself with how much passion came through in a few of our answers. You can listen to the full podcast HERE!
I was reflecting on how much fun we had with Cole and Elizabeth and what great conversations took place and it really struck me how amazing it was that these were total strangers who we met on the internet, yet we have so much in common. The ability to connect with people from all over and all walks of life is truly something beautiful and one of the things I love most about what we're doing. As much as we don't always love the constant online connection, if used appropriately, it really is a great way to foster relationships and reach past your immediate world into the rest of the universe.
This "online relationship" has been a great reminder to push ourselves out of the box we sometimes get stuck in and meet new people. A reminder to be open to what and who life brings us. And we really just wanted to say thanks again to Elizabeth and Cole of Switchback Kids for reaching out to us when you started and for being willing to grow and learn with us. We're so glad to have met you and look forward to adventuring together in the future! And more podcasts. . .that was fun.