A Year in the Life of a TravBuddy........
Sacramento Travel Blog› entry 1 of 6 › view all entries
I wanted to create a blog to recap my first year with TravBuddy and share the profound impact it has had on my life. I've seen many posts on the forums about whether TravBuddy really "works" and if people find travel partners, etc. When I read the few negative comments here and there, it brings to mind my favorite quote from contracts law...quid pro quo! LOL The site is really only as good as we all make it! :-)
Although I do not normally share a lot of details about my personal life in an open forum like this, I am for the purpose of showing how much the last year has impacted my life.
When I joined the site a year ago on Nov 22nd, it was Thanksgiving, and I was laid up at home with stress fractures in my foot after my graceful tumble down the hotel stairs in Belize only weeks before. As my parents were not really able to travel again due to my Dad spending much of the year in the hospital, I was stuck at home because I couldn't be on my foot for another week. I had separated from my husband months earlier so it was a pretty depressing time for me since it was only the second time in my life away from my parents on Thanksgiving (my first was actually for a good reason - I was in Germany!). I was playing around online and found about TB from one of my old co-workers and started checking out the site. I had been looking for somewhere to post my photos from my Mediterranean trip that summer and I couldn't find anywhere I liked that had the ability to type a decent caption (I wanted a bit of history on there so I would remember exactly what I saw). TB was PERFECT! Ironically though, I still have not finished updating most of those blog entries!! HAHA .
I created a profile without realizing there was this actual community behind the site and just used my regular profile name for everything. I've obviously had a number of inquiries as to my profile name...not as exciting as people might hope! I have a yellow convertible Mustang GT and a very deep love for Winnie the Pooh and Disney alike and my father nicknamed my car the Poohstang. I've thought about changing my name to something more travel related but everyone already knows me as this so I've left it...for now. :-)
After creating my profile I came back on to see how to upload photos and I had a bunch of messages and smiles and comments. Huh? What was all this and how on earth did these people find me?!?! And I had several invites to attend a "meet up" in December as I was going to be traveling to see my parents in Los Angeles a couple weeks later......as soon as I was allowed to walk again! I said I would think about it......despite what people think, I am pretty shy and the thought of showing up at a bar in LA with a bunch of people I've never laid eyes on really made me nervous. Once the day came, I really vascillated about going and finally decided I would go check it out for a little bit before Mom and I made a late night run to Disneyland! :D
After getting lost for about 1/2 hour, I accidentally stumbled upon the bar as I finally decided to park in one of the lots and just go wandering and found it as I was walking down the alley - what dumb luck! I got inside and found a group of people under the stairs where they said they'd be and walked up and was instantly recognized by Mark (Travelman) Sybil, Doris (Martinikitty13) and Will (w_clemmons). Next Tracy (Tre69) and Melanie (Mellemel8) were on the scene and everyone was chatting like long lost friends.
Since that day in December 2007, I've been to a number of meetups with three more to go before year end. Since Tim (TYoungTX) likes to share his stats....I will point out that I've somehow moved up in the ranks of activeTBs and achieved a huge milestone, passing Travelman727 to steal his number 5 most active spot! LOL. I was the 3rd member of the "Great Eight Club" behind only Roger and Melanie! What is next....Divine Nine? :P I won't even try to pretend I am anything on the featured stats though.....I lag way behind Roger, Melanie, and Lauro!! HAHA Overall, it's been an incredible year. I've made some of the best friends in the world who've been there for me through thick and thin. When I was facing a potential layoff in May, my Bay Area Babes (BABs) were the two who were there to comfort me as many of my friends and mentors lost their jobs. And when my Mom was having surgery a few months ago, it was mainly TB's who were texting me and emailing to find out how the surgery went. As I now find myself battling my own personal health issues, I feel very fortunate to have such great friends who've been taking care of me and checking on me.
And with the friends I've made through this site, I've managed to do so much more travel than usual and seen some amazing things and places, with the best likely yet to come! Between road trips and flights to meet ups, I incorporated my annual trip to Belize with TravBuddies, spent part of my birthday in South Korea with fellow TB's and will ring in NYE with almost 100 of them! The people I've met on my travels and the information I've received from fellow TB's about destinations has enhanced my experiences far more than I can convey here in words. When I was planning my South Korea trip, I found more useful information off TB through blogs, reviews, and contacting other local TBs than all the "official" information I researched. Because of that, I've tried to give back on the site with informative blogs as much as possible to "pay it forward" as they say. Reading through blogs and reviews on TB has opened my eyes to new foodie adventures (LOL), countries and respective cultures, allowed me to follow peoples' life adventures, and most of all, brought some of the most amazing travelers together who are so generous to share their lives, experiences, and their time when we visit their countries.
The next few entries are dedicated to the memories I've made in the last year - the meet ups I've attended, a special thanks to David and Eric, the TB's who have impacted my life over the past year, my real life and TB world combined, and of course, some of my most memorable TB moments and the funniest photos from our various adventures.
As I embark on my second year with TB, I am starting off with hosting Liz (Quest) from Norway over Thanksgiving week and I know we are going to have a great time! I am looking forward to another year with incredible friends and the new memories we will create along our next adventures. Love you guys!!!