As another year draws to a close, it’s readily apparent that our highlight of the year was the time spent with friends, both old and new.
While the majority of 2014 was spent with the usual suspects, we were fortunate enough to also connect with some truly wonderful cyber friends, highlighting the power of the internet. Only in recent times has it been possible to have so many friends around the world.
The season of new friends started with our May trip to Overland Expo, meeting many familiar faces from near and far. It was here that we first met Ben and Emma, better known as the Flightless Kiwis. After hanging out at Expo, they later came to stay with us for a few days…. days filled with roadtrip prep, laughs, travel talk, craft beer drinking, and threats to kidnap the black dogs. Now touring Baja, we can’t wait to meet up with this delightful couple someday further down the road.
We rolled into July with a dinner meet-up with one of our favorite bloggers, Candace. A talented artist and writer, we’ve followed her travels for several years, after becoming acquainted with her work via Kim and Brian. Candace has created a fascinating, creative life for herself on her terms and is a continuing inspiration to everyone looking to live a life less ordinary. Lovely to have finally met her in person.
August found us re-connecting with our friend Jeanne. We first met in 2000 during a trip to China. Periodically communicating via Facebook and email, we joyfully re-lived our China travels and caught up on 14 years of adventure over Indian food.
Early September brought Kim and Brian back to Portland. We first met these two back in 2012, shortly before they headed out into the world. We have eagerly followed their journey for the past few years, loving their zest for living a life on fire, and anticipating our once a year meet-ups. Somehow over the years we’ve never managed to get a photo of the four of us together, perhaps due to too much time spent beer tasting!
One challenge for all travelers returning home is finding a sense of travel community. We have Peter and Lindsay to thank for starting up the Portland Travel Bloggers group. We had followed their blog as they traveled and commiserated with their feelings upon returning to life in the 9-5. At our our first group meet-up in October, we got to meet them, as well as Althea, Meg and Tony, and some of our favorite travel bloggers, Brian, Jen and Karma, aka The Dangerz. Sharing travel stories over a drink was a tonic for the soul. For to feel connected to those who truly understand the life of a traveler is priceless.
Our year ended on a high note as we hosted Sarah and Tyrhone for dinner. We became blog friends with them, once again, through Kim and Brian after the girls ran the Rickshaw Race together in India. It was a true joy to spend the evening with this lovely couple and we felt like old friends immediately. We can’t wait to spend more time with them down the road.
Each meetup was a blessing, showing us once again what a small world the travel community can be. We have met so many wonderful people online and through mutual friends. As this year comes to a close, we wish all of these special people, near and far, a very Happy New Year. May 2015 bring love, joy, and countless adventures. For many of you, we look forward to seeing you again soon. For those friends we have yet to meet, may the new year bring us together.