Throughout my travels, I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the world’s most interesting and incredible people. These people, from all over, have opened my eyes to the world and my heart to understanding how little separates us.
Even early on in my travels, meeting people was one of my favorite aspects of being on the road. But, once I started travel blogging, the idea of meeting people through travel began to grow in ways I never anticipated. I started writing because it was one of my greatest passions, and I wanted to share my love of travel with the world. I had no idea it would connect me with so many others who shared that love.
Through social media, I began to create meaningful relationships with people on-line, but last November I took it a step further by meeting a few of my fellow bloggers for brunch. I was excited and nervous all at once about meeting people I had only known because of the Internet.
Immediately, my nerves were set at ease once I sat down with the people I knew so well through our conversations on social media and reading their blogs, even if this was the first time we were meeting in person. It felt strangely familiar to finally come together with them, as if we had actually been friends for years and just hadn’t seen each other for a while.
Over the past year, I have continued to meet up with other people in the travel world, many of whom I had first developed a relationship with on-line. Whether it was meeting up at the New York Times Travel Show, or sharing a house at TBEX in Toronto, each experience has been special and exciting. The connections I have built with these people have become bonds that will last forever, and without starting this blog, they would have never happened.
Unfortunately, this week, the travel blogging world lost someone truly special, and I lost someone I had grown to think of as a friend. Anita was a sparkle of sunshine, someone always willing to give a helping hand or a smile when one was needed. She was a beautiful person inside and out, with one of the biggest hearts I’ve known someone to have. Not everything in Anita’s life was easy, but she was always looking forward to her next adventure. She was upbeat and smiling, even when things were hard, and that’s what I’ll remember most about her.
I met Anita in person for the first time at the New York Times Travel Show, and we developed a friendship outside of blogging. There were times she sensed I needed a friend and was willing to be there for me, even though we barely knew each other. We came together again in Toronto for TBEX, and most recently for our girl’s getaway in Montreal, and I feel so lucky to have had all that time with her during our short friendship.
I know many people in the community will miss her smiling face and adventurous spirit. For now, I am so grateful that I have been blessed to know her, even if it was only for a short time, and I am so thankful for everyone I’ve been able to meet through travel and travel blogging; each and every one of them will forever hold a place in my heart.