Embrace Your Passions and Join your Perfect Community

Embrace Your Passions and Join your Perfect Community

For those of you who don’t know, Steve and I met online, using eHarmony. So we’re no strangers to meeting people online who become very important to us. However all of our friendships have been made the traditional way, in person. Steve has a few friends he met while working here in Tucson. I have a few friends (mostly room-mates) from previous stages of life elsewhere and a couple of people here in Tucson who I met through work and hobbies. We love our friends and we’re sure that we’ll stay in touch and visit often once we hit the road, but we’ve already seen ourselves pulling away from some of our acquaintances or “lesser” friends here in Tucson because our lives just no longer match. People joke about losing friendships when someone has or does not have kids. I imagine having a friend give up everything they own, quit their jobs and move into an Airstream might be similar in terms of huge life changes.

However I know we don’t have to worry about our social lives. As we delve more and more into our passions, and the things that make us tick, we also find ourselves immersed in online communities of like minds. It is truly amazing and at this point we would say that some of our greatest friends we’ve never met and, in some cases, don’t even know their names. My father thinks this is ridiculous and dangerous and just can’t imagine that we could call these people friends. But our online community knows our dreams, our passions, our failures, our hopes, and our crazy ideas. They are who we share the things that might make our coworkers or friends from past lives, cringe or stare in disbelief. In this way technology and the internet has proven to be an amazing source of friendship and comradery.

Most of our online friends have been made through the personal finance/ financial freedom/ early retirement community through our sister site Think Save Retire. These are people like us who are prioritizing their future selves, choosing a life of financial freedom and working their way through this consumerism driven world sharing our frugal values. We hope to meet up with many of them once we hit the road. We’ve already started when we met Bryan and his wife, of Just One More Year, last year. We had an a amazing conversation about money, retirement, and dreams the first time we met! How cool is that? We’re continuing by hanging out with Matt and Daniel, of The Resume Gap, this week while they are driving through Tucson. Someday that will be us, meeting up with awesome folks as we drive through town.

kenalyson

Hanging out with Team Boloney!

On the full time RV/Airstream side we’ve been following along on others journeys via social media for a while now, though I wouldn’t say we’re close enough to anyone to call them friend. We’re hoping come the winter when half of the community is in or near Tucson we’ll be able to meet up with more people and expand those mutual comments and likes into a real relationship. We heard about a website called RVillage a couple of weeks ago so when we checked back into the KOA after our weekend out camping in the dessert we signed up and checked in. So glad we did! It turns out that another young DINK couple was staying at the KOA for a couple of weeks as well. That is how we met Ken and Alyson of Boloney on the Road. Unlike our personal finance realm, we didn’t really know much about Ken and Alyson until we met up for drinks last week. It turns out Ken and Steve could almost be twins (in likes not looks….Ken has too much hair ;)). We hung out 4 times before they had to hit the road and had amazing conversations every time. I can see Ken and Alyson being friends who we meet up with on the road for a long time to come.

The overall message or theme I would like to share is that when you follow your passions, even if it means going against the grain and possibly losing friends along the way, you often in the end find yourselves in an amazing community of like-minds. I know we are going to be meeting and making lifelong friends as we continue on this journey and we’ll always have plenty to talk about!

What do you think? Have you found great friends through communities based on your passions? How do you feel about online friendships?

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15 Comments

  • The Jolly Ledger on June 2, 2016

    Feel free to connect with us if you ever hit the mountains of Colorado! We even have a place for you to park!

    • Courtney on June 2, 2016

      Woohoo! Thanks Jolly Ledger. We’re tentatively planning Colorado for next summer (gotta get out of the heat if we’re going to try and boondock most of it). If that’s the way the plan settles we’ll be sure to let you know 🙂

  • Apathy Ends on June 2, 2016

    I am pretty new to the community, but I know more about people I have never met than people I have known for years!

    If you ever trek through MN let me know!

    • Courtney on June 3, 2016

      Isn’t it crazy, Apathy Ends. Half my in-person friends don’t know I’m living in an Airstream because we haven’t hung out in a while. Kinda a big deal. We will definitely let you know when we get to MN 🙂

  • Claudia @ Two Cup House on June 3, 2016

    Supportive of online friends! In the last year we’ve been blogging, we’ve even made offline friends of our online blogger friends! Can’t wait to meet you and Steve. 🙂

    • Courtney on June 4, 2016

      Even more friends! That’s awesome Claudia! We cannot wait until we meet you guys too 🙂

  • Matt @ The Resume Gap on June 6, 2016

    I’ve met a dozen or so online “strangers” all over North America now — through the FIRE community and others I’ve been part of. The internet is an amazing thing. We had a blast seeing you last week. I’m so glad our meet-up worked out!

    • Courtney on June 6, 2016

      It certainly is! We’re so glad we got to meetup as well. We had a great time 🙂 Can’t wait to read about your future travels and maybe meetup again in December!

  • Mrs. SimplyFinanciallyFree on June 6, 2016

    I actually have concerns about our lives going in different directions than our friends. Many of them are having kids (or wants kids some day) and moving into that next stage of their lives while we are DINKs moving on this completely different path towards FIRE. I keep hoping we will find another couple who is on a similar path as us as I love talking about this type of stuff. If you ever make it all the way out to the Northeast certainly let me know as I would love to meet the two of you who are already living my dream.

    • Courtney on June 6, 2016

      Thanks for commenting Mrs. SimplyFinanciallyFree! You are in a very similar position to us where our life path is diverging from those of our friends. So far we still have a couple of friends who have embraced our changing lives and we’ve embraced theirs (when they had kids). Whats interesting is that the couple I’m thinking of doesn’t live anywhere near us, so most of our friendship is now long distance (with a visit about once every two years). We met in person but really our relationship isn’t that much different than those we now have in the FI community. I guess our friendships and relationships will continue to grow and change as we grow and change. But know that this community is great and although we may not be there to hang out in person we can still be there to support one another!

      We are planning an East Coast trip in a couple of years. We want to “follow the colors” down the coast from Maine and visit family and friends along the way. We would love to meetup when we’re out there!

      • Mrs. SimplyFinanciallyFree on June 6, 2016

        I am so thankful to have this community! Even knowing there are other people out there on this same path helps so much, even if I have never met anyone is person.

        • Courtney on June 6, 2016

          Completely agree! We’re all so lucky to have found each other 🙂

  • FinanceSuperhero on June 6, 2016

    The power of community is a fascinating thing! I would say that I tend to have a good balance of relationships from face-to-face community interactions and the blogging world. I enjoy the authenticity and transparency of the blogging community and find it refreshing compared to the veil of privacy which often accompanies face-to-face relationships.

    • Courtney on June 6, 2016

      I love your insight into the blogging world vs the face-to-face, FinanceSuperhero! It is true that we can be a lot more authentic and transparent in the blogging world. This makes meeting those people in person that much more interesting…since they know more about us then even our face-to-face friends. Perhaps this is why those meetings tend to be full of amazing flowing conversation. The power of community is awesome!

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