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.
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?