Over the last few years, great things happened through my blog. I got to meet people, had interesting conversations, and had opportunities open up to me. But the biggest of all was that I made a new friend. Even I was wondering, how do I make friends on the internet. It didn’t happen overnight. Finally, after emailing for years, I met my friend, Quentin, in real life, a couple of weeks ago. This post is about how it happened. I did get Quentin’s permission to use his name and picture.
A couple of months after I started my blog, Quentin sent me an email from Australia, telling me that he has low vision, his wife is blind, and they collect coins. Though I have expected that there were some blind collectors, I didn’t know any at that point, at least, not one who was actively collecting.
So, we started talking about coins, of course. But as a common interest, we have discussed visual impairment, this is when I found out that Quentin worked in the same industry, for a company that I have heard about before.
We continued exchanging emails, and after coins, we started to talk about all kinds of things. We exchanged coins, ideas, helped out each other with work or just all kinds of things. It is for sure that we have a rather similar view on life. Now, it is not a big deal these days to get to know people on the internet. What I’m not sure about is when did we become friends. Of course, it is not an overnight thing, or a push of a button, but there was a time, when I thought about him as a friend, and I was hoping we can meet in real life one day. Given that we both have a family, and we are almost at opposite side of the Earth, this wasn’t such an easy thing.
Fortunately it got worked out as we work in the same industry, and we happened to attend the same conference in California. It is a conference that I attend almost every year, except last year, when Quentin was there first. I almost made it there, but eventually the plans were changed. But finally this year, we were both scheduled to attend.
It was exciting in many levels. First, a work-related conversation, which I am not going to detail further, probably wouldn’t be interesting for most people, anyway. Second, it was great to meet a friend in person for the first time, and third, based on long conversations about our countries, I was determined to show him my chosen homeland, even if just a small piece of it.
So, the night I got to the conference, we went out for dinner, we got to walk a little bit in San Diego, and after considering at least 20 places, we ended up in the Crazy Goose.We both had an elk burger and a beer, so I think the food and the atmosphere was American enough, it was certainly delicious.
Out of all the opportunities I had through this blog, or coin collection, the ones I treasure the most are the people I have met virtually, and some in person. But it was the first time I made a friend and we also managed to meet.