Over a year ago I blogged about how social media is a useful tool to keep in touch with friends. I was in Fowey and had hosted lunch for Cornish friends we had met in Turkey. Social media was the way we had kept in touch for a couple of years. Also at the lunch that day was a friend of my then 77 year old mom, they too had met in Turkey, and yes, kept in touch with via Facebook.
When I was travelling, being able to chat to my son on Christmas day via Facebook was one of the things that helped combat a rare, but extremely painful bout of homesickness. Indeed the iPad was passed around the table and he had random conversations from our hosts family and friends.
Now back in the UK Phil and I have stayed in contact with a few of the people we met on our travels. Through Facebook.
Barb and Pete who were brilliant hosts on Christmas day in Melbourne, who completely scuppered my Skipping Christmas plans.
Tim and Jo Ann in Wellington who we met in Northlands taking photos of this view.
They casually suggested we could park on their property when were in Wellington before we crossed to the south Island. What they meant was, stay in our beautiful home and we will treat you to a slap up meal at Cocos, a film at The Roxy Cinema and a glimpse of all things Hobbiton, and a few Oscars. We are still pinching ourselves!
And of course the wonderfully warm and funny Sean and Kelly from the USA. Musical theatre as therapy in Thailand. Who knew? We saved a lot of babies on that trip and I did my fist duet in a karaoke bar because that Sean, he is bad!
And now I am reflecting a lot on what I was doing this time last year and how my life is now.
All the friends I have made since retuning home have all been via social media. Through twitter I met people living in my neighbourhood via #BearBeers. Though Facebook I met so many lovely people on The Bearwood Page, mainly because of the bid to become a Portas Pilot. These are not just Facebook friends. They are real friends. I have been out for meals and drinks with them, had fabulous dinner parties in their homes. Even had one to stay at my house during renovations in her own home.
I would not have met any of these people if it were not for Facebook.
The downside is that I have encountered some trolls. They are not my Facebook friends, just keyboard cowards with narrow lives who will never be at my dinner table.
Interestingly the ones who are now in my life have all travelled further than the end of the road. Taken risks with their lives. Have a bigger picture of the world. And like good food. A bit like me really.
And that is why I guess they are my friends.