Panera Bread, P.F. Chang’s, Stir, Camp House, Wired, Mean Mug, my own house, my computer. It happens again and again. And it’s always really exciting! Will they recognize me? Do they look like the picture they send me? Do I look like the picture on my blog today? What do I do if we don’t have anything to talk about, if we run out of topics after only a few minutes? By now you might be wondering what I’m talking about. Well, about blind dates, of course! I’ve had several since I started this blog. And I’m loving it!

personal connections

Writing a blog is a very solitary activity. You spend hours at your computer, writing, sharing, researching, taking pictures, curating, editing photos, reading, commenting, learning, tweaking, brainstorming, crafting, styling…

Interaction with or feedback from readers do not happen on a regular basis, not just on your blog. And in your offline life you tend to avoid talking too much about your blog because your family and friends are a) not as enthusiastic about blogging as you are, b) maybe not really interested in the topics you are writing about or c) generally don’t read your blog(s).

So on these rare occasions that someone reaches out to you and makes the effort to actually send you a personal e-mail asking you for advice, information, recommendations, a translation or wants to meet you in person, this entire blogging journey suddenly makes sense! Of course, you say “YES” to a cup of coffee (especially if you are a coffee lover like me), a lunch or dinner date. Yes, it feels weird to meet someone who only knows your “online” identity and you don’t know anything about. Yes, you make sure that you tell your husband where you are going. And no, you won’t regret it!

Because it’s these personal connections that are important and that keep you going. Not the Zillion (or 5) Likes or Shares on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It’s that single person you are able to help, who you can connect to other people, for whom you can make (expat) life a little bit easier just because you’ve been sharing your story and your experiences on the internet.

I’ve met the most friendly, inspiring, wonderful people on my blind dates. And I would like to thank each and every one of you (and if you think that I’m talking about you, I probably am ;-)): thank you for finding me on the internet, reaching out to me and meeting me in person (or on Skype). These blind dates where I get to listen to your life story, am inspired by your thoughts and ideas and might even be able to answer your questions or move you in the right direction, all of this means much more to me than you might imagine! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your e-mails, Facebook messages, and WhatsApp texts. And, of course, thank you for all of your comments, likes, and shares! Without these, no-one would ever be able to find me and my blog in this confusing and humongous world-wide web of today’s internet!

So here you have it: I go on blind dates. And I’m loving it! Have you ever been on a (non-romantic) blind date? Do you have online connections that became actual real-life friendships? I would love to hear your stories and you are more than welcome to shoot me an e-mail at info@. Who knows – you might be my next blind date!