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Published: April 24th 2012
Meeting up with fellow 'TravelBlog'ers can be a 'hit and miss' game at the best of times. You may make plans to be in the home city of a TBer, only to find out that they themselves will be on the road when you pass through. Or flight schedules may hint at gifting you a random airport catchup, only for cancellations or delays to interfere. On an almost daily basis TBers would undertake an amount of travel looking something like a combined flight route map of all the airlines currently in operation - you know the ones, the maps we've all gazed longingly at while dreaming of the next great adventure.
I'm far more a believer in fate, serendipity and the power of the universe than I used to be. Sometimes things happen just because they're 'meant to be'. On the other hand, I also believe that there are times when the occasion warrants you not waiting for things to come about in their own good time, but instead decide to just make them happen.
The 10th birthday of the world's friendliest travel site (aka 'TB'😉 was one of those times. Nearly a year earlier
an idea was starting to evolve, bouncing around off the walls of the discussion forums. Never needing any more of an excuse to indulge in a shared passion for travel than 'just because', the "Wouldn't it be great if one day we could meet up... " seed grew into continent level meetups. I had decided from the start that I would attempt to get to the Asia birthday meetup, as this was sure to be well attended and allow me to meet some of the people I had known for years, yet to date had still not met in person.
So with an adjustment of travel dates in one corner, a move not eventuating until post birthday celebrations in another, and a decision to "Bugger it....let's go to KL for Easter" - the pilgrimage began........and they came - from West Australia, New South Wales, from Bangkok and from Auckland.
Arriving in KL on the Friday before the main event, after 6 years I finally had the pleasure of meeting Ali
(founder and owner of TravelBlog.org) in person - with a humble, laid-back personality, he has a real passion for the site and takes pride
in how far it has grown since the early days. TravelBlog, a story 10 years in the making...
A message the following morning from Ali passes on an invitation from Dancing Dave
and his wife Denise to meet up with them ahead of the arranged dinner that evening, and I immediately log into skype and dial the number provided. With a rendevous arranged, I do a bit of work then grab my trusty map and head for the former residence of the governor of Malaya. Over the next two and a half hours I was to learn the hard way that maps also can have fine print, ("Map not to scale") and green does not necessarily mean a park through which you can take a shortcut!! Well worth the effort of getting there though, as I had a wonderful and fun afternoon with the lovely couple - great food and lots of laughs.
Sunday rolls around, and brings us to the party proper. Travelling from far and near to celebrate together were Ali
, Rosetta , Maisondubonheur
with Leslie and Tiffany, MichaelnFaye
with Nate and Gabe, Dancing Dave
and his wife Denise, and Jo Trouble
. Some were meeting in person for the first time,
though introductions were hardly needed - and the hugs would have suggested a group of old friends catching up.
A relaxed afternoon of chatting, eating, drinking, some playing in the pool - oh, and the photos ;-)
(Mine will make more sense if you also check this entry; Travelblog's 10th Birthday: Party in KL
Courtesy of an illness contracted in Myanmar, The Travel Camel
was unable to make it there in person, but was still very much a part of the proceedings. We even organised a skype call with him direct from The Shrine! No skype hookup with D MJ Binkley
in San Francisco unfortunately.
To all of you lovely and amazing people who shared in the KL celebrations, it was wonderful to finally meet you - and let's make those paths cross again some day.
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