My first foray onto the Internet began in 1996 when my primary occupation was as a medical transcriptionist. I ran into a wonderful cyber community. I found great friendship that supported me through some major life challenges and self-discovery.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago. I was at a wedding reception of someone I’ve known since he was 8. I was visiting with one of his brothers, and he asked if I was on Facebook. I hadn’t had a lot of contact with this extended family for many years, so I decided it was time to bite the bullet and do this Facebook thing. Facebook proved to be quite an amazing thing! I got connected to people I haven’t spoken with in almost 2 decades.
I resisted Twitter for about a year. I had Facebook. What use was Twitter? Finally I couldn’t resist and signed up. That’s when my life took a major turn. I’ve been practicing my motto of living without regrets for the last 5 years, and I’ve had this dream that you already know about for a LONG time, but for whatever reason I never seriously thought about pursuing it. That is until I “ran into” the Vogels (@FamilyOnBikes, http://familyonbikes.org/). I thought they were amazing, but figured I could never do that. Then the Universe threw some more synchronicity my way. Every year I try to make a big trip. I had planned on returning to France and making a couple of side trips, but I remembered I had always wanted to go to Machu Picchu. No better time than the present, right? So I went. Guess who just happened to be in Cusco the same time I was going to be there. Yep. The Vogels. After spending a couple of days visiting with them and their boys, and seeing how well-adjusted they were, I started to think just maybe, MAYBE, I could do this. But it was still a dream.
While in Peru I decided my next trip would be with my son. I had decided on Africa, and when I asked Tigger where he’d like to go, he said Africa, so we had a plan. A few days later we found ourselves at the post office getting his passport. In the meantime I became “friends” with another family through Twitter: @GotPassport. They were from Texas, sold their stuff, and moved to Thailand. I had always felt drawn to Thailand but what would I do about Tigger? Could he handle it? How would moving around to different countries affect him? The more I read about their move, how they were settling in. . . well, it really got me pondering more seriously. I chatted with Nancy Vogel again, and she confirmed my suspicions: Not only could Tigger probably handle it, he would probably thrive.
The plan started taking shape in my mind, and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a real possibility. Oh, I tried making all my logical arguments against it, but my heart knew it was right. The more I considered it, the less insane it seemed. Thanks to Twitter I’m getting more and more connected in Chiang Mai, which makes me feel even more comfortable. Tigger is excited as well, as you can imagine.
While social media has its issues, it also has great benefits. And it just might be life-altering.