I’m not a big Facebook user. I’ve only searched for a “friend” once, mostly relying on others to find me. And if they don’t, that’s OK too. I enjoy popping on now and then to see what’s going on or to post a status, but I find Facebook to be a big time sucker, so I do try to avoid it most days. But sometimes it’s priceless.
I belong to a Facebook group called Families on the Move. It’s for families who have, are or will be traveling long term. It’s a wonderful group where families support each other in their travels, offer tips, create joint venture writing projects, ask questions…It’s a wealth of information rolled into one neat customized package. Prior to my recent trip to Antigua, Guatemala, I placed a post in my Families on the Move Group: “I’ll be in Antigua from January 5-23, if anyone will be traveling through, would love to meet up.”And sure enough, there was a reply.
Marina lives in Antigua as a US expat. She is married to a Guatemalan man and they are raising their two children here in Antigua. She is an expert on travel in Central America and maintains a blog and website on the area as well as offers travel services for those seeking help in planning their Central American trips. (www.travelexperta.com). And, she responded to my Facebook status regarding meeting up in Antigua.
On a cool Wednesday night, Marina met up with me at a restaurant here in town. She brought along three of her friends (also expats) to join in the “festivities.”For three hours we shared food, wine and “women talk.”It was like having a mom’s night out, Guatemala style; it was a delight. And, it was all possible because of Facebook!
In the past, I met many people when traveling, but it was all by chance. Never could you plan on meeting up with a person somewhere in the world unless you already knew them. With Facebook, you can create encounters before you even know someone. Clearly you have to be careful, but the opportunity exists for amazing adventures. Facebook is helping to make the world a smaller and friendly place.