No, not that kind of date (sorry to disappoint some of you!).
Saturday 21st March 2015
On this day, I shall be travelling down to Stratford-upon-Avon to meet up with some fellow FI/PF bloggers!
Huw of Financially Free By 40 has organised a second UK Gathering!
Stratford-Upon-Avon: Shakespeare’s home town!
I’ve been fascinated with the big gatherings that Mr Money Mustache
arranges over in the US and whilst ours won’t be anywhere near that sort of scale, it’s a start and I believe Huw is hoping to make it a regular sort of event, at least an annual one, I guess.
The location was chosen as it was deemed to be fairly central for both people travelling down from the North and those travelling up from the South. Also, it’s place of history and culture – a place I’ve never visited before so hey, I can be a bit of a tourist!
I haven’t decided yet whether I will drive or take a leisurely train down – I’ll decide closer to the date and also when the exact place of meeting has been confirmed, although I’m sure it’ll be some pub!
Not the First Time
This won’t be the first time I’ll be meeting up with complete strangers after chatting to them on the internet.
No, I’m not talking about online dating (sorry to disappoint some of you!).
Once upon a time, having internet connection at home was NOT the norm. I was one of those not-so-normal people. My ex was in IT, so both of us had laptops/PCs and embraced the internet at a time when most people didn’t own their own computers at home and only used the internet at work – this was around 1993-94.
I’ve always been into my fantasy/sci-fi stuff, including games (yes, I was/am a geek!) so the only people I communicated with online were fellow gamers – none of my ‘real friends’ or even family were online in those days!
However, I used to go to ‘gaming meets’ as it just seemed better to meet people in real life. The Press likes to paint the picture of online gamers as awkward introverts who can’t communicate in real life and who have no social lives. I’m sure some of them are like that but actually, I’ve found them to be a very sociable bunch, myself included!
I’ve also met up with people I’ve chatted to online on football forums to…attend football matches!
Anyway, I’m really looking forward to meeting like-minded people, people at different stages of the FI journeys, hearing about real life experiences, talking about my own experiences with people who are ‘on the same page as me’ and ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ so it’s a ‘win-win situation’ for all – how many clichés can I fit in here, haha?!
Gosh, I hope I’m not going to be nervous and start saying stuff like that for real when I meet everyone!
It’ll be good to discuss ideas, learn different stuff and make new connections and friends – all things that will affect my life for real, not my life in a game! Plus, a bit of networking won’t go amiss!
I guess that some people will just call me ‘Weenie’ instead of my real name – kind of expected I guess when people meet me (!) and I don’t really mind as it’s a nickname I’ve had since I was 18 and one that some of my uni friends still refer to me by! Although if there’s quite a few of us attending, perhaps we could have name badges!
Also, I’d best not forget to bring along a bottle of one of my home brew beers – me and M from There’s Value
have agreed to do a swap as she does home brewing too!
Anyway, I have a feeling this is going to be a blast – exciting times! 🙂