Maria | How To Turn Your Online-Friends Into Real-Life-Friends!

written by Au Pair in America May 9, 2018

They’ve been friends for a long time, and yet they had never met in person. Up until a few weeks ago at least! When Au Pair in America blogger Maria decided to hop on a plane from Indianapolis to NYC to finally embark on a real-life adventure with her friends that she met online years and years ago. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a completely different kind of reunion story comes along!

Maria in the middle of Time Square.

NYC is always buzzing, but especially on a holiday like Easter Sunday!

Often, I’m known as the “traveller girl”. Because every time I catch up with one of my family or close friends, it seems like I always have a new adventure to tell them about. This time I’m here to tell you about my amazing trip to the “Big Apple”, also known as New York City!

TAKING THE PLUNGE

This idea came to me as a spur of the moment. I have a well-known internet presence in the online gaming community. I have many friends there that I have known, met, talk to for a very long time! I’m very grateful to have those close friends, so I said, “It’s finally time to meet!” After 4 years of talking, playing video games online and learning about each other, I took the leap and showed up.

Finally reunited - this time in real life! Maria and her friends that she met online.

Finally reunited – this time in real life!

EASTER IN THE CITY

Despite having talked to these friends for a long time, there was a lot of nerves involved as well. Luckily, we’re all just the same in person as we are online, so it made things flow smoothly. I got to enjoy some authentic New York diners – where I was overloaded with food that was too much for me to eat! It was also Easter Weekend. And boy, was it a busy time – especially in the city! You can see tons of people parading and doing Easter egg hunts, which takes part in a large portion of the city I learned. And the quantity of people was outstanding! Being from Toronto, which is also a huge city with lots of diverse tourists, I thought I wouldn’t be phased by it. But I was shocked because it was more than what I would normally see in Toronto, even on a holiday weekend!

GOING FULL-ON TOURIST – DON’T MIND IF I DO!

I got to visit the must-see places in the city, such as the Empire state building, Times Square, Grand Central Station, and my absolute favorite, the 9/11 Memorial. It was absolutely captivating. The way they have highlighted this tragic event is incredible. To the point where it’s giving me goosebumps like it did when I saw it just by thinking about it right now. I would definitely recommend anyone to visit this; it brings people together, it brings the world together. I got to experience riding around in the subway and the train system, which I must say, is rather confusing! But it gives you a sense of authenticity to the city.

Beautiful in the most tragic way possible - NYC's 9/11 Memorial.

Beautiful in the most tragic way possible – NYC’s 9/11 Memorial.

THE NYC + EXPERIENCE

Despite only spending a day in the city, I was taken all around Long Island with my two friends to explore. They took me to Long Beach during the night. Although a little chilly, it was tranquil, with the light of the moon and the stars shining on the sand as we walked along there. They took me to Sands Point Preserve, where we walked many trails and saw some cool wildlife like chipmunks, blue jays, and woodpeckers, along with the many, many friendly dogs out for walks. I also got a chance to play some handball with them! It is their favourite sport and I think I did well for a first timer. But it left me really sore the next day… Not complaining though!

Regardless of all the fun things I had seen and done so far, the greatest night was when I got to meet the rest of my friend group at a bowling alley! Everyone was incredibly nice, and I felt so welcome and happy to be there. I know I will cherish these memories forever and I am grateful to have had to the opportunity to go visit them.

BACK HOME. TIME TO RECAP.

Living in the U.S.A has truly been a blessing. Not only because I’m able to travel, but these experiences – they really mean something in my life. The new location, the people’s, and children’s lives you impact – directly and indirectly – the lifelong friends you make… Everything about this au pair experience is purposeful for the future. If you ever have any doubts of this experience, make sure you remember that everything always happens for a reason. And at the end of it all, you’ll think back and realize how worthy it is.

Thanks for reading this post! Hope it bring some reassurance. See you next time! 😊

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