There’s is always a certain amount of hand-wringing about social media and it’s impact on our lives. Videos like this one make a good point - there is a time when we can be so busy “sharing” our lives online that we neglect to share it with those right in front of us physically.
I’m here to present a case for the upside, however. It’s a situation we’ve encountered before - being connected to someone via social media and then making the effort to connect in “meatspace” with awesome results.
This time the connection was made via http://instagram.com/ - a phone app that uses photos as a basis for networking. While initially pulling up my nose at Instragram (I still see far too many accounts that are little more than vanity accounts consisting mainly of “selfies” taken in bathroom mirrors) the photographer in me wanted to play with it…and it became a part of my daily life. I’ve managed to find many full-time travelers using the app and it’s always fun to see what they are seeing. The biggest challenge is appreciating their views without getting envious…but that’s the topic of another post.
Somewhere somehow I became connected with the FruityToenails account, belonging to Sean and Angie of Herd of Turtles. Together with their 4 kids they launched from suburbia in their bus conversion a couple of months ago. We saw their photos were in southwest Michigan area, had a near-miss visit while we were in Kalamazoo, then they let us know they wanted to come visit Holland for the day (largely due to becoming aware of Captain Sundae though our Instagram account).
We met them at the busy Saturday Holland Farmers Market, walked up to 8th street and had lunch at the landmark Windmill Restaurant, attempted and failed to walk past the Holland Peanut Store, tried to burn off some calories walking down to the Window on the Waterfront Park where we could view the DeZwaan Windmill.
In between purchases of food, potty breaks, and the process of moving 9 people through a busy downtown we managed to have several great conversation threads on full-time travel, homeschooling, working on the road, finances, and stories of the two couples initially met.
We walked back to our vehicles and made the drive over to the original Captan Sundae location - close to where we used to live on the North side of Holland. After sugaring ourselves out we hopped over to Dunton Park for the kids to have some playground time.
We said our goodbyes at the park, and as for the Boyinks we all came home and dropped into bed for a much-needed nap. Playing tourist in your hometown can be exhausting (and high-calorie!)!
Thanks for making the drive up guys - hope you enjoyed our home town!