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Meeting a bunch of strangers off the internet? - Do it!

I know that typically as humans we like to stick to what we know, and follow the childhood rule of "don't talk to strangers". Of course, these 'rules' serve their purpose of keeping us safe and within the boundaries of our comfort zone, however I have purposely made a habit of talking to strangers and honestly it has helped to shape the course of my life in the most beautiful ways.

Let me rewind back to how the Travel Addicts UK community started...

I had not long returned from my 12 month backpacking trip around Australia in 2016. I'd met people from all around the world, captured so many photos and videos of breathtaking locations and all I wanted to do was talk about it. I'd talk about it with my friends, my family, I'd share on my timeline - I'd basically talk about travel with anyone who would listen!

But I realised very quickly that everyone didn't get it - once they had seen one photo of a waterfall on my timeline, they had seen them all! So I created a private community, a place for people to share their own travel experiences and get excited and inspired by the idea of their future travels. The community grew and within the group, we discovered that there were a bunch of explorers like us who wanted to see it all!

It didn't take long for us to host our first ever Travel Addicts meet-up in London. Meeting people in the flesh took our travel addiction to the next level and drew our community even closer. We did a Foodie Day Out, an Instagram Tour, a Late Night Museum event, cocktail bar catch-up and we had planned a meet-up for 2020...but as we know, things didn't quite go to plan...

Cereal Killer Cafe - Meet-up 2019

So a few months ago when the sun began to shine and summer blogs started to pop-up, I knew that it was time to start planning our next event.

The Meet Up

I organised the day into two parts to make it accessible for everyone. So we had a wine bar meet up followed by a tour around London on the open top Bar Bus (dubbed the best rooftop bar in London).

Organising any kind of day out is always a little stressful, but organising an event for people who I had never met before and who had not met each other carried its own weight of nerves. I wanted everyone to enjoy their day, I wanted to make sure I had enough time to chat to everyone there and of course I wanted to make sure that the group were comfortable.

Here's the thing about our online community... it has a reallyyyyy good vibe. So the people who join the group and stick around tend to be the exact people who align the most with everything the brand stands for. That means that people signing up to our meetups are most likely going to be ready for a good time and positive vibes!

And, trust me, they were!

We visited Vagabond Wines at Battersea Power Station, and had some delicious wine and cheese platters along with some sparkling rosé before sampling the variety of wines that we could serve using their fancy schmancy pre-paid card system. The group mingled and chatted and "selfied" as the wine flowed and it was the perfect way to get the group together before heading to our next stop. It reminded me of how much I love the energy of this community and all of the questions of "when's the next one" made me smile as it had been so long since we did anything like this! (more to come, I promise!)

As you may know, I recently released the Travel Addicts Journal which is based off of my own trip-planning system. The journals made their debut appearance at our meet-up and we played a fun game to give two of them away. Our winners were ecstatic with their prize and I'm sure will fill the pages with plenty of future trips!

Of course I underestimated how slow a tipsy group of new friends would walk, so we found ourselves running through the streets of London to catch our Bar Bus before it pulled away - it was like a scene from a film and had us all laughing and giggling before sitting down to guzzle down our refreshing drinks on the top deck!

Toot Bus's The Bar Bus was an incredible experience. Two drinks were included in the ticket and the team served us whilst the bus toured past the iconic sights of London. It really was 'the best rooftop bar in London' as you get a constant change of scenery, you request all of the music and lots of people were waving and dancing with us from the pavement.

Trust me, I know how hard it is to get a group of friends together for a day out - with weddings baby showers, holidays, jobs and responsibilities of life filling up our calendars, finding the time to do things "just because" can see unjustifiable. But I hope that this blog has given you the nudge to get out of your comfort zone and maybe try a day out with a bunch of strangers. You never know what adventures it could lead to!

A few of the guests who even attended the meet-up will be joining me on the debut sold-out group trip to Cappadocia Turkey!

Our community is all about finding those bucket list places that you’re destined to experience, and meeting like-minded travel addicts from all walks of life.

If you are not already part of our Facebook community, be sure to join us here and of course join our email list so that you don’t miss out on future Travel Addicts events, international trips and all the best advice!

Thanks so much for being part of our community, keep wanderlusting - adventure awaits!

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