Thursday, March 27, 2014

the wonderful world of blates

{my blate, Alex}
You know, when I first started blogging, I had absolutely no clue what I was getting myself into. Before I hit publish on that first post back in 2009, I had never even read a blog. I didn't know that there were thousands of other people out there hitting publish just like me, and loads of them expats as well. And I sure as heck didn't know that one day I'd develop relationships with some of these other publish button pushers, and even meet a few in real life.

Blates are bizarre and wonderful things, even according to us bloggers (for those not in the know, a blate, is a blogger date). I mean, we agree to actually meet someone that we met online. It's our own special version of online dating. But the thing is, even though we don't 'know' each other, we know each other. We can sit down together for the first time and immediately flow into conversation without any awkwardness because we've been all up in each other's blog kool-aid for months, even years.

Take my first blate with my friend, Sarah, for instance, there was no timid blogger lunch for us... no, no, no, we went straight for a sleepover in Avignon. And that blate turned into a friendship that has brought Sarah and her husband to Le Petit Village and on many other adventures with me; to Marseille, Cassis, and Lyon. Sarah even rescued The London's, Gregory and I when we got stranded in London. That's real friendship stuff right there.

So imagine my delight when I found out that Sarah would be visiting Texas when I arrived. Only a few days after stepping off the plane in San Antonio, my blog buddy popped down from Austin and was sitting on my couch with me drinking wine and chatting. It was lovely, and it was beyond comforting to have her here with me. She was a connection to Le Petit Village and my old life, and she was here with me in Texas. It did wonders for the repatriation jitters.
{Texas blate food}
A week later, I was off on another blate, a first blate with Alex. Alex and I had been planning a Tex-Mex get together for a couple of months and we only had a small window of time to go on it. While I have just returned to America from my expat adventure, Alex's is only beginning... she's off to Australia to live with her Australian boyfriend.

It was surreal sitting across from Alex. It felt a bit like I was peering into a mirror at my younger self... a young women in her mid-twenties, full of hope, enthusiasm and anticipation, and embarking on an adventure to a foreign land and to love. It seemed all so familiar.

As we chowed down on fajitas washed them down with a Dos Equis (ahhh... Texas, you taste so good), I grew more and more excited as I listened to Alex tell me about her plans and what she thinks life in Melbourne might have in store for her. And truth be told, I grew a tad envious too... oh to be starting out on that journey again! But, I've got my own journey to continue on, the repatriation journey. It's not nearly as dazzling, I can assure you, but it's mine.

As a dedicated publish button pusher, Alex will be blogging about her fantastic new adventure Down Under on her blog Mutual Weirdness. You should check it out and become blogging buddies... you never know when you might find yourself in Australia looking for a blate.


Bisous!

17 comments:

  1. Good luck Alex, hope Australia behaves for you. Melbourne might be known for its dodgy weather but the food will more than make up for it. And the shopping! Safe travels!

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  2. I totally didn't know what a blate was! What a weird, bloggy world we live in :) Love it!

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  3. This is so great! I'm in a demographic where people go take a Facebook class because their grandchildren insisted (actually, my original reason), but are so terrified of meeting Evil Persons that they absolutely positively see no advantage in making new friends online. Likewise about even reading a blog . . .. they are suspicious that a blog is Evil Voodoo that will crash their computers, drain their bank accounts and pervert their grandchildren. Heaven help them if they should meet a new person. They won't even look at my blog, one of their friends and contemporaries, well, because, just because. Guess there is a piece of tape over their curiosity button.

    Here's to blates!

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  4. I had no idea what a blate is, either - but now I want one ;) In fact I already did have one and I so know what you mean about feeling like you know that person already even though you've never met them in person.
    So good you got a chance to have some LPV feeling on your blate night. I'm still soooo looking forward to all your posts about your moving back adventures. And isn't the husband coming over this weekend!? :D Have a wonderful one!!

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  5. A rescue in London? Agreed, that is serious friendship stuff. I haven't blatted yet (that's a verb, right?) but am looking forward to it whenever the opportunity brings itself along.

    Hooray for Tex-Mex, I want your leftovers!

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  6. Ohhhh I want fajitas now. I really shouldn't read blogs while hungry. I feel like everyone posts pictures of food on days like this.

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  7. Lovely post and I'm still laughing at the brilliant and funny comment from Lee above!

    www.myfamilyandabruzzo.com
    www.lululovesfilms.wordpress.com

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  8. Have loved your blog in LPV Sara, as a Scot living in Melbourne, (having also followed an Aussie boyfriend down here many moons ago), with most of my family in the US and a with a business in Provence - I have just contacted Alex in case she fancies a coffee sometime as we may have a few mutual likes!

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  9. Just catching up on your posts after my holiday. I hadn't read any blogs either when I first started mine almost three years ago but it's been such a fun experience. How lovely for you to see your friend Alex and have that connection with LPV.

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  10. Oh you should definitely not underestimate blates, I've travelled and slept my way round 30-odd states with them!

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  11. I'm sorry I never got to have one with you (yet)! It can be so weird yet cool meeting the person, as you say, you feel like you know all about them and often I do actually share more detail with you guys than with some of the people I know "in real life". But then there's usually always a million burning questions about the bits of their life that don't go on the blog, what they really do for a living, or their partner, or whatever it is that is non-bloggable for them. I'm lucky to have met some awesome people in the blogging community!

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  12. I had my very first ever blate just this month! I had previously met Alex of Ifs, Ands and Butts, but that was inevitable since she works at "my" Irish pub.

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  13. It's almost like it couldn't been a blate with this Texas Alex... Almost!

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  14. I will definitely check out your friend's blog! :) And that is so great about your blates. I have not met any blogger friends in reality yet but I hope that it will happen soon!

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  15. Oh, I'm a little jealous, too! Australia is one of those places I'd love to live for a little while! I'll be sure to check out her blog!

    I was a little nervous on my first blogger date, but now it's just like getting together with old friends. I love it!

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  16. I'd never heard of a blate. Funnily enough I've got one tomorrow. I'm having lunch with a blogging buddy who lives a few kms away, never met before.

    Sounds like you had fun on yours. :)

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  17. The beginning is always so magical but I'm also looking forward to my repatriation and a good dos-equis wouldn't hurt.

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