So last week I made a pretty big move on my own. I bought a plane ticket to LAX for this coming March to spend my spring break in California. If you guys know me personally or if you’ve read up on my Instagram posts for a bit, you’ll know how badly I’ve wanted to go to California since I was last there in 2014. I’ve been three times in my life and explored cities like Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Diego, Laguna Beach and San Francisco. Pretty much all of the goodies. I’m forever grateful for my past experiences and can’t wait to see what this coming trip holds.
But since the last time I was there, my blog and most importantly, my friendships have grown immensely. My last visit I was with two friends, one who is very into health and wellness (studying to be a registered dietitian, in fact) and the other one not so much. Whereas this time, I’ll be staying with my friend Connie who is also studying to be a registered dietitian but to top it off, is a blogger like myself. The double whammy. To top that off, I’ll be ending my trip by attending Expo West.
For those of you who don’t know (like my best friend), Expo West is a 3-day weekend-long event in Anaheim, California that is in a large convention center, focusing on food and wellness related products. Simply put, all of my favorite brands (new and old) all jam packed into one massive building with millions of bloggers running through it. A.k.a the dream to meet up with so many friends I’ve made and “met” over the internet. Finally.
You might be thinking at this point… You’re literally going to a convention to meet people from the internet? And eat food? Yes, sure. But at the same time, to me, it’s so much more than that.
Since day 1 of starting my blog, I never would have imagined that my senior year of college I would be flying out to the west coast to stay at a friend’s house I met over a social media platform. If you told me that when I was 18 I would have looked at you like you were insane.
But since then, as my blog as progressed, I’ve found so much joy in meeting people. You can ask my best friends from my hometown that in high school I was your typical introverted extrovert. I wasn’t by any means “popular”. I had (and still do) only 4 close, best friends and we stuck in our little group and that was that. I never branched out, always failed at joining clubs and never could find my niche in meeting new people. In addition to that, I really disliked going to parties, going out on weekends and in general… being social. But I found that what the bigger issue was I wasn’t surrounding myself with people with the same interests as myself. Until I started blogging.
I’ve met countless bloggers since my first one (my now “best blogger friend” as I call her) May last year and honestly every one has inspired or motivated me in one way or another. That’s why I wanted to create a list of 20 of these blogging badasses that inspire me the most.
A few I’ve met in person before, hung out with, shared smoothie bowls with and even texted on a daily regular basis. All of it wouldn’t have been possible without our handy dandy friend of social media. Specifically through Instagram and my blog. I can honestly say if you look at my text messages on a daily basis, 90% of them are from blogger friends. My roommate (one of my closest and few non-blogger friends) will often say, “Who is ____?” to which I reply, “A blogger friend.”
From the top row to bottom, left to right… here are my favorite inspirations, friends and overall beautiful souls I’m lucky to know.
Nutrition Happens (May Zhu), Addicted to Lovely (Christina Rice), Twist of Lemons (Katie Lemons), Balance With B (Blair Flynn)
Shut The Kale Up (Jeannette Ogden), RachLMansfield (Rachel Mansfield), Constancely Eating (Connie Weissmuller), Erin’s Inside Job (Erin Bahadur)
Gracefully Sam (Sam Parquette), Emilie Eats (Emilie Hebert), Dani Nemeh, The Balanced Blonde (Jordan Younger)
Lakeshore Lady (Lauren Nolan), Healthy Ballerina (Alex Pullen), Hummusapien (Alexis Joseph), Root For Food (Meg Dixon)
Sophie Jaffe (Website/brand: Philosophie), Lee From America (Lee Tilghman), Restoring Radiance (Alexis Phillips) and Realfoodology (Courtney Swan)
Out of these 20 bloggers, some take their Instagram/blog full time, some are moms, others are entrepreneurs, a couple are yogis, runners, or registered dietitians (or RD2BE’s). Some live on the East Coast, some live on the West Coast and some, thankfully, live in Chicago (which means I get to see them all the time! Yay me). A few I’ve known since the first year of blogging while others I met this fall, some I’m closer with than others but all of them I constantly find myself reading and scrolling back to time and time again.
Not only are their pictures and posts beautiful to look at and read but many times I find myself relating to each one of them on a more personal level, which I love. Blair and I text each other almost every day about everything from how good a smoothie we made is to a guy one of us is dating, where as Christina and I were just texting about our colleges and how we hate frat parties.
There’s always one blogger friend I find myself going to for specific things and to that, I’m so grateful. When I have so many thoughts and emotions throughout a day, or even when I need someone to ask for blogging advice, there will be someone to go to.
Whenever I meet a blogger after weeks, months or even a year of talking through social media, I already feel like we’re best friends. I always tell other people, especially when I meet them, that I think food definitely has the power to pull people together and through it, bring out so many similar interests.
When I was in New York with May this past month, not only was I spending time with her, but I met at least five other bloggers during that weekend that set me above and beyond happy. I remember leaving that trip feeling as if I was on an all-time high and could never come down.
I couldn’t honestly tell you one time I’ve met a blogger (whom I’ve spoken with previously on social media) and hated it or never spoken to them again. Or not wanted to hang out with again. It just doesn’t happen because we all bond THAT well.
So to sum it up, meeting your best friends through blogging is the best thing in the entire world (in my opinion). As someone who always felt like she really had “no friends”, especially in college as I’m not a huge partier or go out a ton, blogging was and is my perfect escape. My way to connect with people who have been through similar struggles as myself (especially with food), to be able to travel the world, hear other’s stories, find daily inspiration and always be on a constant high. Even the simplest thing as having one of your friends comment on your post “beautiful!” or “I can’t wait to make this recipe” can always turn my day around. Having your best friends as bloggers means you always have support and love, even if it’s not directly by your side.
So here’s to 2017, and meeting more of these extraordinary, creative, inspiring and most importantly, genuine women I call my friends.
P.s. If you live in California and have any recommendations of things to do, places to go, stops to eat at or want to meet up OR will be at Expo West, let a girl know!