Today I wanted to talk about a totally different matter. It’s not about India, travel or taxi drivers. It’s about Meetup. It brings together people who enjoy similar things or activities, whether that be fitness, photography, tech or, well … pretty much anything. And it’s free!Apparently this movement has a long history, but I discovered it only two years ago and I loved it straight away.
So first, a brief background on Meetup. Someone decided to call for like-minded people over internet to do some activities together. Maybe that person was lonely, maybe friends and relatives had different views on what was fun. But that loneliness resulted in a great innovative …. which spread all over the world.
Before I went to Nepal last year, I realised that my fitness level for hiking was quite low, despite daily visits to gym and working with a personal trainer. Mainly because hiking and climbing mountains involve totally different muscle groups. None of my friends were interested in joining me in my weekly hiking expeditions around Melbourne.
Then I accidently stumbled across a review for one Meetup running group in Adelaide. Super excited, I checked the Meetup website and found a whole bunch of groups all over the world in totally different activities. So, I started my search from Melbourne/hiking/walking/bushwalking/climbing/friends. The search revealed about 10 groups, which perfectly suited my needs. I joined all those groups and the rest is history.
Every weekend there are lots of different events all over Melbourne, which I can join by just responding to the event page. I have a choice of location, time, distance and level of difficulty.
The beauty of Meetup is that every time I hike with different people, which makes those walks very interesting as all of us share the same passion. Many great ideas have come from those conversations with other members, new travel destinations and useful hints. I made many new friends and we catch up with each other on a regular basis.
But there is one more great feature – since it is an international organisation, I can join groups all over the world. Before my trip to NZ, I checked the Meetup app in Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington and was welcomed by their organisers. I actually joined two weekend walks in NZ and was extremely happy with myself.
My proclaimed love for Malaysia makes me stop there every time I travel through Kuala Lumpur. Recently I decided to check if they have Meetup groups there. Yes, they do. Yes, I joined. The organisers confirmed that there is no problem with foreigners hiking and travelling with locals. The price is even the same (not like in India, where foreigners pay up to 10 times the entry fee).
The diverse areas of activities makes me wonder. There are groups for bookworms, moviegoers, singles, oldieo over 60, scrapbookers, knitters, runners, bilinguil individuals etc.
So, to cut my story short – if you have not heard about Meetup yet or haven’t join it, this is a great opportunity at least check it out.
This is what happens when people hiking too much – not my boots.
I can guarantee you will find likeminded people in your city or even neighbourhood, like I did.
Happy Meet Ups!