People have been making online friends since Kik came out and people were adding it to their Instagram biographies. It was always a bizarre thought that you would ever actually meet them for real, but it happens daily, and there is no greater feeling.
On Tuesday morning of October 16th, my dad surprised me with the best late birthday gift ever: tickets for my mom and I to go see Colombia vs Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena that same night. If anyone knows me well, they would know that I am a huge soccer fan and I adore Colombia. If being Colombian were a personality trait, then I would have a close to perfect personality trait because I cannot deny that all I talk about is being Colombian, and nothing is better than a Colombian being surrounded by even more. I just so happened to be fortunate to surround myself with life long friends.
I made a Twitter account when I was 17 years old, and it was just out of boredom. I thought nothing of it, just "why not?" I did not really get into Twitter until June of 2017, when there was a Colombia soccer game going on and someone tweeted "#ColombianFollowTrain" and from there I discovered a whole other world. You see, I never really grew up with a lot of Colombian people around, so I never had at least one person I could share my pride with. So the minute I started following all these Colombians from all over the place and did not know at all, I did not expect what was to come.
WhatsApp group chats, one after the other, I can't count how many I have been in and with how many Colombians just talking constantly about everyday things. Everyone in the group chats would have meet ups everywhere, but I could not go to them just yet. I would see the endless Snapchats and texts and would just get so excited for the day to come to meet some of the people whom I hold very close in my heart. There are people I do not know that well like others, but even meeting them is just an overall great experience.
So back to that soccer game? Of course, there would Colombians from Colombian Twitter, especially the ones I have spent over a year talking to and, just like that, I met them. It was halftime and I had fifteen minutes to meet them, but, luckily, our sections were pretty close to each other. I cannot lie, seeing everyone in person was a different emotion than through Facetime or just texting. The hugs, the laughter, the jokes, they were all there and I actually wanted to cry of happiness. I just knew I found friends I can have from all over, but still feel like they live only five minutes away. People who I know are going to stick around for a long time.