Friday, March 14, 2014

The Adventures of Flat Stanley

Flat Stanley arrives!
I love facebook and how it connects us to people who you'd otherwise lose track of.  Thanks Mark Zuckerberg for inventing it. I'd wanted to invent it years before you but was not technologically advanced enough to know how.  

As a result I am connected to friends from childhood who consequently are probably some of my most supportive and closest friends.  Without facebook, I'm not sure I'd be able to travel and live on the other side of the world on my own.  I realize that's a big statement to make, but it's true.  

There have been months... even years when I've felt so out of place and alone.  I considered chucking in my dreams to return to the comfort of my support network, but I knew I'd be miserable if I turned back.  Besides, I don't know where I'd live.  My friends are scattered across Canada.  So I turned to facebook instead.  Hours and hours of chats with my friends from yesteryear remind me of who I am and where I came from without having to go back.  That's how I got through the lonely times.

And my friends live vicariously through me.  They have settled down and had families and they get to travel along with me.  Because we're all so connected, they feel like they are right there with me.  It's pretty amazing.  
FS in Paeroa

I've enjoyed traveling alone for this reason.  I can share my experiences on facebook and my friends comment on my photos and updates.  I'm not sure traveling alone would be quite as satisfying without their enthusiasm.

And now my friends children have become part of my support network.  All of these little people are getting enthusiastic about my travels.  So I send postcards and they marvel at how they got to their letterboxes.  I am motivated by the fact that I am creating future adventurers and explorers.  I am inspiring children to see the world when they grow up.  

This is how Flat Stanley came to me.  

My highschool friend Kelly has been showing her son Simon my facebook page since he was old enough to love computers (so from birth basically).  
Happy 8th Birthday Simon! 

Now Simon is about to turn 8 and his class is doing an assignment in Geography where the children have been asked to create a flat character out of paper and take it places, get a photo and then share it with the class.  They will all learn about where each character goes.

Simon asked if I could take his character - Flat Stanley - on some adventures with me.   I enthusiastically accepted the challenge!  

And so begins The Adventures of Flat Stanley!
With Stan Walker - winner of Australian Idol

With The Exponents - a great Kiwi band

I'm thrilled to see Flat Stanley so well received.  People just love him and I'm amazed at  how easy it is to ask people to pose with him for a photo.  It's revolutionary!  Why hadn't I thought of this?

So far Flat Stanley has met some famous Kiwis...  Stan Walker,  The Exponents, Breaks C0-op and the All Black Sevens Rugby team.  He has also been invited to go on trips with other people.   He went to Melbourne and has been invited to India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and a few other places.  Lucky guy!  I wish I could flatten myself!

With DJ Forbes - captain of NZ AB 7's

With Tim Mikkleson

With David Raikuna
With Sam Dickson & Joe Webber

With Sherwin Stowers

With the coach Sir Gordon Tietjens

He even went to a Bruce Springsteen Concert at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland New Zealand!  


And then I realize I AM Flat Stanley.  All these years of traveling and taking photos of myself around the world and posting them on facebook... I have been inspiring my friends to travel for years!  

And I travel much the same way as FS does... I rely on the generosity of strangers and new aquaintances I meet who extend invitations for me to stay.  I've met so many kind and wonderful people on this earth and now I have more friends than I can keep in touch with... I gave up sending Christmas cards years ago! 

Thank you Facebook.  I don't know what I'd do without you.  

So if you want to follow along on Flat Stanley's Adventures simply go to my facebook page One Mountain At A Time or click on this link which will take you directly to the album:  Adventures of Flat Stanley 

Check in frequently as more photos are being added all the time.

 Simon will be thrilled to know that his Geography assignment is inspiring people around the world to get off the sofa and start adventure seeking. 

Post by One Mountain At A Time.

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