Have you ever done something that seemed pretty normal while you’re doing it, but afterward think…holy cow, that could have gone so terribly wrong! That’s how I met Maggie…
It was a little after lunchtime, and I was standing under the gigantic Christmas tree in Zócalo, Mexico City, waiting for Maggie to arrive. We recognized each other immediately, and went in for a big hug. We walked for a bit and found a nice restaurant, where we both imbibed on tequila and Mexican fare, chatting away and laughing up a storm, like two close friends who had known each other forever.
Except, before that day, I barely knew Maggie at all. We met in a Facebook Group for expats and nomads living in Mexico City. The group seemed pretty trustworthy, but how much can you really trust that people are who they say they are on the Internet?
How much can you really trust that people are who they say they are on the Internet?
I had shared my story in the group – a Jamaican girl living in Mexico City, looking to meet other English speakers to do fun stuff with, and Maggie – an American who had been in Mexico for a while – had reached out, inviting me out to drinks. I had checked out her profile (which seemed real enough), and saw that she had previous normal interactions with others in the group before, so I said yes.
A few days later, I took my first half-hour journey by metro to Zócalo to meet up with Maggie. I was super-nervous and a bit scared that this might be a very bad idea. Meeting up with someone who I had met online, in a strange country where I barely spoke the language, sounds like something the Internet safety gurus would warn you absolutely not to do.
However, we met. We had a lovely time over lunch where we traded some wonderful stories. At the end, we hugged, took Ubers back to our respective homes and promised to meet up again. And by the time we had left each other, I had forgotten to be scared.
In fact, scared was so far gone that when Maggie contacted me a few days later asking me to dog-sit while she went to visit family for the holidays, I jumped at the opportunity. This turned out to be the best move I ever made, because that meant spending a week in a beautiful, warm and cozy apartment in one of the best residential areas in the city – which had the most spectacular view – for free.
When I think back on all the ways this could have gone wrong, I quake in my boots. I could have been kidnapped, robbed, killed, trafficked, and god knows what. But I wasn’t. And look how amazing it turned out. I’m glad I trusted my instincts and did it – because in the end, my life is nothing but better off for having met Maggie and her family (husband and dog).
I could have been kidnapped, robbed, killed, trafficked, and god knows what. But I wasn’t. And look how amazing it turned out.
It’s just so sad that we live in a world where we can miss out on such wonderful experiences because we have to protect ourselves from the possibility of danger.
Would you have done what I did? Or do you think I just lucked-out this time around? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!