I spent the last weekend in the Nevada desert meeting up with 60+ amazing bloggers of which I had met only one or two in person before (actually three come to think of it) for the ultimate unconference ‘Bloggers in Sin City” and, truth be told, I don’t even like Las Vegas all that much. That, however, didn’t stop me from going and I even might or might not have fallen in love with Vegas a little bit this time… because, you guys, AMAZING things happen in Vegas.
I learned that what happened in Vegas does definitely NOT always stay in Vegas, because I wouldn’t be sitting here sobbing at my desk a few days later if what happened in Vegas had actually stayed there. No, last weekend was REAL. People were real. I know this, because I came home with beautiful new friendships and ALL THE FEELINGS and I haven’t quite managed to get rid off them for the last few days and seeing my Twitter feed explode with “I miss you’s” and “Because VEGAS!” makes me think that if that is not real, then I don’t know what the fuck is.
When I signed up for BiSC, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I had read raving reviews from this blogger meetup in the past and while definitely intrigued, I never thought that a) this would be for me (I am an INFJ, if that tells you anything) and b) that it really was all that people made it out to be. I mean, how could it be? 60+ bloggers (mostly girls, mind you) in the same place for 3-4 days, would most definitely end in drama.
Clearly, I was going to be taught one of the biggest lessons of my life.
I half-heartedly decided to go, because Katherine kept bugging me (thanks for that!) about it and because I thought to myself: oh what the heck, this is the last BiSC and if I don’t go, I might possibly never ever have the opportunity again to meet so many of my favorite bloggers in real life, and on top of that, it’s going to be a nice getaway with (mostly) girls (and also some very fantastic guys!), and really, what do I have to lose anyway?
Sometimes you just have to take the plunge.
I was a nervous wreck when I arrived in Vegas. I’m incredibly shy in new social situations and I was worried, mostly, if people would like me and feel that they were meeting the San that they had gotten to know online. We all censor ourselves to a certain extent, but if I have one goal for my blog than it is to try and paint the most genuine picture of myself as possible.
What surprised me – and at the same time didn’t surprise me at all – was the fact that when I walked into Serendipity3 on Thursday night (having missed registration and pre-mingling due to a delayed flight), all I saw were familiar faces. I mean, duh! Those were (many of) the people that I had been following and semi-stalking on the Internet for years! Faces that I had seen on my computer screen separately (and some even together) so many times that it felt a bit surreal having them all in front of me at once (talk about overwhelming – I think I used that word at least a dozen times).
I loved that people were, for the most part, matching the images that I had created of them in my head based on their blogs and/or our online interactions and honestly, I find that pretty amazing. There was an instant level of comfortableness with people that I had just met for the first time minutes ago.
THIS is what I love about blogging and what I want to tell people who think blogging is a waste of time and nothing tangible.
When I caught myself looking around the room several times that night, internally smiling, stealing hugs and touching arms and shoulders here and there, I thought to myself: ‘Those people are REAL. They’re all here and I am here and I can talk to them and laugh with them and hug and touch them (sorry, if that sounds creepy!) and we’re going to have the BEST TIME ever!”.
Also: thank you from the bottom of my heart, if you were someone who didn’t know me from the Internets before and you still came and introduced yourself. You made this a whole less awkward for me.
And then, over the next three days, something magical happened… we all bonded.
It started with the 8-second-hug at the Mixer. First conversations over delicious sweet and savory treats and cocktails. Staring-contests and Twitter handle ‘tattoos’. Smiles and exchanged glances. Followed by a room party and deep conversations about AMERICA and Canada (and a little bit of Germany), money, politics and social matters. (Yes, we basically touched on all the subjects you should usually avoid in conversation with strangers and guess what?! We did not hate each other after that, in fact, we liked each other more!)
Friday was the legendary pool day and everybody showed up in their supercute bathing suits and nobody gave a fuck about their insecurities, but we all just had a fantastic time, showered each other generously with compliments, danced and sun-bathed and chatted over food and free drinks. We all got fancy in the evening to indulge at the Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood, marveled at the water fountain show in front of the Bellagio and then had tickets for Cirque du Soleil’s “O” which was amazing and terrifying at the same time (these performers are nuts! Amazing, but nuts!). We had drinks at the bar, and laughed and played table games and took late night photos in the Flamingo lobby.
Saturday was brunch at the Paradise Garden Buffet at Flamingo and shopping with some awesome ladies and spontaneous ugly fashion shows in the H&M fitting rooms with girls that I had just barely met and that were not afraid to be completely ridiculous with me. We had deep conversations over dinner at Le Village Buffet at Paris, then rushed back to the hotel to get ready for the night. Happy Hour with drinks, gushing over each others’ white outfits and taking a gazillion photos.
Then a procession over to PURE Nightclub at Caesar’s Palace, being mistaken for a huge wedding party (wait, did I sign something? Are we all married now?), jumping the line like real VIP’s and living it up during our “Wicked White Party” on the rooftop, yielding amazing views of the strip.
via © SpyOnVegas.com
When Sunday rolled around, people had gotten remarkably quiet. I wish I would have been brave enough like Nicole and so many others on Sunday morning to get up, stand in front of a bunch of strangers-turned-IRL-friends and bare my soul. I wanted you all to know how much that weekend meant to me, how much every single one of you means to me… but between the touching recounts and all the tears (others’ and my own) and quietly (← that’s an adverb, for the record. ;)) sobbing into my breakfast, I couldn’t. My hands were shaking and my heart was pumping so hard that I thought it was going to explode.
There were hugs and more tears at In’n’Out, telling glances while hanging out at the Flamingo for the afternoon, squeezing hands and yelling “I love you’s”, nachos and book discussions before heading to the airport with heavy hearts.
I was completely unprepared for the emotional hangover that happened at the end of this weekend. I mean, how in the world can you get so attached to so many strangers after only 4 days? Is there something in the Vegas water? Did some of the magic glitter end up in the buffet food?
No, it’s much simpler than that. Internet people are just awesome, open-hearted and generous people and they know how to make you feel like you’ve known them forever.
I know part of it must be the fact that we all know that making IRL friends after college is hard as it is (I’ve written about it) and even harder if you move to a new city (let alone, new country) and find yourself physically detached from your whole support system. Getting to know people over the Internet is easy, effortless and there is basically always someone online to talk to…. it would be perfect, if not for the fact that, oh right, they’re often not physically available to meet up with you on a random weeknight (for drinks and burgers) for some girl talk.
BUT they can be your best friends nonetheless and BiSC proved that you can go from online to offline relationship in virtually no time and probably faster than with any other human being on the planet. And nobody judges you when you whip out your phone mid-conversation to share a photo with the rest of the tribe or to find out who is still up and wants to grab pizza at 3:30 a.m. in the morning.
Although I didn’t get to talk to everyone as much as I would have liked to (I love to email – come at me!), it was great that I could pick out a familiar face in the crowd and have a random heart-to-heart with a fellow BiSC-uit pretty much any time of the day.
I truly wish there was another BiSC next year. I think if I had known how easy it would be, I would have come to Vegas sooner.
So after all this, maybe a little bit of what happens in Vegas DOES stay in Vegas… because there is no way to put all the magic into words and do justice to what it was really like to be there and spend time with some of the most amazing people I ever had the pleasure to meet. It was fucking amazing and I wanted to put every single one of you guys in my pocket and take you all home. Oh wait, you all are kind of in my pocket… you’re only 5 minutes away on the Internets.
Nicole, Doniree and Jamie – thank you for making this magic happen. You have brought together a wonderful, unique group of amazing and inspiring people and I am so happy that this year I was able to be a part of it. You pushed me out of my comfort zone, only to realize that this could actually be my comfort zone, if I want it to be.
I am not going to lie, there were moments over the course of those 3-4 days when I felt a bit out of place, thought that nobody was as excited to see/meet me as I was to see/meet them. I sometimes hung back a bit (in my room or elsewhere quietly in the corner) to take a deep breath and then pep talk myself into showing up for the next event on our (outstanding!) agenda. But I
hope know that this was probably mostly in my head. I am not the loud, extroverted kind, so being around people all the time is exhausting for me (the good kind though!) and I often fade into the background and let others do the talking. Insecurities, I has it.
But still, I can honestly and wholeheartedly say that I had one of the actual-fucking-best weekends in a really long time. You don’t even know. Now excuse me while I go sort through my feelings and count my blessings to know such a wonderful group of friends. This is not the end. We’re going to see more of each other. THIS, I know.
Because VEGAS! <3
P.S. I usually don’t swear in public, but this was fucking necessary.
21 thoughts on “The BiSC recap. Or, whatever happens in Vegas does most definitely NOT always stay in Vegas.”
I salute this post, San. I’m still struggling to put the right words together to cover what my thoughts and feelings are in the first (or what I expect to be a few) posts on BiSC. I came back from BiSC feeling like a lot of what I’d been doing before was highly irrelevant and that I now had a new paradigm and approach to how I’d do things. To do things that would matter. To do things that would make me happy.
And I consider you part of that. We had two significant conversations that come to mind — one over late-night pizza with Mikael and one while we were walking back from our ugly fashion show at H&M. But both of those conversations — much like several other one-on-one conversations I had over the weekend — left their mark on me.
So what now? I don’t know. I find myself changed. Rethinking how I do everything. Wondering what’s next. And that’s not a bad thing. I think it’s just something that I’ve needed to do for a long time and just not acknowledged it.
And I thank all my fellow BiSC-uits for helping me see that.
Thank you for being you, San, and I know the Internets will make sure we don’t lose touch :)
Haha, the P.S.! I was gonna say…! I don’t think I’ve ever read the f-word on here. A sign of ALL THE EMOTIONS, I suppose. :)
As I’ve told you, it makes me so happy to hear what an amazing time you had in Vegas. As a fellow introvert, I’m also so proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone because I know how difficult it is. How wonderful that it paid off! <3
I guarantee you people were just as excited to meet you as you were them; I felt that way during the 1st BISC when it was 25 of us. And for the record, I would have tackle hugged you if we had met.
So glad you had an amazing time. And the bond? I totally get that. I feel that way every single time I leave a blogger event, meet-up or weekend. Bloggers are some of the most amazing, and some of my bestest friends, ever. That’s just a fact. xoxo
For the record, I was SOOOOOO EXCITED when I met you when you were on the East Coast. If I didn’t seem as excited, TRUST ME, I WAS.
Believe it or not: I’m sitting here teared up. I am so happy you got to experience this weekend! I know how much you needed it!!! I love you tons – you know that – and I’m not the least bit surprised to hear / read that everyone there loved you as well!
Also, you said fuck. On the interwebs *gasp*
<—— Fellow INFJ. So glad you had an amazing time!
You know, I think we keep getting our minds blown with how awesome it is to turn blogpals into IRL pals because this is an unprecedented leap in human social anthropology.
BiSCuits are an indication of how people can and will become close friends in the future. And that is a lot to realize, almost too much to handle.
And yet, here we are. So here’s to the future!
I was so excited when I saw you signed up. You were like one of the blog idols that I had on my “must meet IRL” list. and then when we finally met, I felt like I had known you for years. You are one of the funniest, sweetest most wonderful people I’ve met, and I am so glad that you came this year. You are one of the reasons that this year was so special for me. Def a highlight to my trip. I am so glad that we got to spend so much time together both in Vegas and teh airport! I cant’ wait for you to visit me (and vice versa!) xoxo Thanks for being you, love!
I am so glad you had a such a great time and met so many wonderful people IRL. I feel like in the past year there have been so many ‘blogging isn’t the same’ kind of posts, but I feel like events like this just go to show that blogging still is really wonderful and the friendships are genuine, and people are real.
Wow, that weekend sounds like a loooot of fun – so much fun that you even used the F-word (which I think is hilarious ;)
I probably would have been the same nervous wreck at the beginning but I am so happy to read that you ended up with a lot of fun, great conversations and new IRL friends!!
i am just sososo happy i finally got to meet you in person. i am still sick and still feelingsy and not at all recovered so i have very few substantive thoughts, but i am SO thrilled that it was an amazing experience for you <3
Wow, this sounds amazing! I am happy for you that you got to meet all these wonderful people and I am not the least surprised that they all loved you right away – what is there not to love! I love that I read the f-word on here! So emotional!
Aww… sounds like you had the BEST time! Reading all the BiSC recaps makes me really sad I never had the courage to attend one of the events. As a shy introvert with social anxiety, the thought of going to an event like this frightens me to DEATH! So I’m really proud of you for stepping outside of your comfort zone and taking the plunge – it sounds like it was an absolutely perfect weekend!
So happy to meet a #VEDA-ran in real life! :) I hope we get to see each other again, didn’t get to spend as much time with you as I would have liked. I regret not staying an extra couple of days. Oh well, at least I got the experience. I hope we can cross paths again.
PS. Katherine is very good at pressuring people, she got me to do #VEDA
First of all, YES! We are all married! :) Nicole and I left out that that was part of our master plan ;)
Second of all, I am/was SO excited to finally get to meet you in person, after reading your blog and chatting w/ you on Twitter for YEARS. I hope to see you again soon (come to Portland?!) and would love to keep getting to know you in the in betweens.
This makes me so so happy for you! I know how hard it is for an introvert to throw themselves into aggressively social situations. Also? I’m jealous–when I go to CA, I WILL meet you ;) xoxo
love this so so much! so glad we got to spend some time together again and hope it’s not another five years until it happens again. you were so wonderful to be around and were always so happy, definitely made Vegas a little bit brighter :)
It was SO wonderful to finally meet you! I wish we’d had more time to hang out, I felt like I barely had enough time with anyone to really sit and talk. But it was definitely a fabulous experience and I would totally do it all over again.
I was the MOST EXCITED to meet you in real life and I’m so glad it finally happened. You are so fun and so sweet and I love that now I can read your posts and hear them in your voice and knowing that I know you makes me so, so happy. I’m so glad you went!!
So, so, SO glad you took the plunge.
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