The New York WOW Reader Meetup!

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If there’s one thing I always have time for, its meeting readers of my blog in real life. I still remember the first time it happened – when a reader from California (her name was Elle, I hope she doesn’t mind me calling her by name) – started flagging me down on the streets of Barcelona. There I was – thousands of miles from home, as was she, and wearing a large floppy hat (of course) and sunglasses.

“How on earth did you recognise me!?” I asked in a manner of impressiveness.

“Your bag!” she proclaimed. I noticed your bag, I knew you were in Barcelona from Instagram, and when I saw you I did a double take and started yelling from down the street!

It was the first of many encounters with readers around the world and after we went for coffee and a cream-filled-croissant to chat about blogging and travelling, I soon realised this would become one of my favourite ways to spend time in a city.

So I started holding meet-ups more often.

This was the second ever meet up in New York City since I started my blog a little over 2 years ago. At the first meet-up there were 8 people in attendance. We all got froyo, chatted for an hour, and had a blast. I’ve since stayed in contact with a couple of readers from that meet up and was delighted to see two of them in attendance at the second meet-up in NYC.

Not even a year later at the second reader meet-up in NYC, there were 89 people scheduled to be in attendance. JAW – TO – THE – FLOOR.


I think around 60 readers showed up on the day, coming and going as they could between job interviews, university deadlines and whatever else they were up to on their Saturday.

We met in Bryant Park at 12 noon and I surprised everyone with some yummy Magnolia Bakery cupcakes – actually 100 cupcakes – which I’ll have you know are particularly heavy to carry on your own, even if I only walked two blocks. Cupcakes, it would appear, have a bit of weight in them (pun??).

After an hour of everyone introducing themselves, chatting about their favourite places, asking me travel + blogging questions for the group to hear, we decided that we shouldn’t let the fun stop there. A small group of us then decided to carry on a little longer and go for lunch in the city.

Talk about having a blast.

With the leftover cupcakes, we brightened a few strangers’ days by offering them a yummy treat as we walked through the streets of New York.

We made our way to Shake Shack to grab burgers and fries – because, well, this is NY. And it wouldn’t be NY without Shake Shack.

Then, in all of our touristy delight, we took our lunch to Times Square and ate on the red steps, hanging out for a while longer, before deciding we could possibly fit in a little froyo for dessert (really, all we did was eat and chat all day long!).

No less than 6 hours later we parted ways and I said goodbye to some of the new friend I had met that day. I can’t even begin to describe how nice it is to sit down with people who read my blog and get to know them better. It’s also nice to answer all the questions they have and help in any way possible to get people out there travelling more frequently, to more different places. After all, that’s why I started the blog!

My favourite word of the day (and for all the meet-ups I’ve held) is what I call the “I” word. When people say you have inspired them or do inspire them, it is for me the highest form of flattery in the world. To hear that from so many of you on the day was truly the most elating thing. I was on cloud nine.

To hear about more reader meet-ups in your city, follow me on twitter or keep an eye on the WOW facebook page. I hope to meet more of you very soon!!

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    August 9, 2015 at 9:30 am

    […] me feel alive and refreshed with new ideas. I also had the best time on this particular trip as I met up with heaps of readers in Bryant Park and continued to spend the entire day with some of them – eating Shake Shack in Times Square […]

    April 27, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Great vlog! Looks like you all had an amazing time together!! 🙂


    Stephanie Rogers
    April 26, 2015 at 6:25 am

    It really isn’t New York without a shake shack! Lovely post!

    The Student Traveller

    April 22, 2015 at 3:15 am

    Is must be really great to meet with people all over the world and understand that the only thing that connected you with them is your blog. Must feel so rewarding!

    April 22, 2015 at 1:26 am

    Haha nice video! Can I have a cupcake???

    April 21, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Ah that meet up sounds so fun! Can’t wait to watch the video!

    Spending all day Sunday hanging out with you, and other travel & blogging loving people eating ALL OF THE FOOD? Well, that just sounds like the best day ever.
    I’m moving to London this year and I know you’ve had meet-ups in the past there, and I hope you will have a meet up there in the future – I’d love to meet & connect with you and other travel obsessed people!

    Have a wonderful time in South Africa, Brooke! Cannot wait to see what adventures await you there. I’m sure that 60 hour plane journey across several continents was an adventure in itself — ah, the things we do for travel 😉

    I am sure your time in South Africa will inspire me even more and get me even more excited for my long awaited trip there myself at the end of May xx

    April 21, 2015 at 6:42 am

    That sounds like a blast! I wish I would’ve known about it or I would have joined in. Those cupcakes are sooo delicious.


    April 21, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Hi Brooke! I am so excited you are coming to SA soon. I enjoy your blogs and blog and recently purchased your WOW book (yesterday actually). Will you be visiting Cape Town by any chance? If you are pretty please can you also have a readers meet up here? (I am happy to bring you cupcakes so you do not have to carry them!). Ciao ciao and get better soon!

    April 21, 2015 at 6:10 am

    That sounds incredible! Wish I was there to meet you in person too! Whenever you’re in the Netherlands just know a bunch of us will be welcoming you with open arms, and some more Dutch treats hehe! Glad to hear you and all the readers had an amazing time! Good luck and fun on your travels in South Africa!

    Yasmin x

    April 21, 2015 at 3:38 am

    Noooo!! I was there that day in NY visiting and couldn’t find where you had written you would have the meet up at. It would have been nice to meet you but never got to see you and was staying around the same area 🙁 Have fun in your future trips!

    Le Porte Vaganti
    April 21, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Brooke was an amazing day with you and all the travel lovers in NYC.
    Happy to hear your stories and your experiences around the world.
    Keep in mind that you have a new friend and a new home in Italy (Rome and Sicily).
    Come when you want.
    Hope to see you again. Enjoy South Africa.
    Tanti Baci.

    Le Porte Vaganti
    April 21, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Brooke it was an amazing day with you and all the travel lovers like us.
    So happy to hear your stories and your experiences around the world. Hope to see you soon in NYC or in Italy.
    Keep in mind that you have a new friend and a new home in Rome and Sicily.
    Enjoy your trip in South Africa.
    Tanti Baci. 🙂

    Sarah Lynn
    April 21, 2015 at 1:27 am

    WoW! What a great turn out!
    Sounds like everyone had a blast!

    Malena Permentier
    April 21, 2015 at 12:18 am

    This looks like so much fun! And looking at those cupcakes made me hungry, YUMMY!

    X Malena

    Nikki Vargas
    April 21, 2015 at 12:16 am

    It was wonderful to meet you, Brooke! And how fun to come to your website this morning and spot my face in the picture of this post! Safe travels on your trip to South Africa. Looking forward to seeing the photos and reading the articles that come out of your adventures!


    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn
    April 20, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    This sounds like such a fun meetup! Wish I could have gone, too bad Melbourne is a little far from NYC!

    Tessa at Bramble & Thorn

    Luna | Flowers and Pearls
    April 20, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    That really sounds like a fun thing to do!

    April 20, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    It looks like such a lovely day (and those cupcakes look delicious- even the melted ones!). New York looks beautiful in Spring as well!

    April 20, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Brooke – This sounds amazing! I hope I can make it to one of your meet-ups in the future. Just followed your FB 🙂

    April 20, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Brooke, will you ever make it to DC? I’m a huge fan, and would love to attend one of your meet-ups!