Technology and social media have made the world a much smaller place.
But in a city as transient as Fayetteville, and with loved ones often out of town for training and deployments, it can be hard to find people who share similar interests.
If that's the case, then Meetup.com might be for you. Whether it's doing something outdoors, holding conversations in German or bellydancing, the website appears to have a group to match interests of all kinds.
For Jennifer Saas, Meetup.com has helped forge friendships that will last a lifetime. She is the founder of a Meetup group called Boredom Crashers in N.C., which boasts 600-plus members.
"I've been invited to seven weddings from people in my Meetup group," said Saas. "It's pretty cool to have made some close friends through this."
Saas said she founded a similar group when she lived in Orlando nearly seven years ago. She started the Boredom Crashers here a little more than two years ago. She said the group, which is geared toward adults who are 21 to 40ish, tries to focus on going to events that are free or low-cost to encourage attendance.
"We want people to have a way to get together and do something that maybe they wouldn't do if they had to go alone," said Saas.
Whatever your interest, Saas said, Meetup.com has something for everyone. And if it doesn't, you can always start your own.
Here are a few popular Meetup.com groups in Fayetteville. More can be found at Meetup.com.
Fayetteville Running Club
Created: August 2008
Active members: 250-plus
What does your group do? "We're a nonprofit group that's here to support the running community," said president Thomas Dosier. "We provide our members motivation, inspiration and accountability. We found a lot of race events in the area that didn't have a lot of volunteers, so we're trying to get involved with the local race community."
Why did you start the group? "To promote running as a healthy lifestyle in our community, and to help motivate people who are just getting involved with running."
Who comes out? "We get a wide spectrum of people of all running experience levels," Dosier said. "We have a 'Couch to 5k' program for entry-level runners that we're hoping brings more people out. We also have cyclists, people training for triathlons and other events."
Membership dues: $20 a year, which includes water and snacks at most Meetup events
How often do you meet? 6 to 7 times a week on average. "We also hang out together a couple nights a week," Dosier said.
Why should people meet up with you? "If you're looking for a healthier lifestyle or to make a change, we can help you do that. We'll help you get rid of your excuses."
Other groups like this: Those Crazy Runners, Fayetteville/Fort Bragg "Fit Groups," Fayetteville Area Outdoor Club
Cape Fear Table Tennis Club
Created: June 2009
Active members: 20 paid members, but others take part in the club
What does your group do? "We promote table tennis in the Cape Fear region," said president Richard Perez. "We try to teach people the wonderful sport of table tennis, and we're trying to get kids involved. It's probably the only sport where a 7-year-old can take on a 70-year-old, besides chess -- but that's a
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