Meagan Drillinger: How to Meet Someone IRL (No Swiping Necessary)

August 1 - Sarah Ashlock

FIRST THOUGHT: It’s Influential

In a book about algorithms, mathematician Hannah Fry writes about a phenomenon identified in 1984 called “social proof,” in which we copy what others are doing if we don’t have enough information to decide for ourselves what to do. For instance, a band might be super popular on Spotify in one area of the country but not the other, based on if our social media friends and contacts listen to them. And when a crowd starts clapping for someone, you follow suit, right? (God forbid they start to give a standing ovation!)

This kind of influence that goes unnoticed got me wondering what else affects me, both positively and negatively, without even realizing it: Do I really want that air fryer, or is it because my Facebook friend Tori has one?


Traveling is one way to disrupt the cycle of influence. Getting out of your comfort zone leads to different experiences, ones that might sway you in ways your normal routine would not. Millennials and younger generations seem to be taking this to heart, placing more emphasis on travel than commodities. In 2018, travelers expected to spend $3,900 on vacations alone - and they weren’t all going to Disneyworld, y’all.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Meagan Drillinger, Founder of Vaera Journeys

Women-only activities and spaces can be completely soul filling and inspiring. That’s something Meagan Drillinger thought of when she designed her travel business called Vaera Journeys. Women who take part in one of Meagan’s retreats can expect an energetic adventure with like-minded women.

In fact, Meagan has created these retreats with entrepreneurs in mind. As a travel writer, Meagan uses her stories to uplift and educate readers. She’s been published in Travel + Leisure, Harper’s Bazaar and more. Vaera Journeys is the combination of Meagan’s passion for travel and helping women, and it gives retreat-goers a documented experience to rival any others.

Each retreat includes mentorship sessions with a successful entrepreneur, as well as designated goals and biz plans for the next three or six months. Oh, and did you catch that I said the word “documented?" That’s because each trip comes with a professional photographer, so you can use quality photos for social media.

Each trip boasts less than a dozen women, and it’s because Meagan recognizes that intimate, real connections are the most valuable - both personally and professionally. Tropical locations and lush destinations aside, what Meagan fosters is connection among women.

If your plan is to jet set solo without your career in mind, Meagan offers some tips for how to nab a date or a new friend, instead: Take a tour. You might just meet other solo peeps. Visit an expat bar if you’re feeling a bit lonely for some friendly faces in a foreign land. Go to the same spot every day - whether that’s a gelato place by your AirBnB, or a coffee shop in the art district. Choose a hotel with plentiful common areas and social events.

But one thing Meagan’s ideas all have in common? Great things happen when you take chances.


Author and leadership expert Sheila Murray Bethel said:

“One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go."

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