We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Anxiety and English Pan Pals

Which London hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
L.A. 'burbs, CA
Level Contributor
1,591 posts
14 reviews
Save Topic
Anxiety and English Pan Pals

OK so, about 25 years ago (I was 14 or 15) I responded to an article in my Teen magazine to be matched up with an English pen pal. I was matched up w/ a girl my age who was from Sheffield. We wrote back and forth religiously for years and years. We sent birthday gifts, Christmas cards and shared what music was in on each side of "the pond". She was studying to be a biochemist and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to "be" when I got out of college (University). Alas, after multiple moves on both our parts, graduationg from college, etc. we lost touch probably about 15 years into our writing friendship. I thought about her off and on and even tried to locate her before my first trip to London in 1999 - no luck. Well, about a year and a half ago I thought I would try and "Google" her name again. I tried it and her name and an e-mail address came up for a university where this person was a doctor. I wrote a quick note explaining who I was and apologizing if, in fact, this was not the correct person I was looking for. Not 15 minutes later I rec'd a respose of "Blimey, it's me". We have now been e-mail pals agin and it's crazy how our lives have run concurrent paths over the years. We both got married the same year and have daughters the same age. Well, I am now going to meet her face to face for the first time when I am in London (where she is now living). Half of me is scared of losing the novelty of our friendship since we've never met, but I guess it's just a bit like a TALF meeting after meeting up after only having exchanged e-mails over a period of time. I writing this to ask the questions :

1) What/where would be a great spot in London to meet up?

2) Have you ever had a similar experience and how did it go?

I am sure I am being silly, but would really love your suggestions on great places to meet up in London or anything else you want to share.

Thanks for your time and thoughts!

Level Contributor
9,650 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Anxiety and English Pan Pals

mcubed: That is just so cool! I've never had that experience, but it sounds like it will be fun to chat with her. Let's see, for places to meet up, why not have a "tea meet" just for the two of you. That way you can nosh on all the good foods and talk between courses.

Salem, Oregon
Level Contributor
5,414 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Anxiety and English Pan Pals

How fun. I agree about an afternoon tea meetup.

I've not had a situation like this before, not even a TALF meet. But I too had an English penpal from about age 12 until she was 15 and it seemed she had to get serious about getting on with life, while I was just heading into high school. We lost touch.

Topeka, KS, USA
Level Contributor
546 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Anxiety and English Pan Pals

cube, I dont remember whether you're a guy or a gal and what your marital status is...and hers now, too. Both things are sort of important at this juncture, arent they? But if you are opposite sexes and free, it sure would be fun to have a real life TALF romance to entertain us during the dog days of summer!

Cardiff, Wales
Level Contributor
3,565 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Anxiety and English Pan Pals

What a great story - I often think about long lost college friends and wonder what they are up to now.

On another note, wouldn't it be a funny twist if your penpal is one of the people who suggests a venue on here!

manchester uk
Level Contributor
300 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Anxiety and English Pan Pals

to make it really special - what about meeting over a nice cup of tea at the Ritz?

Nice, France
Destination Expert
for London, Brighton
Level Contributor
6,128 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Anxiety and English Pan Pals

Yet another vote for a tea meet - I suggest the Lanesborough for something very special.

I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time. Don't worry, just enjoy. :-)

South Florida
Level Contributor
28 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Anxiety and English Pan Pals

How funny, I'm in a similar situation! In my cirumstance, I've been conversing with a woman who lives in North Yorkshire that my parents met at a B&B in Scotland some years back. On a second visit, they again met up and more of my family met her and her husband. For over 6 years she and I have emailed back and forth. Sometimes daily, sometimes every few months. During our trip to London in October I'd like to take the train to meet her in person. I think I read in a search of posts that it takes a few hours to get to North Yorkshire, so I'm hoping it is a day trip we make.


Kamloops, BC...
Level Contributor
9,743 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Anxiety and English Pan Pals

What a great story!

My vote is for tea - and I suggest my two favourite places The Savoy or Brown's Hotel -- each costs an arm and a leg, but each would give you a great tea in memorable suroundings.

Geneva, Ohio
Level Contributor
66 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Anxiety and English Pan Pals

I have a pen pal Wendy who lives in Weston-Super-Mare. We have been e-mailing for six years now. We call and send gifts on holidays and birthdays. My first time to London I went to WSM for two days and we finally met. I was nervous on my way there. She would not hear of me staying in a hotel and insisted that I stay at her house. I kept thinking what if we don't like each other after meeting and I'm stuck there for two days. Not to mention I felt bad I was putting one of her boys out of his bed. She was having the same exact thoughts. We now laugh that it never occured to us that either one of us could have been an axe murderer! The meeting went just fine and it was great to finally meet her and her husband and two sons. August 2005, Wendy's oldest son (Mathew) came to visit for two weeks. He flew into New York and my son and I met him there to do sightseeing before coming to Ohio. We were going to meet in New York this September to celebrate our 50th birthday's. She hasn't been feeling well so the trip was put on the back burner. That's when I decided to come to London in September and I'm hoping her son and I can arrange a surprise visit so we can still celebrate.

I think it is normal to be apprehensive when meeting anyone for the first time. You will be surprised just how much you do have in common or you would have never been pen pal for so long in the first place. Have fun and let us know how it goes.


Grand Rapids...
Level Contributor
155 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Anxiety and English Pan Pals

This is not quite the same situation, but........in 2001 I was able to accompany my mom to London where she met up with a gal she had met when she was stationed there during WWII. They had corresponded since 1945 with birthday and holiday cards but had not spoken on the phone or anything for over 50 years. She met us at our hotel (they did not exactly recognize each other, but her friend said she knew it was us as I resemble my mom in her younger years), took us on a bus tour of the city and a stop for tea. After the initial meeting, we met a couple more times during our week's stay and have since gone for our 2nd visit last fall. I think both were somewhat nervous about the meeting and didn't know if the conversation would lag....but believe me, they started up right where they left off in 1945. It was a great visit and very special for me to be along to get in on the new memories!

Good luck and have a great visit!