This a big, heavy topic, but I’m certainly not qualified to speak on this topic in any sort of academic way. But for the past five years I’ve been writing and blogging about my experiences in Spain. At first I read other small-time bloggers, but I soon became aware of a much wider circle in travel blogging. You know who I mean—the eternal travelers. These people seem to be living a dream (well, not my dream, but certainly they are the envy of many others): They travel to new sites constantly, they get free hotel stays, they bungee jump off bridges in Australia … You get the picture. These people are paid to travel the world. And I’m happy for them! What an experience!
Nonetheless, I would like to refute some claims by some bloggers that this is an achievable dream for everyone. No more excuses, they say! I quit my boring desk job, and look at me now!
Here’s the thing: I haven’t blogged much this summer because I haven’t wanted to.
Yep, here I am, a blogger, admitting that sometimes blogging sucks. Sometimes it’s really fun, though! You know, when you’re inspired or doing lots of things you think others will think are cool or when you have loads of things to say. The truth is, none of these things are happening right now. I’m not inspired, at least not to talk about Spain, and when I do a post about what has been really fun, practically no one responds. (See my last post.) But, as an experiment, I’ve come up with a list of reasons why I choose not to blog sometimes:
I’ve been thinking a lot likely about the why of blog reading. This question, along with others, has prompted me to think about why I first starting reading blogs, probably sometime around 2005. It’s been nine years! I could hardly believe it. I started reading blogs to entertain myself mostly. I read blogs by semi-anonymous writers who were very open about their lives and experiences, but never “outed” themselves. I had never met them and had no interest in meeting them. They were anonymous, and I was happy for them to stay that way.
After a few years, I got into “healthy-living” blogs. You know, the kind where the blogger talks about what he/she ate that day, what sort of exercises he/she completed, and general health topics. This phase lasted a while, but I finally realized these sorts of blogs were uninspiring to me. I decided to quit reading them.
I don’t really care about SEO. I know, it’d help me. But as of now, my blog isn’t business, nor do I plan on making into one, so I see no real point. Try to convince me otherwise in the comments section!
I don’t buy into the whole “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” blogging circle. If you like what I write, share it (if you so desire). If you don’t, let me know by commenting or emailing me. If I like yours, I’ll do the same. I don’t want to get into any debates, but the idea of sharing someone’s work just so they’ll share mine is not something I want to get into.
I’m not interested in publishing your guest posts, the kind which you email me about with links to previous posts on other sites. These people email me, and then when I don’t reply, they email me again. Take a hint much?!
I fail at responding to all my emails. I am really grateful to those people who email me, but I’ve not been the best blogger lately. I have had several people email me, and as it’s not my full-time job, I put it aside for a later date, which sometimes doesn’t seem to come about so often. I’m sorry about that. I want to be better in the future.
I’ve had a short break during which I went private, brought on my insecurity about the future of this blog. Funnily enough, life in Spain is just life. (I know: I’ve said this before, a million times.) I don’t always have that much to say. The only thing I can say is that I will talk about this life without sugarcoating it, because I’m not Mrs. Bright and Sunny. There are so many things that are good about my life in Spain. For instance:
My students. They are all wonderful, even the troublesome ones. There is T, who can’t talk without yelling; M, a tall soccer player with great English and an amazing laugh; P, whose English at 11 years old astounds me; C, who’s studying both German and English; and E, who isn’t that good at English but always has a shy smile for me.
Being close to Mario. I can’t tell you how grateful I feel for him and the fact that I get to live with him now. Being in a long-distance relationship is tough, but I think being in a long-distance, bicultural one is even more so. Before any permanent state of togetherness is achieved (be it by marriage or pareja de hecho), there is doubt … doubt that it’ll ever work out, doubt that the bureaucracy will work in your favor, doubt that you can ever wait so long. But we overcame that period; we’re together now; we’re in this for the long haul.
The opportunity to live in another country. I think we can all agree that this isn’t something that everyone gets to experience, and I am so grateful for it.
Meeting other expats like me. I didn’t meet that many people in Zamora like me, but here in Spain I’m part of great groups that allow me to meet new people in so many places: game nights, drinks, pumpkin carving, etc. I’ve already met some great people, but there are always more to meet!
But then there’s the tough parts too: missing family, being sick far away from home with a system you don’t understand, the constant lluvia that has been the theme of this past week (which sucks even more when you have to walk two miles to work in it!), the lack of convenient transportation at times, and I could go on. But, although it’s my tendency, I’m focusing on the good.
There is always bad with the good. There just is. Yet I believe I canbe the kind of person (and blogger!) who sees both and chooses to focus on the latter.
If you were honest about life as an expat and/or traveler, what would you tell your readers?