Blogging 101 – Who I am and why I’m here, they ask

Happy unbirthday, blog. You’re 1 year and 9 months old today and I’ve finally decided I should follow the Blogging 101 course offered by WordPress. My blog name is Integrated Expat because I’m a long-term British expat living in the Netherlands.

Me, my medal from the 2015 Red Cross Bloesemtocht walk and some flowering cherry blossom

Me, my medal from the 2015 Red Cross Bloesemtocht walk and some flowering cherry blossom

Expat blog, the Netherlands, Dutch language… and the rest

When I decided to write a blog, the idea was to concentrate on writing about being an expat in the Netherlands, tips for people coming to live and work in the Nijmegen and Arnhem regions, ideas of where to go and what to see, Dutch traditions, the differences between Britain and the Netherlands, the Dutch language, etc.. In other words, it was supposed to be an expat blog. What happened?

For starters, I got off-track straight away by joining a blogging challenge called #WriteAndRun31 run by Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete. That was supposed to be about setting up a month-long streak of writing and running. I didn’t achieve either perfectly, but I did discover something; reading other people’s blogs inspired me to do both. It often inspired my own thoughts on things they had talked about and I also realised that writing also released lots of ideas about things I wanted to write about, related or not.

Eclectic and random inspiration

In fact, the longer I’ve had the blog, the more I’ve wanted to write. I already knew this, but I’m not the sort of person who can easily write a short blogpost. Back when I was studying, I wrote 10-page letters home. Now I can write 1,000 words on just about any random subject that crosses my mind. I have also discovered that I love keeping my eyes open for interesting topics and taking photos with my camera wherever I go. My teenagers despair of me; I’m the one taking photos of my food, but I almost never post them to Facebook and never to Instagram (yet). They will turn up on my blog, however, but I try to find something interesting to say as well. I’m a big fan of starting a post, then researching around the subject, finding interesting information and stories to tell. Or picking a word and going from there… My mind is random and so are my blogposts. A niche blog it is not!

So what is my blog about? Mostly…

  • Expat life in the Netherlands
  • Dutch traditions, culture and history
  • Dutch language
  • English language
  • Travel – places I visit, museums, events, street art
  • Gardening, allotments, permaculture, nature
  • Book reviews
  • Random thoughts and observations

For more background about me, visit my About page (that is now 1 year and 9 months out of date, as of 2 November 2015). I’m looking forward to learning more about blogging during the Blogging 101 course and visiting some of the other blogs written by the other participants.

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11 Responses to Blogging 101 – Who I am and why I’m here, they ask

  1. beingmepresently says:

    It’s funny how the mind wanders when you’re writing. I’m sure my blog will also end up quite random! X

  2. I’m also in blogging101 and saw your post in commons. I lived in Nijmegen for a while and excited to read someone else’s view on it! Can’t believe the coincidence. I live in Germany now, which coincidentally is also the topic of the blog I’ll be working on. Good luck with the course and hope to see you around!

    • “It’s a small world after all” as the song goes (hope I won’t be singing that all day now). I also lived in Hamburg for 2 and a half years so I will be following your blog to find out your observations on Germany. Is this your first blog?

  3. Before I reshaped my blog beginning of the year I also wrote about many random topics. I decided on focussing on sewing and gardening, but I discover that my thoughts tend to wander arround again. Limiting the subjects to write about can make a blog less interesting for a majority of potential readers but on the other hand you might find a niche for some specialists who follow you constantely. I opted for a distinct profile til now. I might easily make up my mind again in a few months. The more interests you have, the more topics you can write about, the more people you reach! I browsed your blog and found it as like as an entertaining magazine I would like to read in a lunch-break, with a pot of coffee in my hand. If that is your purpose – very well done. I like it.

  4. Really happy to find another person who muses about expat life! It’s crazy how much living in a foreign country can shape you, huh? I’ll be moving to Germany soon. Then we can commiserate together about the oddities of Germanic cultures. 🙂

    Isn’t it amazing how much you fall in love with writing when you have something like a blog to keep it up? Writing my blog has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had this last year!

  5. Pingback: The Real Neat Blog Award | Waterblogged

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