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.