Expat blogger meet-up round-up

The posts are now all in, and my comrades from the expat blog meet up have spoken:

Perhaps more interesting than the posts themselves (sorry, gang!) is the comments, including those we wrote to each other after the event. But the best and most thought-provoking was from Michelloui on Mike’s blog:

It was a fun day and I must admit it was only as I was writing my post about the day that I realised how well we all got on immediately. There weren’t any silent awkward moments, and it was all just friendly and fun. Is that because we’re American (Have a Nice Day!) or because we were all just a self selecting group of friendly people?

A very good question. We span quite the age range, we’re in the UK for a range of different reasons, and yet we could chat like we’d all been friends for decades. That is probably the most interesting result of the meet-up. Yes we can talk about American foods that we miss and all of the usual expat stuff, but we’ve also been following each others’ antics for months to years in the strange online world that is the blogosphere. So we meet in person, and we are all fast friends.

I think I was the best placed in this regard, as I had met everyone but Nappy Valley Housewife before the day. And this brings me to my final point. How on earth did I get so bold so as to spend so much time meeting up with bloggers in person? Given my comments in my post about a bad experience in this regard, it’s amazing that I’ve perservered with this live-meeting, risk-of-people-not-liking-me thing. This is probably the biggest change in me due to my move abroad, and it’s still somewhat surprising and shocking when I think about it too much. Perhaps it’s the easy public transport links in the UK. Saying “hey, let’s meet up” is not so stressful. It’s not a big country, so we’re all not that distant when it comes down to it. Perhaps it’s my being somewhat lonely in my job-centered UK existence, that makes me crave the company of other human beings with whom I seem to have at least a chance of a common ground based on blog posts. Whatever it is, I have to say that I’ve been really much more bold than my shy typical self would allow for in this whole blogger meet-up thing. And for that, I thank England. Moving abroad definitely changed me in this way. Before I came here, I moved across the country in the US and did not make the sorts of human connections that have resulted from this silly little late-night time-wasting hobby of mine that is blogging/twitter/whatever. Although my online persona is formally anonymous, I jump at the chance to get to know people and to form more real bonds with people who I have “met” through this medium. (Note to Iota from the last post’s comment: you do know me better than an average blog reader because we’ve ‘talked’ a great deal over email!)

Living abroad has changed me. I think this is a good thing. I hope more people get the chance, in this globalized society, to experience this type of overseas adventure.

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3 responses to “Expat blogger meet-up round-up

  1. I feel the same, in terms of jumping at the chance to meet fellow bloggers in person. To be honest, I was nervous on the way to our meet-up because I didn’t know anyone yet. I emailed Michelle and said, ‘I feel like I’m going on a blind date.’ Ha ha. But my fears were immediately put to rest as soon as I met you all.

    It seems to me, in my short time blogging, that a lot of people blog in order to make a connection. If we didn’t want that, we would be writing our feelings/rants/experiences/ disappointments/joys in a journal rather than a public forum. And I feel that I’m really getting to know other bloggers in a genuine way through their words, through the portals of their lives that they open up and share through their posts. Sometimes I’m reading a blog, nodding my head and thinking ‘Hey, I can totally relate, that’s exactly how I feel but never voiced it.’ So many bloggers I’ve encountered write with so much honesty and lack of pretense and give so generously of themselves, and it’s a much more positive and enriching experience than anything I’d originally anticipated. So whether it’s England or blogging or both, I’m not sure, but it’s a good thing. From one Yank to another, ‘Have a nice day!’

  2. I’ve certainly changed since moving to England. Ive become much more self sufficient and focused on ‘solutions not problems.’

    But I think starting the blog and joining in with the expat blogging community just over a year ago has also had a significant effect on me. I feel much more in touch with my place in the UK; I’m not just ‘the lone American’ in my circle of friends, I am actually one of many in quite a supportive community. Perhaps that’s what it is, I now have a ‘community’. I feel for the first time that I have people here too.

  3. So bummed I couldn’t make it! But it does sound like you guys had a great time, and I agree – I am members of some “meet-up” groups that i have yet to go to, but somehow I feel more comfortable with meeting other bloggers. They just “get me’

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