Expat

Celebrating 5 years of blogging (and livin’) overseas

angst-lani
The blogger in her natural element, over water, overseas… Prayao, 2013

Woohoo! Hot diggity damn. Has it been five years already? Now, I might have mistakenly said it’s been four years in August, but as everyone knows, I can’t do math – and yes, it’s embarrassing.

Unfortunately, it is well-known among my students that I cannot do basic math. (555 = Ha ha ha.)

So, to get this momentous party started, I wanted to mention my very first blog post! On the 25th of August 2009 (that’s just over five years, right?) I wrote, Ground Control to the thundering applause of no one. Here’s the first paragraph:

In Thailand you have to look down at the ground. You want to look around but you must look down. You have to look down because the ground is uneven, and in Chiang Mai you must skirt the cow dung as well as the dog poo. And unless you want to step on a mess of ants or a pile of trash, you had better keep your eyes focused on where your feet are taking you.

Looking back, I admire my consistency despite no one really reading or engaging with my blog. I imagine a lot of bloggers want to give up because no one is reading or bothering to care. But I really enjoy writing, so I know that is what got me through. Long ago, I read the advice saying “focus on putting out great content,” but eventually I realized that wasn’t enough.

I began guest posting and I started to look beyond the Thailand blogging community. I started to think of myself in broader categories like Asian American, a woman, a teacher, an expat and so on. I also began sharing my photos, so Wordless Wednesdays were added to my repertoire, so to speak. My blogging even evolved from Blogger to my own domain and then to WordPress. My grammar got better, too.

There’s definitely an evolution to my blog even though it was an organic and messy one (and still is).  I think of it like any relationship, it takes work, there’s a learning curve and that whole “give and take” business. Bah!

skeletons
We’re in this together, baby. [Nong Khai, 2014]
I won’t bother recapping my 5 years in this post, but I will go back to the beginning. My original “About” penned 9th of August 2009:

Sitting between Calamity Jane and Typhoon Mary, or in this case Swine Flu Joo and Red Shirt Nam, I am wondering what I have gotten myself into. I am a first generation American living in Thailand. The new Asian American: the ones who haven’t been taught the language, the ones raised in duplicity, the ones who don’t fit in because the Americans see you as Asian and the Asians see you as Americanized.

But Thailand is more than a tourist destination, a retirement outpost and hackneyed travel blog; it’s where my mother was born, my parents met and where my father died. It’s a place that has changed my life at 6, 16 and 33 years of age. So I moved here in June, in search of some unknown quality that I have felt missing, and to have – a good ol’ fashioned colonial adventure.

Yeehaw. See you around, partner.

 

 

 

 

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34 thoughts on “Celebrating 5 years of blogging (and livin’) overseas

  1. Congrats Lani. Your writing is light and lovely, whimsical and informative, and getting better all the time. Love it. Sybil

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All the articles i have read were very interesting and I really like your writing style. For me there is still time till the five year recap as I just started last years summer.
    The blogging experience evolves over time and at least I try these days to maintain some kind of standart…more or less 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on your five-year anniversary! Is it five years just in WordPress or five years of blogging as a whole?

    WordPress forgot to greet me last September unlike the last times. I think it’s my third year here. But if we talk about the whole blogging experience, I’ve been at it for quite a longer time.

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    1. 5 years blogging consistently. Prior to moving abroad I tried a couple of different blogs, but nothing stuck. When I came to Thailand, I told myself I would stick to it, and I did!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay, I haven’t scanned you oldest posts, but have you written anything about how you started as a writer, your writer’s back story? Link please? I’m just thinking of re-blogging posts on how my fellow writers and bloggers started. You are in my priority list.

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  4. I liked parts of your original About spiel. Witty and snappy.

    Aye..I celebrated my 5th yr. in blogging just a few wks. ago. I just haven’t celebrated it online. Looking forward to more great reading, Lani!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am very glad I followed your blog, Lani. One of the things I love about your blog is your brutal honesty about how you go talking about your life in CR. And your humour too (e.g. I knew I had to follow your blog for a laugh when I saw your header. Great photoshop by your friend Eric). “no one really reading or engaging with my blog…no one is reading or bothering to care.” – what nonsense. I chuckled at that 😉

    Thinking about yourself in broader categories. I guess that’s one smart reason why you’ve been able to come up with things to talk about for five years. We are so many things and people, we can actually talk about ourselves on and on and on… Congratulations on this milestone. Looking forward to dropping by again soon for more laughs 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a kind and thoughtful response. Yeah, there were times when I felt like no one was listening, reading or caring. There are definitely stretches where I felt like I was just putting things out there to the sound of silence.

      But I think I’ve gotten better about reaching out and the WP community is great, too. Thanks Mabel! You are too sweet.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. love the first photo, your expression is priceless! it’s awesome to see how you’ve grown through your blog, through your own writing style and also through your readership. very cool. =) looking forward to reading many more of your thoughts and exciting adventures. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lani I love this! and SO glad you kept blogging. You are like a blogging sister to me in that I was only 4 months in when I met you! Now only 7 months in and it seems like years. We got this Hawaiian culture thing together like we are sisters (having experienced the (Where do I belong thing?) Or should I say still experiencing this. I feel like I have this incredible soul family from blogging and you are definitely one of my sisters. Even when I seem to get caught up in “life stuff”, I can count on people like you to remind me why I am blogging when I read your posts!
    Thank you Lani for your dedication to writing and the connection we have. xoxo Robyn

    By the way I am going to crack up when I go back I am sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do love being part of a blogging community. It’s funny how you get close and feel like you know a lot about that person. I suppose personal blogs are like modern day pen pals with pictures. It really is special.

      Cheers Robyn for all your kindness.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. BIG congrat’s on your blogiversary and expativersary of FIVE YEARS, Lani! Holy heck, that’s something to celebrate!
    Your writing is awesomely honest and reveals your personality so well. I look forward to seeing where the next 5 years takes you from another gal who just plain sucks at math, too. 😀 Stand proud sister!
    ~ Andrea ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Andrea. Love the new words “blogiversary” and “expativersary” 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing where the next 5 years takes me, too! Hugs from Thailand.

      Like

  9. It’s funny how through a few comments, a number of views and a shared appreciation for mocking sexpats a blogging friendship can form. I feel that whilst I’m still (quite) new to this blogging lark I have made some real connections with people; I consider you to be my first and most sincere.

    Happy birthday Lani’s blog and keep going. You’re bloody marvellous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers! I’m glad we found each other (well, you should get all the credit, but let’s not get picky, eh?) and here’s to more “shared appreciation for mocking sexpats”, among other things 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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