BloggingME

In between returning to school with a swimming bag that was left at home and meeting some girlfriends for lunch, I stopped to pick up my new business cards. As I pulled over I looked out across the hazy landscape, just beyond the rubble in front of me was a freeway, from there on it was all pretty flat. Doha – if your dog runs away from home you can watch it go for days.

It was 48 degrees. I wondered what it was like at the beach in Australia. I would have wondered what it was like in Nice but my newly relocated friend Erika has now shared roughly 73 pics in the last few days to let me know exactly how it is in Nice. It’s perfect in Nice, all you do is frolic in the sunshine while drinking wine at school events. But I digress.

I put a note out on the 4 kids, 20 suitcases Facebook page…”My car tells me it’s 48 degrees here in Doha. What’s it like where you are?” I posted a pic of what I could see. By the time I got to lunch there were about 20 messages. I saw pictures of Moscow, pictures of Sakhalin, shots from Kuala Lumpur, Vietnam, Chicago, Istanbul, South Korea, London, Accra, Calgary (what is it with all that snow in September) and the night lights of Brisbane. By the end of the day I’d made a trip around the world via the blog. This is what blogging is about. When people talk about the blogging community this is what they mean.

When I began this blog I had family and friends in mind, it would be a place to talk about what we were up to and share a few pictures. After years of sharing yet another baby photo in an impersonal group email, I decided a blog would be less intrusive. You could come and look if you wanted to but there was no pressure.

Perched up in the bed of our hotel room on our first night in Doha, I googled “how to start a blog”. It was a matter of minutes before I was typing my first post. *I’ve put the link in without reading the post as I know it’s going to be embarrassingly bad* As I typed the story of our flight I realised it was more than an update, I was starting a digital scrap book. A record of our travels. Within months of blogging it was obvious that the blog wasn’t going to be anything like what I’d initially envisaged. Writing became not only therapeutic, but a chance of a more flexible career. It was a way of connecting with people around the world who were going through or had been through the same experience as I had: relocated, discombobulated, terrified they’d made a mistake but thrilled (mostly) by their new surroundings. On the evenings that I sat in that hotel room I thought of all the hotel rooms, so many of us who had arrived and looked out the window at our  new ‘home’, wondering what was in store.

Blogging has given me a window into other peoples lives. I read blogs about travel, fashion, football, technology, food, weight loss and fitness. I’ve formed really strong friendships with other bloggers, travelled to blogging conferences in the UK and Australia. Which is why my fellow local blogger Sarah Derrig and I have decided to start something similar here in the Middle East. We’ve just launched (as in hours ago) our new venture BloggingME, a community of bloggers who’ll get together for blogging tips and tricks and all thing social media. BloggingME will also be a place for brands to come and speak to bloggers.

If you’re thinking of starting a blog but you’re just not sure how, or if you’ve started but want some help finding your blogging feet, come over and say hi, give us a ‘like’ on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter.

In a few months I will have been blogging for five years. Like many bloggers, it began sporadically, sometimes once a month, then once a week, and slowly but surely it became a daily habit. When I started it was my Mum, a few loyal friends, and a handful of other bloggers who dropped by. These days there’s a few more of us. I’ve shared private emails with many of you, stalked your Facebook profiles, sighed out loud and nodded in agreement at your observations on family life, travel and relocating. Starting the blog that night in the hotel led to me writing for film festivals, freelancing for magazines, and being paid for sponsored posts and advertising. None of that could have happened without you.

Thank you. xx

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