Things are Changing Around Here.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” -Andre Gide

When I began writing the blog it was really just a way of communicating with friends and family about what was going on in our life in Qatar.

I think that lasted for about a month.

It wasn’t a conscious decision to start writing stories, I wasn’t aware they were even there, until they turned up on the page.

Over the past two years, I’m not sure I’ve learned that much about writing, but I’ve learned quite a bit about blogging and about how you can be simultaneously dying of embarrassment while bursting with pride over the fact that someone “likes” your words. I have a love/hate relationship with this blog.

When I worked in an office I was always part of a team. My favourite thing about account management was winning accounts. I loved the groundwork, the tendering, the submissions and the pitch. I loved celebrating as a team and being able to talk about what a great job “we” did.

When you’re on your own in a venture, the last thing you want to do is talk about yourself. It sounds vainglorious, arrogant and egotistical. And of course the minute you do start banging on about your blog after one too many drinks at a dinner party, you wish you hadn’t. It’s just boring.

Why do I keep writing? I write because you’re still here. I write because you send me emails telling me you feel the same way. I write because you moved from Singapore to Queensland and even though it’s been nine years you still feel like an outsider. I write because you cried and you giggled when I did. I write because you’ve done the first day at a new school more than once, you’ve walked into coffee shop with no idea who you’re meeting, and I write because just between you and me – I love it more than I hate it.

Lately I’ve been thinking about retuning to the office. The fourth little traveler finished Kindergarten this year and I’ve contemplated putting children on the bus and maybe not being there when they get home from school. I miss working in an office, I miss the stimulation of a really good meeting where you feel like you’re making a difference. I miss placing someone in a job that they really wanted, and I miss the camaraderie that comes from walking away from a pitch and knowing you’ve nailed it. I miss the money. I really miss the money.

It’s not going to work though. I have four children in a foreign country. They all have after school activities, they all have have places to be, and demands that need to be met. They also have school holidays, twelve weeks in the middle of the year is hard to manage will a full time job. I know because I have friends that do it and it’s a bloody nightmare.

There’s a little folder in my email called “blog enquiries”. Every time I’ve received an email that started with “we’ve just looked at your blog and we think you might be a good fit” I’ve dragged the email over and popped it into the folder, hoping that all of those emails would miraculously get together and do something productive. I think that’s called denial?  I’ve never replied (not even to one of them) because I never knew what to say. I’ve never been to a blog conference, I’ve never written a media kit. Me, an ex sales exec, has found herself in a position where she doesn’t really understand how it all works.


I haven’t been sure that I’ve wanted to go down that path. I’m not sure about sponsored posts as I don’t think you guys want to read them. I’m not sure about advertising because I don’t even know how I would technically make it work.

I’m going to have to learn. I need to earn some money. I need a career that fits around my children. I want to keep writing and I’m hoping that I can.

Over the past month I’ve been working on getting a new banner and a new look for the blog, and we’re getting very close. Today I will pass over my admin details so things can start changing behind the scenes. It’s going to look a little different around here. I’d like to offer up more content, more information about traveling with children, about moving, about finding yourself in a new environment and not understanding it. The one thing I’ve realized through writing this blog is you don’t have to have traveled overseas to identify, anyone who has moved from A to B knows the feeling of being lost, and I don’t just mean literally.

The third little traveler made me a bracelet last night. His timing is perfect. At a time when I’m feeling a little nervous about whether this is all going to work he reminded me that this is a new career. This is what I do, this is a small part of who I am.

I am a blogger.

What do you think? Am I crazy?

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  1. Go for it! xx

  2. Anonymous says

    Sounds great, personally I just ignore all the advertising on others blogs, doesn’t worry me. Enjoy the time with the kids, in another 10 yrs you could be back at the office when they are grown up? Good luck!

  3. Yes you are, and I love reading here!

  4. Clarissa says

    Not crazy! Just a wife, mother, ‘you’, and a juggler. Do what is right for you. Do what you need to do. Earn some money! Give us the chance to read the sponsored posts…we will pass comment, peruse the adverts….and respect your need and desire to earn some money. What you do in this great blogosphere is hugely respected and valued and I am just eternally grateful to have found your blog. Three weeks today (OMG only three weeks???) my family and I up sticks and move country and continent for the first time. And because of your blog and your willingness to share, I don’t feel like I’m on my own. Keep going, Kirsty, in whichever way works for you. Just don’t stop!!!!!!!!

  5. I think your writing is brilliant and each day when I log on your site is in my top 5 of ones I hit first. Love every bit. Stay true to who you are. Loyal readers will still love you and if you gain $$ and more readers well then that is wonderful.

  6. GO GO GO!!

  7. I agree, jump in the deep end lol 🙂 We’ll be here for you!

  8. Anonymous says

    I think you are wise; a dreamer and also a realist; you hit the nail on the head about the kids and buses,and after school activities and ‘nightmare’ of juggling work and ALL that. I am a full time mum of 2, my husband is a very hard shift worker, my youngest starts school next year; I do NOT miss the office (or hospital work) in my case, and I am also passionate about managing life so that life is enjoyed and having extra stress to be at work and have kids to be cared for etc etc is a tough gig and so BRAVO I say to anyone who tries to swim against that flow and find new and creative ways to make money, or be engaged in work and stimulated. For me my secret is my voluntary work, I love it; again, though, I start small, and allow time for my kids emotional needs as well as their activities.. how exciting, you and me both, new chapters next year! Go Well!
    Theresa V
    Kiwi living in Queensland.

  9. Excitement!! Can’t wait to see the new look and see where you go from here Kirst 🙂

  10. Good luck!!! Sometimes you just know when it’s time to move on. We’ll be still here and of course you should utilize your experience!

  11. You’re a great writer. As someone who lives 400 metres from their own primary school, I hardly identify with the whole ex-pat thing. But I do understand family and home – subjects which you write about often – and you’re one heck of a story teller. Whatever you do, I’m sure the blog will continue to grow and opportunity will come knocking. x

  12. Go for it!

    Your blog is quite simply fab! I did my first international move 15 months ago and in just a few short weeks time my second is coming up to Qatar! I found this blog when I was researching about Qatar and life there and wish I found you before my first move to KL…
    It’s only been two years since I stopped working but I am missing work too so understand the need for a career and wanting to do something. Yes we are the trailing spouses who actually have our hubbies trail behind us on our new lives (loved that particular one btw) but losing out on a career can be one of the hardest things so GO FOR IT! We’ll still be here reading as we do, grateful that someone else feels as we do.

  13. Not crazy at all – go for it. Blogging has shown the world what talent is out there; talent and wit and tearful writings that, fifteen years ago would not have been found.

    Just please don’t incorporate sponsored posts….?

  14. Go you!

    That’s fantastic news! I’m one of those lurkers who pores over every single one of your posts on Google Reader. I’m so glad you’re going down this path because you’ve bloody well earned it. Give it all you’ve got and just be fabulous!

    Oh, and I’m moving my family of 5 from Canberra to Brisbane at the end of the year, so can you whip those how-to posts out in a snappy fashion??? 😉

    K. xo

  15. Man- here I was thinking you already ARE a blogger. You do it well- no shame in that- get on with it and enjoy!

  16. Anonymous says

    Tuning into your blog most days over a cuppa keeps me sane! It’s like sitting across the kitchen table from a mate over breakfast, laughing about ….. ‘stuff’. You are a natural born blogger………and story teller……go for it x

  17. Go for it and if you need a hand I’d be happy to help. vix x

  18. Go for it and if you need a hand I’d be happy to help. vix x

  19. You touch and express the essence of the expat experience. Every blogger that can make even part of a living doing this makes the rest of us proud. Keep on keeping on! If you can make money doing it, all the better!

  20. I wonder if this post at The Womens Room would be of any interest to you?

    I think their blog is a great example of starting small but moving on to a very easy to use and, just as importantly, easy to read magazine format. Its commercial but seems to still remain very personal to the authors. I am sure your new format will be equally as compelling! Best wishes, Anita

  21. I am so excited to see what is just around the corner. You inspire me Kirsty and make me laugh when I’m in a mood to feel sorry for myself. Bring it on sister:)

  22. Whatever you do….I’ll be reading! S x

  23. Go for it! You are a wonderful blogger. As long as you stay true to you and don’t let the adverts change the style or content of your posts then good on you if it can make you some money too!

  24. Anonymous says

    hi, I think you should give it a go! see what happens. I love reading your blog. I am one of 3 children who grew up on the ex-pat trail. Reading your blog has allowed me to grow closer to my mother and family in general. A new found respect for my mother (who is pretty amazing) has developed for all that she has coped with over the years. I recognise situations you have been in but from the other side, as the child, and appreciate the difficult situations you are discussing with tact and humilty.
    Right now I am pregnant and facing decisions with my husband over the future which involve complicated maths and geography. Whatever you do I hope you continue with your blog because I enjoy reading your stories. Thanks x

  25. Sounds like a natural progression. All the best!

  26. Listen to your heart and your kids! You are a brilliant writer. Every time you manage to put into words the way I feel. Every time I start reading your post I know you’ll hit it on the head….and every time you do. You have a gift. Use it and enjoy it.

    “If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.” T Alan Armstrong

    Go for it. Looking forward to reading about all the ups and down of converting your blog.

  27. Your new look is charming, I love the ‘hand drawn’ look.
    As to what you should do next… Like many others, I will still be here reading each post, and wishing there were more. Thank you for your honesty and beautiful humor!

  28. of COURSE you’re crazy … i wouldn’t be the slightest bit interested if you weren’t. but as to giving this ‘blogging as a career’ thing a go … nope, not a bit! and btw “wining accounts” nice Freudian slip … xt

  29. Go for it! Thankyou for writing this blog, it brings me regular laughs and lots of hope. At 27 and unmarried I love reading that life changed wonderful at 28 when you got married…

  30. Hello! You have always been a blogger I’ve read since…since well, a long while ago. Seriously could there be a better time to be a blogger! No! Love that you are going with it, and the new header is fabbo. And I’m with everyone else…cheering you on. Love reading your work…love love it! denyse

  31. I am so interested in your blog because my oldest son and young family are in London for two years. But now I want to comment on today’s blog from my own perspective. I was a stay at home mother until my youngest of 3 started second grade. I then took a 50% job sharing teaching job. I kept that job until all the kids were in college. I have NEVER regretted being very available to my children during those years. I’d have a better retirement now if I had worked full time, but not the same memories! Go with your heart!

  32. Your blog is one of the few that I read everyday and I read to the end! I don’t have much time to read blogs and if they lose my interest I move on. So I would suggest you keep doing what you are doing and if you can make some $$ out of it, all the better. Love the new look but whre is the beagle?

  33. Fab! I love your posts and have never lived abroad with my children, or felt lost in a foreign land. But I love to read your tales. You appeal to a very wide range of readers I’m sure. Good luck.

  34. Anonymous says

    Crazy? Absoultey not! Go girl. I’ve been reading your blogs for a year or so now but this is the post that has me commenting. Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. Just make the decision, and it sounds like you have , and sit back and enjoy the ride. Well done you. I’m excited about all that is to come.

  35. You know you can x

  36. Go for it – open that blog enquiries folder and have fun!

  37. I logged on after a bit of a break (traveling home, family member’s illness, etc.) and saw you’d made a significant change on your site and thought ‘shoot (yeah, right), I’ve missed so much news’. Imagine my relief that I was only one post behind the big rollout. It’s a very exciting time for your to take it all to the next level; you’ve always been a blogger, and more importantly, a storyteller. You’ve built a huge, loyal following, and as one commenter said, no one notices a little advertising so long as it doesn’t smack them in the face when they log in. So write and blog and speak and do all of the interesting things that come your way. You don’t owe an explanation to anyone (although it’s nice that you shared), and we’ll be hear cheering your success. You definitely go girl!

  38. And for the love of God, forgive this poor woman her typos from afar!

  39. You definitely are a blogger, and a very good one at that. I haven’t read one blog post of yours that I haven’t just enjoyed but found myself rereading to glimpse something that I could learn from it. So – what you really need to do, among all the other things you already do (trust me I know, I’ve also got four kids and all their after school stuff and a blog and a travel planning list 27 pages long)is write a book about it all. Or are you already doing that? Because I will definitely buy your book. It will be one of the best travel/parenting books that will make people laugh and cry at the same time.

  40. I don’t know if I have ever commented on your blog but I have been reading it for the past several months maybe even since the beginning of the year and I have loved every post. Your so real in your writing (hope that makes sense?)I think making your blog a business is a fantastic idea because what better then to work on something you love and your really good at. 😀 I wish you luck and I look forward to more awesome post.

    God Bless,


  41. Wishing you the very best of luck with your aim of earning money through your blog – I got a home-based social media job two months ago from my little blog, so it can be done!

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