Thursday, December 10, 2009

Guest Post: Why Being an Expat Blogger in Switzerland is a Great Thing

by Chantal Panozzo

When I started my expat blog, One Big Yodel, back in 2006, I had no idea what I was doing (and also no idea that anyone would actually read it besides my mom). It was an innocent little hobby that helped me relieve the stress of not knowing a German word from a Swiss German one and it was just an added bonus when someone like my husband would actually leave a comment.

Fast-forward three years, and my blog is now getting over 3,500 visits a month and comments from people I actually don’t know but can’t wait to find out more about. Maybe it’s lame, but now I’m addicted. How many comments will this post get? Will someone else subscribe to my blog today? I’ve gone from blogging newbie to blogging nerd. And it hasn’t taken much.

I’ve made friends through what I’ve deemed “Blogger Blind Dates”, gotten writing and blogging jobs, and found a sense of community here in Switzerland that I couldn’t quite find through traditional organizations meant for the proper Hausfrau that I am not. And I’ve got my blog to thank for it all.

If fact, blogging has been so great, that I recently started another blog, Writer Abroad, for all of you expat writers out there (and those just dreaming of being an expat writer). This hasn’t done much for my Internet addiction, but I won’t blame myself, I’ll just blame the power of the all-mighty blog.

But now I’m starting to get nervous. There are thousands of unread blog posts in my Google Reader and I’m determined to read them all.  Because if I don’t, I’ll feel like I’m letting down my big blogging family. And that would just be wrong.

Why do you blog? Does it make being an expat in Switzerland (or elsewhere) more bearable? Are you as addicted to blogging as me?

Chantal Panozzo is a writer and blogger. Besides keeping her own blogs, One Big Yodel and Writer Abroad, she also blogs for a new expat community blog. This blog offers affordable calling cards in Switzerland as well as information about living in abroad in Switzerland and many other countries.


Bluefish said...

I blog about my new life in Denmark, and also hoping to find other expats who are in the same situation as me. It was addicted at first then now I just write when it's necessary. I put in more work in my photo blog than my regular blog.

Chantal said...

Hi Bluefish, good to hear that you were able to find a blogging balance. I'm trying to get better about that.

Elisa said...

For me blogging was a natural transition. It's a blend of journaling and posting on bulletin boards, which means you gett eh therapeutic effects of sharing things and getting stuff off your chest together with the building of a supportive community.

For those of us who move around, it can't be beat IMO.

I just came back to Switzerland 4 months ago, after 3 years in New York. I woulnd't say I am hating it here, but I am far from being happy. Blogging helps a lot. Despite missing my friends from NY, I can at least still count on my blogging family, who is still there for me!

kookykrys said...

I blog mostly to keep my friends and family appraised of what we are doing. And I mostly talk about where we've traveled in Switzerland and cultural differences.

I'd like to blog more than I do, but having a toddler takes away all my time and/or energy.

likeschocolate said...

I am no longer an expat, but have enjoyed reading your blog. Why do I blog. I guess it is a scrapbook of my life. It helps me keep in touch with my family, but too have made new friends through blogging. Loved you post on Swiss impressions on us. Have a Happy New Year!


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