Has it been a year already?
Wow, I can’t believe I have been blogging for a year now – sitting here at my dining room table thinking about how American Mom in Bordeaux has evolved. I remember when we first arrived here – it was so overwhelming, new language, new ways, and new culture. We spent the first few weeks with limited furnishings, as we waited for our furniture & things to arrive. I think not feeling too settled added to that overwhelmed feeling. Everything seemed surreal – oddly familiar, but so different at the same time. I remember looking at other parents & kids expecting to hear English – but of course hearing French. I think it was after the Christmas holidays that I started to come out of that initial fog of adjustment. With Facebook & emails, I remember staying connected with family and friends in the States. This was a definite plus to feeling more at ease – exploring new things, but staying connected to what was familiar and my roots. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading a blog out of my former town, called Mamatoga – her everyday shares, information about the events and goings on in Saratoga were friendly, comforting & inspiring. Reading her shares, definitely gave me ideas about how I could find my voice. My first post was actually done at the end of our Winter break last year – but Winter break fell earlier (the last 2 weeks in February). So I am a bit past the one year mark, but I’m posting this as we start back into our routine after this year’s Winter break.
|February 2012 - Dali Museum - Spain - Winter Break|
As I look back on this year of blogging I have to admit – what started as a way to document and share our family’s experience of moving to France and adjusting to the French culture was mainly for family and friends back home and it has now grown into so much more than I ever imagined. As I write each post about our new life, new experiences, frustrations and daily challenges, I feel energized and connected at the same time. Through blogging, I have connected with other bloggers both in France, and other European countries and even in the US. I have even connected with fellow alumnae of my college (Mount Holyoke College) who also blog and live abroad. It’s such a fascinating and personal way to share about so many things – to see other view points, other perspectives and at the same time feel connected. As, women, as spouses, as families we often all go through similar experiences but also have different perspectives – it is so nice to be enriched by others.
|Blogger's luncheon in Montpellier|
I felt so privileged to have been invited to a blogger’s luncheon in Montpellier, France – so nice to meet other bloggers face to face and feel so connected already! Just meeting with others who do the same thing I do – and talking with them – was so energizing. We also met up with another blogging family in Paris and spent a wonderful afternoon venturing around. Again, 2 things, I couldn’t have imagined myself doing before I started blogging. My local paper back home in Saratoga Springs, NY has picked up my blog and listed it with their travel blogs in their community blogs section. I was just interviewed on Overseas Radio Network (Expat radio station) by Doni Belau of Girl’s Guide to Paris and had a blast sharing our experiences here in Bordeaux.
My posts vary from trips, sights, food, and everyday life to other topics that I encounter as we live each day as parents and as a family here in France. This has been so much fun to share – a snippet of our life but also memories to hang on to. I love taking my camera around and snapping away. I have always loved photography and having an excuse bring my camera is wonderful! My phone has become my second “camera” to have in a flash or just to be able to discretely snap a quick pic.
I have come to realize that what I share helps others for different reasons: to either plan a trip to this side of the Atlantic, come to learn more about the French culture, or just enjoy seeing another part of the world through our eyes. I have had people email me and ask questions about the Bordeaux area and living in France in general. All things I am more than happy and excited to answer. Life here is not perfect by any means, but I don’t think anywhere is. We are currently still without internet, land-line phone service and television at our home, but life is all about what you make it to be – and we have worked it out. (Hopefully, next week – cross your fingers here, we will be fully restored!)
I never imagined that my blog would open up so many different opportunities for me (and even for my family). I have been contacted by such fascinating people and truly love hearing from everyone. It really astonishes me that my blog & its posts have been viewed over 25,000 times in just one year. Thank you to everyone who is reading and who follows. With the social media of Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram – American Mom in Bordeaux has found its own place in this virtual world and for that I am truly grateful and look forward to continuing to share.