April 17, 2010 was the first post on the revamped Grounded Traveler. I had a ragged blog before that, but since then I have been more directed about it. I picked a niche of writing about the expat life in addition to travels in Europe and all of the mental gymnastics that happens in both. So happy birthday Grounded Traveler. Yes, I am a little late writing this, but I’m sure the blog won’t mind. It got cake on the weekend anyway.
Based on inspiration of the 7 Link Challenge that I saw on Nerdy Nomad, who was in turn inspired by Pro-Blogger, here is a look back over the last year in links. There have been 134 published articles in the last year, so there ends up being a lot to choose from.
First Post - The Passion of a Traveler and an Artist
Interesting to see where my first ideas were and where things have settled toward over time. The artist aspect of things has dropped out to an extent. The personal growth is still there, just more as philosophy and as a directed overcoming fear thread. What I didn’t expect at the time was how much being an expat would become what I write about. I still like art and the beauty of the world, but it comes out more in photography than words.
Post I Enjoyed Writing the Most - American Foods that Germans do not Understand
This was a fun one to do. Food is so culturally linked and there are things that are just standard and normal in the US that the Europeans just cannot fathom. I like being able to add the humorous elements.
Post with a Great Discussion – Dictionary Time: Expat and Immigrant
Although not the post with the most comments, I liked this discussion the most. The idea of the connotation of the word immigrant was brought up. As the title of the post implies, the conversation centered around what we call ourselves as expats (or immigrants). Would love to see more people’s thoughts there.
Post on Someone Else’s Blog that I Wish I had Written – The Four Stages of Living Abroad (twenty-somethingtravel.com)
I love this post about the stages of expat life. I do indeed usually see all of them in the space of a week and wander back and forth.
My Greatest Gain in this Project – My Twitter Love Story (AliAdventures.com)
In promoting the blog I started in on Twitter (feel free to follow and say hi). Last July, I answered a tweet for assistance in helping a woman move her blog from WordPress.com to selfhosted. We started talking a lot and fell in love. No matter what happens with the blog having her in my life has been the greatest gain I will ever get out of this experience.
Most Helpful Post – Breaking down Fear
I have been working on getting over an intense fear of flight in the last year. This was a process post that I put up right as I bought my first plane tickets in 10 years for Greece and 3 months before I made that flight.
Title I am Proud Of – 6 month Course on Laundry for Beginners
Much of German social life includes training of one form or another. Working retail? 6 month training. Want to do any other job? Could be 2 years. This concept of training is so deeply entrenched that we sometimes make jokes about training to throw things away or do laundry.
Post that I Wish More People Had Read – Master of the Between
This is my view of the world of an Expat. Some seem really able to integrate fully and often you find the expats in their bubbles only taking briefly trips into the local culture. I live in between constantly switching and enjoy it.
I am not stopping here of course. I am having a grand time with the blog and all of the social aspects of being a part of the blogging community. I would love to see this place grow.
Conventions: I will be at TBEX in the US in June to meet people and attach voices to faces. There is a Germany Blogger meetup this year too.
Other Project: Some may have noticed that I do not post my Wednesday Photos anymore. That is due to another project that I am working on and needed the time for. I am working on a book to help bloggers understand the technical aspects of the web better. It will hopefully be unveiled in June before TBEX.
If you need help with the technical aspects of your blog, please tweet at me or send me a mail.
Transatlantic Flight: I’ve flown to Greece, so my next step is the first trip home in 3.5 years, which includes a transatlantic flight. So maybe more posts about overcoming fears? Definitely reverse culture shock as well.
More Travel and More Expat Thoughts: Of course more of the stuff that I have written and enjoyed writing over the past year. I have 46 draft posts, so I haven’t run out of ideas yet. Hopefully more Germany related travel as well.
Thanks for all the Fish
And of course a hearty thanks to all the people that have read, commented and reweeted my posts over the last year. I write for myself, but also for you all.