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Focus On: Expat Life Blogs

Each day, we discover bloggers on WordPress.com exploring different passions and interests, immersed in unique industries, fields, and worlds. At The…

Each day, we discover bloggers on WordPress.com exploring different passions and interests, immersed in unique industries, fields, and worlds. At The Daily Post, we’ll highlight more of these niche blogs and the various communities within WordPress.com. We hope these spotlights introduce you to new communities and ideas, and inspire you to find—and create—your own cozy corner in the blogging world.

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From Peace Corps volunteers in Asia to English teachers in Latin America, we have a varied expatriate blogging community on WordPress.com documenting life and work overseas. Blogs on expat life are distinct from blogs about travel—expat bloggers are immersed in a place, which they adopt as their home. They explore the benefits, challenges, and sensations of living in a foreign culture; the elusive meaning of home; and, ultimately, what it means to be human in this big world.

Here’s a sampling of expat blogs on WordPress.com:

Photo by Steven Dorgelo.

Dutchinaman’s Blog: Fascinated by the rapid changes transforming China, Steven muses beautifully on his overseas experience with his wife and children. He documents quiet moments, interactions, and conversations, and is a patient and keen observer. His photographs complement his words—check out his photo story of Chengdu, where he lives, and the stunning black-and-white portraits of people he has encountered in China.

Here is Havana: Conner, an American journalist, has lived and worked in Havana for more than nine years. She calls her blog a place for “navel-gazing” and “cathartic venting at its best and worst,” and writes about the idiosyncrasies, perturbations, and ironies of Cuba. From baseball to Cuban machismo to daily life, Conner’s posts are intriguing and entertaining.

Lonely Girl Travels: An Oakland girl in the world, writer and solo traveler Lauren lives in Hanoi, Vietnam. She has a knack for crafting scenes and dialogue, and her writing always has an edge, whether it’s about travel and culture, music, relationships, or finding her place in the world. Her posts on her time in Cambodia are particularly honest and raw.

Comic by Jen Brown.

Expat Lingo: Jen, a “serial expat,” is currently based in Hong Kong. (She has also lived in China and the United Kingdom.) Originally from Utah, she experiences the “cultural collisions” and juxtapositions of living in a different society and enjoys the absurdities and inspirations of expat life. One quirky feature is her use of comics, which she creates with Strip Generator.

Twice Deported: Zoe, an Australian and perpetual nomad, lived in the US for six years before being deported. Now in Asia, she uses her blog to air her frustrations at being denied a visa and to share the lessons she’s learned from moving and living overseas. In Hoi An, Vietnam, she works at an organization that assists disadvantaged youth.

Miss Expatria: An author and editor focused on Italy and France, Christine mixes posts about her jet-setting life in these regions with practical content on travel, from food to day trips to transportation. Her blog is a delicious, glamorous glimpse of life as an expat and working travel writer.

Photo by Saara Raappana and Eric Doise.

HorseHorseTigerTigerThis Peace Corps journal of Saara and Eric documents their volunteer, teaching, and travel experiences in and around Anshun, a town in Guizhou, China. Saara notes that married Peace Corps volunteers serve together (as long as they’ve been married for a year before the start of their service), and China is a country that likes to host married volunteers. Both Saara and Eric take turns writing posts, which helps give us a fuller picture of their shared daily life there.

El Salvador From the Inside: Jenny, an American in El Salvador, posts her insights, frustrations, and news, primarily about living with and among the poor. The writing is informative and doesn’t sugarcoat the overseas experience. A notable regular feature is Spanish Friday—an end-of-week post written in both Spanish and English.

Un’americana a Roma: Shelley, an American expat in Rome, has an engaging voice: as you read her posts, you’re not only entertained, but feel like you’re chatting with her over a cup of coffee. Conversational and fun, she offers a candid, often funny look into life in Italy.

Made in Accra: This blog offers a slightly different take on the expat experience: Mike returned to his home country of Ghana after living in the US for half of his life and chronicles his observations as a returnee. While he is not an expat in the traditional sense, he writes intimately about reconnecting to the place of his childhood:

Home for the longest time had been “New Jersey” to every inquiring mind. At other moments, especially when that nostalgia bugs hits me, it’s Accra. It’s Ghana. It’s the experiences, the memories, the foods, the languages, and the culture. It’s even those idiosyncrasies most of us could never seem to shake even after fully immersing ourselves in our western societies.

These bloggers (and their stories) are all different from one another. But each has his or her own unique perspective about the world, and a sense of curiosity and empathy. They’re worth checking out!

Do you follow an expat blog not on this list? Let us know in the comments. For more, check the expat topic page in the WordPress.com reader.

197 Comments

  1. So glad I found the Expat Blogs link! I’m currently living in Tokorozawa, Japan – my second term teaching in Japan. I taught in another city in the Spring. In 2010-2011 I taught in China and was motivated to seek other opportunities. My blog documents my expat travels as well as my time on the Appalachian Trail before and after my year in China. I love this untethered life!

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