(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

don't rain on my parade.

Every day I discover a few more blogs (or many more blogs, dependent on the time I have) that reveal people who are living abroad. Of many different nationalities.

Some are obviously new to the experience and present that enthusiasm and awe for what they have undertaken. Some are months in to the experience, revealing realities and unexpected practicalities. Some are now settled into a very pleasurable way of life, still learning always growing. Some express thanks that they gave it a shot, but have realized it isn't for them.

A small minority seem consistently downbeat, wherever they are in the process, finding much to complain about and little to revel in. The complaints range to the lack of their home country's food items on the market shelves, complaints about the French style of doing business, their region's weather, the missing conveniences of their home country, the language, etcetera etcetera etcetera. They don't seem to have reached any decisions or awareness, other than expressing miserableness (I like it better that way, misery just didn't cut it) at every turn.

It is one thing to use one's blog as the platform to voice one's opinions on their individual experience. But the worrisome thing I've noticed about this small minority is that there is a tendency to bring that negativity into other's blogs via their comments. Making sure to register their downbeat observations with a sense of smug satisfaction. Kind of like, "yep, it DOES suck doesn't it, toldja so ... we are so OUT of here and you will be too if you know what's good for you!" Of course, it is natural to become discouraged in a foreign land, but when it gets beyond a certain point, one has to ask ... "Just why was it again that you are still here?"

I am so thankful for the few extremely supportive connections I have made in the short time I've been writing. For myself, I am opting for a pragmatic approach. I've been travelling, not just to France but all over, for over 15 years. The first thing I learned about being in a new country is to leave my American expectations and comparisons behind. And anyway, nowadays it isn't like the good ole US of A or the UK has much to crow about from a world perspective. *ducks*

I hope to use my blog voice to entertain, to share realities in a balanced manner, to demonstrate growth, to encourage towards life's potential and possibilities .... oh and of course, make folks laugh. just my nature. I hope that if my readers see me slipping off into consistent antagonism or unrealistic reactions ... you'll give me a Moonstruck slap and yell "Snap out of it!!!"


Walley said...

thank 4 visiting my blog...i didnt notic is spelled entertainment wrong thanks for telling me. http://thewalleyreview.blogspot.com/

Natacha said...

I recently started blogging about culture shock, biculturalism, et tout le tralala and stumbled upon your blog. Bonne continuation!

alisa said...

Thank you for saying something...i would never mention the name but there is 1 blog in particular that I visit where I wonder if the person is every going to talk about their positive experience in france, seems all they do is complain about everything french. Go home if you are not happy, but don't bring us all down with you.

Je ne regrette rien said...

alisa - ya KNOW?!

Anonymous said...

From my observations of reading expat blogs over the last year, most of the unhappy expats seem to be youngish women who are in France primarily to be with their husband/boyfriend. Any suggestion that they try to develop a positive attitude, or that negative attitudes only make the legitimate problems more difficult to bear doesn't seem to go over very well. And then I feel like an old-out-of-it-who-asked-you-anyway-type. And they are probably right. In any case, you are on the money... as long as they don't force their blues onto your comment pages, they it is certainly their own perspective to express on their own blog or site.

Diane said...

I haven't read many blogs on the subject but I joined an expat site primarily to get some info on tax filing. Yikes there are some major complainers on there. Yea I have my days when I miss my Starbucks or the convenience of 24 hour shopping or sushi or mexican food..uumm what were we talking about again??? ;-) but the bottom line is I am really enjoying getting to experience a different culture, warts and all.