The Future of Joburg Expat

Having recently revealed that we’re about to be repatriated to the United States, many of my readers have asked, slightly alarmed, what that means for the future of Joburg Expat.

It’s a valid question. It was the very first question that came to my own mind. Before the ones about the new school, the new house, the fate of our cat Maus, and how I could possibly survive once more without somebody who is not me doing all the ironing.

I was almost surprised to realize that my blog has become such an important part of me, inextricably linked to my expat existence in South Africa. When something cool happens to me, I want to write about it on Joburg Expat. When something crappy happens, I want to write about it too. More so, actually, as some of you know. Some adventures I’ve gone out on specifically to blog about later, going out of my comfort zone, something I wouldn’t have done without my blog. I’ve become a reasonably good photographer because of my blog, realizing it needed more pictures on it. I’ve learned to look for the unusual, the quirky, sometimes the weird, and more often than not found beauty in some shape or form.

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that way.

Having to abandon my blog would feel like cutting something out from me. Which is why it’s a good thing I won’t have to. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no reason not to keep serving the expat community in South Africa with all the advice I’ve accumulated over the past two years, and the considerable backlog still in my creative folder. There is no reason not to keep writing about expat issues, because repatriation is a big (and scary!) part of being an expat. There is no reason not to keep writing about Africa, because having lived in Africa will always be a part of my life. And it’ll be a good reason to come back and visit soon, should I ever run out of material. Other than visiting our friends, of course. And, thanks to a friend, I’ve even come up with a catchy name that won’t actually change much at all.

So, to calm anyone’s fears – I won’t abandon Joburg Expart. And neither should you.

In fact, I need a little bit of your help for Joburg Expat, bringing me to the main reason I actually started this blog post (funny how they sometimes take on a life of their own).

I entered a writing contest run by a new website I recently did an interview for, called Expatsblog. Now I know it’s not that big of a deal, but if you consider yourself a writer, and especially if you don’t have to show much in terms of published books, you do like to get some form of recognition every once in a while. ┬áPlus, there’s a cash prize involved! Supposedly your essay gets chosen based on its strength of writing, but there is always this funny thing called Social Media. Apparently, they also base the strength of your writing on the number of Facebook likes it gets. Instead of decrying the wisdom of such a judging method, I figured I better go out and put some Likes in the bank.

So please, go and vote for me. I abhor asking people for favors, I really do, as much as I hate asking people for money, even if it’s for a good cause. But considering that I receive something like 20 emails a week from the Obama campaign these days, and that that still doesn’t make me hate them, I figured I might allow myself to beg others for their vote too.

So on this day when lots of people are already voting anyway, please read my essay here if you have time. If you don’t have time, just scroll to the bottom and FACEBOOK LIKE it anyway. And will you please also SHARE it and GOOGLE+1 it and TWEET it for good measure while you’re there. AND leave a comment. The whole nine yards of Social Sewage.

If for no other reason, just click on the vote for me button, because I spent a lot of time Photoshopping it!

And if you’re still not completely exhausted by all this activity, please leave a comment on my blog listing for that same website. There’s also a vote for Top Blog in South Africa going on that I”m in the running for. Writing contest and Top Blog – Maybe I’ll have a chance at one of them.

Excuse me now while I go back to drafting a chapter in my book. Which I’d have a lot more time for if there wasn’t this thing called Social Media in my life.

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