Saturday, August 25, 2007

Love us for us! Be yourself please, I love you for you!

You enter a crowded room, and you can immediately sense the collective vibes merge into a very particular ambiance. There is also something special about the combined feel of bloggers living an international life. It's hard to put my finger on it, but it's definitely a similar feeling that I’ve sensed before in my personal life abroad.

It's as if each one, no matter where they are, is a unique ingredient of the same exotic delicacy!

My French roommate and I organized a dinner party last year and our guests were friends from Russia, Germany, England, France, US , Argentina and Spain. A nice group! I set-up a table for 15 in the garden of our Guanajuato home and amidst the very diverse range of food, wines, flowers and music, we had a good time sharing a funny yet intimate conversation.

We were different people with a story to tell! Each one seeing the world and doing different things, but time and space brought us together by chance and our guards where down, we identified with ourselves. Among them I felt understood. I felt myself. I felt their vibe and it flowed with my vibe.

That night my roommate murmured while picking up the dishes “what is it about an international group living abroad? We are so different but we must have something in common since I’ve felt this before with other people no matter who they are, or in what country we meet them; it’s always the same pleasant atmosphere”.

She turned towards the kitchen and I smiled. She’s right! I’ve experienced the same feeling abroad! But not where I currently live, at home...

This past few years trying to organize my return to Italy I’ve encountered personal joy that had to remain very private since my move to Italy is hush-hush around here. We are talking about California where most people think this is the only acceptable place to live, and many foreigners agree and both ask me why I’d want to leave!

Yet in the blogosphere I am again entirely myself! I guess it takes one to know one! because fortunately, I've been able to relate to many who also have broad horizons and border-less life.

Bloggers living an international life are very interesting individuals. To read their blogs is a joy. Each day I become a silent spectator sitting in the shadowy wings of their stage quietly watching their monologue and afterwards I clap and come back for more!

Two long-term bloggers spoke about how and why they blog, and I thought to include them here since they are part of the international community and I liked what they said.

Preya is a literature teacher in Colorado. She is finishing grad school and in less than a year she will return to the International life. In her latest post "Love me, love my blog" she said:

"In order to know me you have to know my blog. Writing is the medium through which I truly express who I am and what I think. I’ve written about so much that is important to me over the years that my blog has become a second self of sorts. It can explain who I am and what I think far better than I can. So heavy is it now with 3 years of content that los
ing it would feel like losing a part of myself. Does anyone else feel this way about one’s blog?"

Chloe is a journalist living in Athens, Greece, and in her latest post "Sanitization is poo" she said:

"Sometimes, when we have been writing online diaries for a long time, we begin to censor ourselves. We sanitize these diaries / blogs / personal sites because on the way, we have met many people and they would be uncomfortable with what we have to say. But most importantly we censor ourselves because, as in real life, we have formed an online persona, an idealistic version of ourselves that we want to project...What I want to say is that I will never be cute and this will never be a "pretty" and charming blog. I do not want it to be that way. I am sensitive, sometimes, but most times I trample on things. So if you ever see cutesy staff here, let me know. It means I am lying to you."

You can read their entire post and more about them on their blog.


During the music concert I saw last week-end, a fan burst into the stage and made his own show. The singer refused to let them arrest him, but she told him "This stage is mine, and here I rule!" and to our applause, she had him apologize to the musicians and the fans and the show went on.

Blogs are more than your stage, they are your podium! Do you allow other's expectations to burst into the stage of your mind and you censor yourself?

International bloggers are an amazing bunch who have a calm strength and go abroad to be themselves, so they are not afraid to be themselves; in any medium.

I applaud those bloggers like Preya and Chloe who are themselves; we love you for you...


Italiana Americana said...

ciao! great story! I can relate to being your fullself here on your blog. I too am sometimes hush hust at home because I feel like I have to be. Because I'm only studying abroad for a semester --it's easier to talk about less permanent but ..of course my dream is to live there! :)

Audra said...


I'm hush hush at home but for another reason-- my mom would burst out crying every time I mentioned it, so I don't mention it anymore.

On another note, I must applaud Chloe for her candor.. I don't want to censor myself, ever, and I strive to NOT let myself think twice before I post. Real, raw emotion is key-- at least for me.

P.S. I've added you to my links.. care to add me? :-)

P.P.S. Come online sometime, we have to catch up chica!

Tina said...


I have never felt the need to censor myself for my Italy blog, but I DO feel that with my Tango blog, because Tango can be a sensitive and controversial subject. (particularly because I'm a major tango-traditionalist, sometimes offending the "nuevo" style dancers. Seriously.) I try my hardest NOT to censor it, but sometimes I feel the urge to. I hate that! I think I'll blog about it on the tango blog now.

Cathy said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! "Chloe" is a dear friend of mine; it's nice to see you quoted her here! :)

Chloe said...

thank you! you are so very kind. :)

Calabrisella said...

รจ vero!
it is a diffrent kind of connection... probably the only thing that keeps me sane here...the priceless support..

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Italiana and Audra, your mom and my mom both! Yes, it's easier to talk about less permanent things... They support us, of course, but it's not easy to say good-bye to a loved one. That ocean looks preeeety big between us!

:) Yea! Audra, I haven't seen you online lately! Hey, you are the one at the beach and with the cute guy! We'll catch up soon...

Ciao Tina, we're always on touch about Italy stuff of course, but I still have to see your Tango blog! :) grrrr, you're making me hunt for that one, aren't you? :)

Ciao Cathy, yes I think I found your blog through Chloe and both of you are great :)

Thanks Chloe for your email! My pleasure! Hope you are safe from those fires in Greece, too sad... Keep us posted!

Calabrisella, I know exactly what you mean! It's a different connection, but priceless anyway, since behind each blog is a real person who is opening up their diaries to all of us! :)

zunnur said...

Hi Farfallina,

In the past, I had this uneasy feeling everytime I knew that someone who knows me was reading my blog, but I kept aside the feeling and kept on writing from my heart, just to ensure that my blog would maintain the value of a Personal Blog, now I'm quite used to it. Thanks for the reminder.

Carrie said...

Bravo! This is well written and incredibly thoughtful. I love Preya's blog. I'm on my way to check out Chloe's blog after this.

I have very few friends back home who read my blog, but my online community has grown in leaps and bounds with like-minded individuals such as yourself, who constantly change and grow with each entry. At the risk of sounding a little hokey, I'm glad we can all change, grow, share and learn with each other.

irenita_glaukopis said...

beautiful post farfallina! come al solito!

You are so sweet and kind...


Anonymous said...

The only way l can write is straight from the heart or it doesn't work out. However, recently l have found myself a little concerned about whom it might get back to if l post about ex's etc. If you know what l mean. Though, the reason why l started blogging in the first place was to be absolutely free to express what goes on inside of me..

Expat Traveler said...

how ironic. I was thinking about how I censor what I write in my blog because I need to protect myself from certain things. I guess if I weren't so out there on the web, I would write more since I know I have ties..

It is a bit sad at times...

But what a cool way to meet people for sure. Although I am an expat in Canada, I still want to get back to Switzerland...

It is a joy to see expats as there is a great connection. I've got some great friends from connections like that...

If you don't mind, please vote for me in a photo contest I've entered. Just return to my page again to click on the link to vote.

I need 200 plus votes! :)

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Hi Zunnur -yes, I guess with time we can learn to stay focused :)

Hi Carrie! It didn't sound hokey at all :) I'm also glad we can all share and learn with each other.

Grazie Irenita! :) Disfruta Italia por mi mientras llego :)

Cleopantha, as many of us know, you have beautiful writing and I hope you continue writing from your heart :)

Hi Expat traveler - Done! very pretty picture! :)

qualcosa di bello said...

farfallina...thank you for introducing me to two fabulous blogs!

i feel that somedays i bleed my very soul into my blog words

other days i am just quipping along

but...i *love* what my blog is for me &, yes, i feel i would be losing some of my very self if i were to lose my blog...

how i know this: my creative flower is opening very wide since beginning to write a blog :)

Eryn said...

i totally know what you mean about letting your guard down and being yourself amongst other international travelers.

I think what it is is that everyone is so open-minded and free-thinking. you never feel judged and you always feel accepted.

i love that feeling :-)

Expat Traveler said...

And I'ave now tagged you for a new meme. :) thanks for the vote!

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Qualcosa di bello - Prego! :) They are good blogs, aren't they? :) maybe because they work in literature and journalism, dunno... but they write well :)

Definitely! Blogs do wonders for creativity and like Calabrisella said "to keep us sane" :)

Eryn -I think you put your finger on it... it's being around open minded individuals who accept us for who we are :)

Thanks Expat! I see that! :)
La Delirante just tagged me,too... and I'll do both, but yours is definitely a very different meme! Wow, I guess I'll have to post my picture now!

Audra said...

yes i have..

sognatrice knows all about it.. it's about sicilian grammar and the language in general.

hasnt gotten published yet though.. mostly my own laziness, really. guaiii!

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Uuuuu, I should talk to Sognatrice more often! :) Hmmm... I wonder if she's busy this week. She's taken a blog-vacation you know! :)

A book is no small feat, amazing stuff there!... Congrats :)

Jeff Gromen said...

Hmmm. I know I don't write like a should sometimes, but then I'm a pretty private person in real life so I'm the same way on my blog.
I've never hung out with a bunch of international expats so I don't know what they are like!!!

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Ciao Jeff! Welcome back!

Ah, a new olympic sport: synchronized posting!!!

Yup, I just posted "welcome back" on your blog, and voila! you posted a comment on my blog at the same time! :)

Synchronized posting! :)

La delirante said...

Hi Farfallina!! "Bloggers living an international life are very interesting individuals" I can't agree more. I have found many interesting blogs (yours included of course :) ) here in the blogosphere. I also believe people who travel and are in touch with other cultures are more tolerant and respectful in general. They have more life experience I would add as well and therefore I find them quiet interesting.

Great post! Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

lm back again Farfallina, l just wanted you to know that your are a great writer and l just love your blog... From what l read here you write from the heart too.

Tina said...

Hey Farfallina - there is a link to the tango blog from my Italy blog, but just to make your life a teensy bit easier, it's at


Patricia said...

I think that its not important how differnte you coul be for other but how much you can lear from them, so I think that livibg with people from other countries would help you to understand other cutures and ways of life.

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Ciao Delirante! :) Definitely, people who travel a lot are more tolerant of differences, respectful.. and interesting! :) Hope you fell better soon!

Grazie Cleopantha :) {me blushing}

Ciao Tina :) There's your tango link! Thanks

Hola Paty :) You're right! Back in my college days, studying in different countries allowed me to live with people from different nationalities and it was always an eye opening experience!

Dana said...

I just found your blog and am really enjoying reading your posts!
I do admire people who can "bare it all" on their blogs. I'm just not one of those people. I think because a lot of the people who end up on my blog are strangers. Get me face to face with someone and I love to get to know them and share about myself. Being a somewhat private person, I tend to make more observations about things around me than personally on my blog and save the personal stuff for the people in my life or my private journal.

sognatrice said...

So *this* is why my ears have been ringing...yes I know all about Audra's book, and that reminds me, I promised some well-formulated suggestions. We'll have to get on that again because it's a great, important topic (IMHO).

Anyway, I love this post; there's so much truth to it, from feeling a bond with other expats to feeling sometimes a bit censored on the blog. I don't look at is as censoring so much, though, as focusing on certain parts of my life/personality/etc. and letting others go unsaid. I personally find that essential to continue--could never air my truly dirty laundry in public since I don't do it in real life either.

To each her own :)

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Ciao Dana -
To focus a blog on observations around us rather than about very personal stuff, hmmm... that's a good point! Many read blogs to understand what a new point of view would be like, but are not so interested in other very personal stuff.

Ciao Sognatrice :)

Hehe...ah yes, you caught and Audry and I mentioning you :)

Well, I've always been one to analyze everything around me.... in a mathematical way! Then I try to fix what I see wrong, so in turn I end up giving too much mental space to what I would want to change... but I can't change everything, can I? So much in life is outside our control!

So now I've realized that what you say is so true! As more and more time goes on I realize the need to stay focused on certain parts of my life, and let others slip away unsaid, especially on my real life.

Loved both comments, made me think! :)