I've been an expatriate for four years. I've been blogging all that time and would recommend it to every fellow expatriate.
Let me tell you why (even though I hate lists).
- Obviously, it is a great way to stay in touch with your dear ones in your country of origin. Sure, you should write letters, too, but nowadays it seems to be easier said than done. With a blog you reach basically all your family and friends with a one single post.
- Moving to another county is a huge change and a great adventure. Don't forget it. I always, always try to remind myself and others to write diary. Whether it is five pages every day or a sentence a week - write down what's happened in your everyday life. A blog is a kind of a diary even though you wouldn't reveal your deepest thoughts. It's great to read old posts about things and feelings that you had already forgotten.
- With a blog, it's easy to help other people who are moving to the same country or visiting it. For example, I've made a page where I write down places and things I like and recommend to see in my home town Tallinn. I know many of my friends have found this useful when they've been planning their visit. I've also got many, many mails from people who are moving to Estonia and have needed advice.
- A blog helps you to network with other expatriates in your new home country. It's great to know that you are not alone in the same kind of situation. For example, when I was moving to Silicon Valley I started to look for blogs written by Finnish expatriates who live in the Valley. I found one by a lady who had just moved to the area and was living in the neighbor town. Later, we met and got friends. The power of blogging can sometimes be just awesome!
- It's always interesting to read other expatriates' experiences. Following a blog written by an Italian who's moved to Canada can be good fun. Totally different countries than in my own case, but oh so similar feelings.