Voila: My Seven Links

I’d been away from Twitter for a few days and was over there checking things out. Suddenly I saw a hot new tweet from my fun friend Jack over at Perking the Pansies.

Jack (who retired early and lives in Bodrum, Turkey with life partner and talented new pop music composer Liam) had just tweeted and it sounded interesting. So I immediately clicked and began reading this: Jack’s The Seven Links Project.


This is really cool, I kept thinking as I read more.

He’d been tapped by Natalie at Turkish Travel Blog to participate in the ingenious Seven Links Project.

The creator of this great idea is Katie at Tripbase, and the concept is simple: Jack was given seven categories and he had to select a post from his blog for each one.

All in the vein of not letting good writing go unnoticed.

The rationale behind the Seven Links Project rocks:

‘To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.’

The rules are simple:

1. You’re nominated by a nominated blogger;

2. You decide which seven of your posts to assign to each category;

3. You assign the next five bloggers to keep going.

I was thinking I’d already read three of Jack’s choices, and knew I’d want to re-read them as well as check out the ones I’d missed.

Then I got to the end of the post…

That crazy guy had included me in his five nominations! Woohoo!

Talk about being incredibly flattered and excited. It’s been really fun going through my old posts, trying to decide which ones I’d include and for which category. I hope you enjoy the results half as much as I did putting them together.

So here we go with the categories in the Dance of the Seven Veils Links:


It became clear (at least in my opinion) that the posts I consider my most ‘beautiful’ are the ones in which I write from the heart and bare a part of my soul. Not surprisingly, I believe the best are about family and friendship. It’s hard to pick just one: how can you choose one family member over another? So I give you Mother’s Day, A Father’s Day, Life Milestone: Expat Graduation, I Get More Than I Give, and It Matters and Counting Down the Days.


The one that received the largest number of hits, comments, tweets, shares, requests to quote or repost, etc. is none other than Seven Reasons Not to Become an Expat. It still does. It started out as a mini-rant backlash to some articles and forum questions I’d come across in which the authors seemed to assume they could naively head to expatland to lead the good life, and sort out the pesky details later. Yeah. Right. 


I thought that it would be Human Trafficking: The Ugly Truths. Not because the topic itself is controversial; I don’t know many people other than trafficking low-lifes who are in favor of it. Rather, it was the first time I dared post about a complicated, political issue. I wasn’t sure Adventurers would want to read about such depressing topics, but I was wrong. They’re giving, concerned, open to new issues, and have been very supportive of other posts on Refugees, Somalia and the like.

No, the most controversial post I wrote was Expat Bouganvillea: Tale of the ‘Trailing Spouse’. By far. How expats are labelled (and how we label ourselves) is a sensitive issue. One person’s favorite grates on another person’s nerves. No matter what name idea is floated, it’s met with cheers by some, indifference by others and derision by still more. There is no ‘right’ answer, only personal choice. I’m cool with that. 


No question there: Sharing the Expat Wealth: Part I and Sharing the Expat Wealth: Part II. I was contacted by a soon-to-be expat moving to Amsterdam. She’d found my blog and started following it, and asked me a couple questions. These two posts resulted. But soon I’d heard from two more expats-to-be headed to The Netherlands. Now we’re following their progress (Expats in Motion: Checking In (Part I)). I’ve received still more contacts, with more posts in the works.


A tie here, with two posts on different aspects of expat life: what we learn when family and friends come to see us, When Non-Expats Visit, and an ode to expat friendship, What a Marvelous Night for a Moondance. I loved writing them both and hoped they’d do well, but I wasn’t prepared for exactly how well! 


That would be First Christmas Preparation in Nederland and the follow-up Christmas Preparation Redux. I wrote about the amusing hijinks and odd challenges faced in trying to celebrate an important holiday in a new place, when you truly realize that you live in a very different culture. Alas, my site was probably too young at the time for these posts to catch on, but they’re still favorites of mine. And absolutely true.


This is a tough one. I write primarily about expat life, writing, observational humor, human nature, with other topics thrown into the mix. My writing can be funny, serious, informative, understated, deadpan and occasionally eloquent. I suppose I’m proudest of the latter: they are the more emotional pieces I’ve written about family members (already noted in Most Beautiful Post above).

But I guess the other set I’m most proud of is my ongoing series published at IAmExpat.nl on Emotional Resilience in Expat Life: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part i of IV and Part ii of IV. The last in this series, Part V, was just published. One thing that my own experiences and subsequent research have shown me is the importance of developing and enhancing our emotional resilience. Not just for expats, but for everyone. It has become my life’s work now; I’m in the early stages of writing a book of the same title. It’s slow going, but as I read, research, interview and write, I am energized by what I’ve learned, and what I want to share.

And now for my five bloggers I nominate to continue the Seven Links Project tradition (in no particular order):

[BTW, here’s a list of already nominated bloggers to help you out.] 

Image credit: Salvatore Vuona portfolio 659 freedigitalphotos.net


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