Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why I Blog

I've danced around this question a couple of times. I always feel self-important talking about my blog. Oh yeah, I'm so cool that I need to write about my life and opinions so that the world can experience the glory of them.  It couldn't be further from the truth. It has nothing with ego, although it has helped pump mine up.

The reason I write is obvious, it's a great excuse to not exercise or do the dishes. Oh but I really need to post today!

Ok, not really.  The real reason I started to blog was to do something for myself. I live in Rio de Janeiro with my Brazilian husband and my kiddos. Moving here was for both practical and emotional reasons. Mr. Rant got a job, I had no healthcare, and we both really love Rio.  Honestly though, I wasn't in real love with Rio when I first moved here. It was puppy love. The real love only happened in time, once we got to know each others quirks and learned to accept them.

The fact of the matter was that my husband is happy in Rio de Janeiro. There is a spark missing when he's abroad, even during visits. The true Glory of Mr. Rant needs the Carioca spirit to fill him. Can you blame him?

Anyway, I had yet to have my thing here, even after all these years. Having the bambinos didn't help. While it's amazing and wonderful to have kids, it is a lot of giving.

So the blog is my thing. I do it for me. I talk about things that come up in my head that my 2 and 4 year olds do not want to discuss with me, much to my delight. If my boys had an opinion things like the statistic that 70% of Brazilian men cheat, I'd be quite alarmed.  I'll wait until they're at least 10 to bring that bad boy up.

The surprising part of blogging was all I gained. I'm not talking about wealth or fame because that is far from anything in my reality. I'm talking about these:

1. Friends. Blogger friends are amazing people who become quick friends after you read each other's thoughts and ideas. My Rio blogger friends have, more or less, become flesh and blood buddies who I've met on some occasions.  I've met people who can relate, understand, and actually care about what I have to say and vice versa. Priceless.

2. Inspiration. I have this forum to write and so I do. I had lost my will to write, something I used to do a lot of. Of course I'm not Shakespeare, but it's nice to do something I enjoy.

3. A New Perspective. I had stopped paying attention to the world around me. It was my every day, nothing special. That couldn't have been further from the truth.

4. My Voice back. Holy crap, I have something to say and it has nothing to do with Woody and Buzz or how to say Pickles in Portuguese. It's me saying things I normally say when I have a chance to talk to other grown ups. Awesome form of release.

5. A chance to share what I know. I know I rarely do this, it's more rants than facts, but I love answering people's question and, possibly, making a process that I had a bitch doing a bit easier for someone else. I've done the marrying a foreigner, moving, translating documents, marrying in Brazil, Green card applications, Brazilian visa extensions, Brazilian residency applications, Portuguese, and many more things I can't even think of. Hell, the accomplishment that made me the most excited was ordering food here for the first time by myself. And they understood and brought the right thing! So if there's something I could help you with, please let me know!

6. The fuzzy feeling that I get realizing that people actually like to read what I write. I get embarrassed by it because I find it so amazing that people want to!  I love it! And to get the emails/comments from you guys saying that I make you laugh just make my week. Not day, week!

7. The readers. I love you guys! I LOVE the comments you make on posts! I love it even more when my comment section turns into a debate. I swear, half the time the comment section is far more interesting than the freaking post! You guys rock. I have readers who really kick ass. That is a hell of a big compliment for me! By the way, I am not easily offended. Even if I get defensive in posts, I'm not offended. I have an open blog for people to share their opinions. Please do!

So I started writing my blog for me and now I also right for you guys. It's like a great blog sex with all the give and take going on here. Gold stars all around!

Now you tell me, why do you blog and/or read blogs? 


  1. It's good that you feel that way about your blog, I rarely post a comment here, but I read it all the time, it's almost part of my routine. It's very entertaining and I apppreciate your humor, can't get over the sack of bacon for the kids, you are wicked funny . So, keep on writing.

  2. OK, the blogger gods just gave us a THWACK! We had written a full post-sized comment- obviously bad form- and lost it all trying to use the preview function!!

    So, short & sweet:
    We blog for all the reasons you describe above, Rachel, but we continue probably first & foremostly because it has made us observational addicts. We look at our world so much more closely now, and not just with the purpose of finding new source material, but because we can't stop ourselves.

    We follow blogs so we can become virtual neighbours to people who inhabit worlds other than our own. And because we love belonging to the quirky, friendly community of fellow obsessives.

    Don't stop the ranting!
    Bee & Jay,
    Toronto, Canada

  3. Rachel - You are the goddess of the Rio blog world. I love reading your blog because you bring up issues I can relate to (as a fellow expat in Rio) and you have a unique sense of humor in doing so. I also read Jim's, Ray's, Chris', Danielle's and many other blogs. I would say that reading your (and other's) expat blog gives me a sense of fellowship in the joint experience of living and surviving the Brazilian culture in Rio. It is also a welcome relief to think and communicate in English again.

    Keep on Bloggin' homie!

  4. so your thoughts on trying for a girl??? you make great looking babies! and it is nice for your friend who are childless, husbandless, but not loveless

  5. Rachel,

    We were just reading expat's blogs at first, because we have been away from Brazil for a long time and looking to go back now, so the experiences you and other expats are going thru will be very helpful to Gil and I on our re-adaptation process.
    Having said that, Gil set up the blog for me, YOU found the just born baby blog and made the first comment on it and jump started. Gil and I share our experiences as Brazilians living in the US, New England to be more exact.
    I totally second Greg's comment. You are Rio's Blog World Goddess :)
    I love reading your blog. You make me laugh every single day, I love your writting style, you are honest, candid and authentic.
    It doesn't get any more American than you, it doesn't get any more Carioca than you, all wrapped up in a great optimistic twist on life with a great dose of sense of humor.
    I love it that you write so often, sometimes I have a hard time to catch up and don't we all love when these comment sections go up in flames and there are opinions to fit any taste or point of view :)
    You are an inspiration on how to see life in a great positive way, always with the cup half full type of attitude.

    Um beijao madrinha! ;)


  6. I always find it interesting as to why other people started blogging. I think I'm going to steal this from you.

  7. I didn't think I could get into blogs. You have changed my mind, girl! I am a regular reader of yours, and through yours I have found Jim's, Ray's, Shelley's and a few others. I get to know about life in Brazil through you and other expats; and hopefully very soon I will experience it first hand (at the moment I am a Spaniard living in the US). What, in my opinion, sets you apart is your originality and your sense of humor, not to mention your awesome writing.
    Blog on!

  8. All of the above, woman. I started out just journaling for my friends what was supposed to be just a year abroad at a culinary institute studying wine. Now - it's a community. It's a place to connect with people all over the world, get insights into other lives, realities, places to travel, live, experience through your writings (or rantings, which I enjoy, by the way!) The interaction in the comments section with other bloggers is crucial, and something I only started learning less than a year ago - but one of the richest parts of the blogging world.

    If you could have told me a year ago I'd be reading and interacting with you fine ladies (and gentlemen) all over the planet I would have been surprised.

    Great fun - great post - have a freaking fabulous day, lady!

  9. Ditto to all of the above, and more too. I started blogging during a time that was unbelievably stressful and difficult, and blogging took my mind off it all. Now it's become so much more. I wrote about it, hope you don't mind me stealing your idea.

  10. Is there a failsafe data recovery system for Blogger? If not, you should be backing up your entries. I fully expect to see a best seller at Amazon.com entitled Rachel's Rantings in Rio some day.

    Books are often born from blogs - and you are well on your way!

    And like our friend at thetaoofme - I will be making a similar post on my blog saometime soon. Great topic.

  11. I think it shows a true generosity of spirit when people can share honestly and openly. Bravo/Brava to the bloggers here--I've been reading a couple through your (all y'all's?) network since you link to each other and I've been enjoying them. I arrive in Rio on April 1, so hope to meet some of you while I'm down there! Is anyone interested in a possible blogger meetup? :)


  12. Jim is the official thrower of blogger meet ups. What do you say Jim?

  13. I, for one, am glad you blog. And it sounds like there are many others like me. In fact, I just mentioned you in my blog, how I appreciate what you share.

  14. I'm always down for a meet up. Most folks work, so the weekend is best. Rio seems to be the central spot. How long are you in town Meilina? Shall we send a ballon up for the first weekend in April or the second?

    Be specific. Cheers.

  15. Hi Jim, Rachel, bloggers, et al.,

    I will actually be in Rio the entire month of April. The 1st - the 30th, so I am quite flexible, time-wise. I'll be taking a portuguese class Mondays-Fridays, during 'work' hours, too, so any weekend (or even weekday evenings) sounds great to me! As far as a specific neighborhood, I'm flexible, too--I happen to be renting an apt. located between Copacabana & Ipanema, but am happy to go to Lapa/Santa Teresa/Botofogo/anywhere... I'm easy!