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500 Articles And Four Years Later…

Self-Portrait in Feng's Glasses, May 2010, U.S.A

Almost four years of blogging later, today I’m publishing my 500th article. Wow. I guess I’d better backup my database tonight!

It all started in October 2006. At the time, I had been a permanent resident in Canada for exactly a year (and I had been in Canada for already two years) but I was still getting comfortable with my new country. I had no idea what I would do with a blog nor did I have any idea how all that (all that being me in Canada, working as a teacher at the time) was going to turn out.

Four years later, I’m happy to say the jigsaw pieces more or less fell together and “all that” turned out pretty good. Sure, I had to adjust along the way — I gave up eating cheese (too expensive and not rotten enough due to Canada’s health regulations), I now invent French words when I forget my mother tongue (I have recently been told that “les végétables” is not a word in French) and I haven’t participated in a protest in quite a while (despite working on Parliament Hill). Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always easy and I had ups and downs. But I never regretted my choice of coming here and I’m very happy with being both Canadian and French.

Blog-wise, I learned a lot in the past four years. First, I started writing on Blogger and eventually switched to self-hosted WordPress a year later. As I wanted to improve my blog, I became a mini-geek with basic knowledge of coding and web design. Photography is an art I came to appreciate a lot these last three years and I have tons of projects in mind. I learned the ropes with a simple point-and-shoot camera and I’m now having a lot of fun with a proper DSLR and a few lenses. Yes, I’m that weirdo who walk around Ottawa with a camera — say hi if you see me, and smile for the picture!

Above all, I discovered I truly loved writing and photography. I’ve always been in writer but in French, but since I was now living in an English environment, I wanted to see if I could express myself as well in that language. Again, it wasn’t easy but I’m quite happy to say I’m as comfortable writing in English as I am in French (don’t mind the occasional grammar slip!).

This blog means a lot to me:

  • It is a motivation to take better pictures, to write about life in Canada, and it’s hopefully useful to a lot of prospective immigrants.
  • It opened my eyes on the world, thanks to all the great articles from you guys I read everyday.
  • It helps paying some bills, thanks to the (hopefully not too annoying) ads.
  • It’s a great way to sell my photography and it is starting to work!
  • It gave me the opportunity to meet great people, such as Gail (who came to Ottawa twice), Barbara (in France) and Priyank (in Toronto).

I wanted to thank all of you, those who stop by every day and those who read a couple of articles here and there, those who leave insightful and funny comments, those who share their experiences, those who encourage me and support this blog, those who take the time to say say “hi” once in a while and all the other who stay in the shadow. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by all the great people I got to know through this blog, and even more surprised to see how many read it every day.

Writing and blogging is like traveling: I’m not sure where I’m going, I’m not sure I’m even going somewhere, but I’m going anyway and I’ll figure it out later. It all worked itself out just fine so far!

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