From time to time I get emails from people who have started up websites to help expats.
They tell me that they enjoy my blog and could I answer some questions which will be of help to others thinking of moving abroad, and to tell of my experiences, including photographs if possible.
I have responded to one or two in the past. I was rewarded with their little logos to stick on my sidebar. I was even awarded a Bronze medal once for an article.
There were competitions on one such website to write about some aspect of living as an expat. I entered one, and discovered that these weren't necessarily judged on merit, but one had to get others to vote on Facebook. The number of votes cast would go a long way to determine the winner.
I'm not sure these people actually read my blog. I believe they just search for expat blogs and send out their standard email, then gather the results which then provides content for their websites.
There's nothing wrong with all this of course. These websites probably do help a lot of people, but they are not for me. I have politely declined the latest request. I don't feel that I have anything to offer expats. I don't live as an expat. My life is simple and mostly consists of rescuing and feeding street dogs. So any interview given by me would probably not be of much interest to those about to emigrate who want to know about all the practicalities of health insurance, buying or renting property, etc.
I do have a few expat friends, but these friendships are really based on what we have in common, rather than because we are all expats.
These interviews also make me a little uncomfortable. I feel they are intrusive, particularly in terms of the kinds of personal questions asked, and the request for photos.
Like most of my blogging friends, I don't use my real name for blogging. (Although many of you do know my name through our friendships on Facebook, or by email, and some of you I have been fortuate enough to meet in person).
It's this little bit of anonymity that allows us to share aspects of our life on our blogs that perhaps we wouldn't if we were writing under our real names.
So I have removed the little expat website logos from my blog. It may mean that I don't have such a wide circulation of my blog link, but I'm happy with that, and with those who already follow me.
Have you received these requests for interviews? I'm sure some of you have very different opinions to mine, so I would be interested to hear them.