If you’ve been following me on Instagram you know there’s been something brewing. It’s finally time for me to stop with the Big Talk and take action.
Before I started using Instagram, back in 2015, I figured I certainly had more than enough social media in my life with the pernicious Facebook. But I liked the idea of trying to link images with what I was doing with the blog, and of perhaps reaching a few different readers that way.
I had no big world-conquering plans for what I was setting out to do. None of what I do with The Frustrated Nester has even been more than an attempt to put my words and ideas out there, and see how far they get without too much contrivance. It’s one branch of my journey to Being a Writer, alongside The Novel, and now The Memoir, with short stories and other essays as offshoots.
While a small but oh-so-encouraging following slowly grew, I discovered that Instagram was actually a lot more fun than Facebook. Not putting myself under any pressure to follow the numbers, I pick and choose what I want to look at in my feed, and who I want to connect with.
But as I’ve used it more, I’ve discovered that what’s even more fun on Instagram is the way that its communities grow, none more so than in the expat world. Lately I’ve been feeling more and more engaged in the communities of expats, internationals and nomadic types that are so active, positive and encouraging around Instagram. We share our experiences and challenges to feel supported, cheer for one another’s achievements, and gain insights into encounters with other cultures on top of our own experiences.
I want to build on that sense of community, and bring more internationals, expats and global nomads together in sharing their window on the world.
And so, here it is!
MayontheMove: a brand new community challenge for expats, internationals, global nomads and compulsive travellers. During the month of May, share posts or stories inspired by the prompts, and tag and follow #MayontheMove2019 to be part of a connected international Insta-community.
Because this is the inaugural year of #MayontheMove I’m easing you (and myself) into it, by only posting prompts on alternate days – that way I know I can keep up! So there are 16 prompts to spread throughout the month. You can follow the same schedule, or catch up with posts when you can, or dip in and out, as the inspiration takes you!
For this first time, my co-host is Lisa Webb, aka Canadian Expat Mom, whose new anthology of expat stories Life on the Move will be released in June. We’ll be joined by a number of the contributing authors. Profits from the book will be donated to Mwana Villages, a holistic orphan care charity based in Congo. I’m so excited to be bringing old and new friends together in this virtual expat hangout.
Of course, I have other selfish reasons for putting #MayontheMove out in the world. Without going as far as ‘curating’ some colour-coordinated grid, because I engage best when it’s authentic and as some degree of spontaneity, I do want to build a more consistent habit of posting regularly – perhaps it can help you do the same.
And yes – I do want to reach more people myself.
No, it’s not because I’m trying to ‘follow the numbers’ after all – not just for the sake of having numbers anyway. But I want my words to reach more of the people who do want to read and enjoy them. When I write more stories – and yes, maybe even a book! – of international living, of course I’ll be motivated by having engaged readers, who want to read those very stories, along for the ride.
So, Instagrammers, are you in? If that’s a big yes, make sure you’re following me @thefrustratednester and the hashtag #MayontheMove2019 – and look out for your new community, with its opportunities to encourage and be encouraged!
If you’re curious, but not sure – follow anyway while you’re thinking about it! And look out for a post in the next few days with ideas and suggestions for responding to the prompts in a way that suits your style of sharing.
See you in the squares!
(Photo Credit: Lindsey Scaife Photography)