I arrived for the Wine & Cheese soirée at La Vinotheque in the 1st arrondisement, an event organized by Native Native for Paris expat bloggers. This was my introduction to the Parisian blog scene, and I was about to discover just how big it really was. Paris, after all, is the perfect city to blog about art, history, fashion, food, life, travel and adventures abroad.
Today's soirée featured a wine and cheese tasting presented by Parisian startup Les Nouveaux Fromagers, a cheese subscription service that delivers different high-quality cheese each month, no doubt the perfect solution to many here's cheese obsession.
One by one, eight other bloggers arrived, many of them already famous for their works, whether it be writing, fashion or photography. I met the very chic Ylena from Mexico, whose fashion blog Ambiteuse follows her as she makes her mark in the fashion industry; Jennifer from the US, who's famous for reviewing more than 200 types of cheeses on Chez Lou Lou; Lillian from Maylasia who's fluent in French, English, Chinese and Malay, and loves to explore life's adventures in Paris and beyond; and Ella from New York, who will be coming out with a book soon about her crazy Parisian adventures from robberies and expired-visas to dead-end jobs and embarrassing break-ups. I soon learned that there was a network of hundreds of bloggers in Paris. What I was seeing was just the surface.
The tasting began as the co-founder of Les Nouveaux Fromagers introduced to us in French his work. He had gone to one of the top business schools in Paris, worked in Media strategy, and then quit his job to create his own startup (yes, there were some uncanny similarities). The night continued on and as I learned about the stories of other bloggers, I felt nothing but inspiration.
Here I was with so many young professionals, many of whom left their home countries to follow their dreams. Whether it be launching a startup, creating an organization, writing a book, or pursuing fashion or photography, they had found their niche and excelled at what they do. With the advent of technology and social media, they are among a new generation of artists and writers, whose work represents the culture, experiences and ideologies of today's generation.
As I looked around, I thought about where I was heading with my career. In many ways, all careers are similar in that you must capitalize on your strengths, find something that truly interests you, and consume yourself with your work. But most importantly, it is the understanding that the best way to predict the future is to create it yourself, and that we are all capable of making our marks - to do good, create value, and give back to our world. Oh, and have a hell of a time while doing it, bien sûr.