Travels of JoFo, Part II: This Blog’s Pivot to Asia – where I’m going next, and what I will be writing about

28 Apr

A change is coming to this blog. This blog will not be what it once was. It will still be a travel blog, but it will be different in various ways.

No longer will the majority of posts about places will paint the world’s towns and cities with broad strokes about “what this destination is like”. Rather, this blog will interweave travel advice with the broader historical perspective about the changes and trends taking place in the world here and now. I have written for too long with advice solely for travelers’ experiences themselves. This blog is now going to focus not just on advice for experiences, but it will put places and experiences into broader context. I plan to research more about the trends shaping countries and cities as I visit them, and talk more to locals about where they live. I also plan to do more critiquing of the establishment voices in the travel industry. While I have done both those things in the past, the “current” typically wasn’t the focus of my blog.

And to get started refocusing my blog more to changes in the world today, what better place to do that than China? China has arguably changed more in the past 30 years than any other society on earth. This is my next trip, the beginning of a 3.5-month jaunt through Asia. It’s the beginning of my new geographical focus on travel pivot to Asia. While I will still visit Europe, it will no longer where the majority of my trips are located.

Since I turned sixteen and started this blog, my travels have taken me to countless places. I’ve had countless experiences and seen countless sights across Europe, the United States, and with brief forays into Asia and South America. I’ve had great experiences, and I will continue to do so. But the way I write about these experiences will change.

Too much travel writing frames countries’ histories as if the “interesting stuff” is all in the past, and that globalization means the traveler, the businessman, and the study abroad student now can experience the world on his or her own terms, free of contributing to long-term triumph or consequence for the society in which they visit. What I seek to illustrate is that no foreigner or local in any country is an island. Just by being in a foreign country, a foreigner is changing his perception of the country, and the country’s perception of the place where the foreigner is from. The decisions the traveler makes about where to shop, what to do, and how to interact with local people are by no means insignificant. This is why I also plan to write more about etiquette and ethical travel, especially in regards to developing nations.

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