Brief Update on my Travels and Blog

2 Jun

Let’s get the basics out of the way first – I have not forgotten about this blog. I am doing plenty of travel. In 2017 I have visited India, Japan, and Indonesia, and will be visiting India again as well as Poland and Wales later this summer.

The last half year or so I have been more focused on developing career skills than reading about places to visit. My travel style has changed. This summer, I am being a “Digital Nomad”, or at least thats what many people call it. It is a growing lifestyle among tech-savvy millennials, and the practice has a growing number of online communities. Digital nomads typically have freelance, contract, or full-time software development work (although there are non-tech digital nomads as well). Being a digital nomad is making money while traveling, spending more time than a backpacker would in each place, doing work during much of the day and doing side trips or visits to tourist sights on the side.

So far I have greatly enjoyed the experience. I am currently in a town called Yogyakarta, in Indonesia where I’m staying at an airbnb for almost 30 days with some very kind hosts, and doing some side trips with hostel stays to Java’s most well-known areas. I have met some awesome people on tours and at this airbnb, from other parts of Indonesia, other Asian countries, and the West. In ways that go beyond my job, I often am more motivated to be productive than I am at university.

I plan to get back into blogging at some point. I have pondered rebranding my blog and giving it a more distinct, but still broad focus. I have developed a much stronger interest in present day politics of the countries I visit, as well as doing more reading about places to get context beyond just what is written in travel guides.

There are numerous posts I have planned for the summer. I cannot guarantee anything. But I can assure that the focus of my blog will definitely change, beyond just travel advice and more towards practical long term advice for those who want to travel a lot in their life. I also plan to write more articles based on a deeper understanding of places, history, current events, and culture.

A reason I am strongly moving toward focusing on current politics is that a lot of travel writing, too much, deals with places in terms of their past. But there’s a lot to gain from understanding the present trends that the past shaped. Too often, travel writing assumes in the traveler a sense of being a neutral outsider, exploring a country that has been shaped by “what happened”, but not having any reason to think about broader trends in its present. This is something that needs to change. You cannot, and I mean cannot, separate politics from travel. Ever.

There’s a lot thats gone on since Trump came into office, and these days, the right-wing wave of nationalist populism has been spreading across the world with varying degrees of success, and not just in the US and Europe. Increasingly, left-leaning people who care strongly about human rights and see themselves as global citizens are seen as “out of touch”. This is perhaps most obvious in the growing urban-rural divide in the USA, but the reality is that these perceptions are growing in many places. I do not believe this is justified, but the fact is that this perception did not just happen ina  vacuum. People like myself who travel frequently and appreciate multicultural environments should take time to examine their understanding of the world. There are many thoughts, observations, and viewpoints I have on these things that I am interested to incorporate into my blog.

Stay tuned.

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