Changing winds

The new minimalist theme reflects some changes that have recently happened in my life. In the past few months, I’ve been getting into books about travel1 because I realized that it’s one of the things that keeps life exciting and meaningful for me. I’ve also done a lot of thinking about what I’m passionate about and what my “muse”2 is after going through a bit of a rough patch figuring out what kind of research would motivate me to work the most. Writing a fellowship essay a few weeks ago made me realize that constant self-improvement and positive behavior changes keep me not only healthy and happy, but challenged and excited about life.

Looking back on the sad state of my blog with its sparse updates since last year, I decided that I wanted to write more often, not about my research progress necessarily, but my take on some of the things that I’ve read that are inspiring to me. Some of my favorite travel blogs are by Tynan, Tim Ferriss, Gary Arndt, and Trey Ratcliff. These guys are living on the edge and extremely successful at what they do. What could I possibly contribute in my blog that they haven’t already more or less perfected? They were experts on various topics such as traveling, living minimalistically, photography, and optimizing your life. However, they are also all white, male, and living in ways that most of us gawk at and say, “That sounds great, but I can’t do that because of my job/family/financial situation/whatever.” I’m hoping to turn my blog into a place where I, as a relatively shy Chinese-American graduate student, can provide a unique take on what it’s like traveling to as many places as I can afford on a grad student stipend, owning less material things, becoming comfortable photographing strangers, and eating healthier.

I am not expecting to turn my blog into a successful empire, but rather, share experiences that I hope others can relate to, and stimulate more discussion (or introspection) about how to make the most out of your life with what you have. So what can you expect from this blog from now on? A hodgepodge of articles on traveling, photography, living minimistically, eating healthy, and various other adventures. If you’re in a similar boat, I’d love to hear from you. Here’s to embracing positive life changes!

1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Life Nomadic by Tynan, next: The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, Amanda Pressner
2. 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.

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Upcoming trips:
December 18-January 5: NYC, MA, NJ, MN, MT for winter break.
January 20-26: Madeira, Portugal, for TEI 2011

Update:
Adding links to mentioned blogs. Also, my good friend and fellow traveler Kona, who’s traveling in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur right now, recommended Go Girl Magazine, featuring stories and tips from women travelers.

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  • Jeff Wong

    Write to solicit discussion on research ideas! Andy Ko does it pretty well.

  • I’ll still probably make some research posts if they’re compelling enough. If I just post about research, I’ll probably only write once every few months.