Why do I want to start a blog?
Whenever I meet other travelers, I always have so much to share about my experience. I love offering tips on how to be a thrifty traveler, finding genuine experiences while connecting with locals, and encouraging others to seek alternative paths. Some have asked me why I haven’t started a blog. The thought had crossed my mind, but I always came up with reasons not to do it. There are plenty of travel bloggers out there already. What if no one wants to read what I write? What if blogging about the serene secret place I had discovered and loved would ultimately change it forever?

Asian representation matters

A few nights ago, I came across a Travel+Leisure instagram post promoting their latest podcast episode on Let’s Go Together featuring Asian travel bloggers Christina Guan from Happy to Wander and Juno Kim from Runaway Juno. Being an Asian American traveler myself, the post piqued my interest enough to tune in to that episode.

The topic was the importance of Asian representation in travel blogosphere. Christina described how she had googled top Asian bloggers about a year and a half ago and found disappointing results of mostly western travelers blogging about Asia. Since the time she had written and spoken about it, google results have much improved. Listening to the episode lit a fire in me.

I still remember the strong emotions I felt when I first watched Crazy Rich Asians on the big screen. I wanted the movie to succeed so badly that I intentionally planned to watch the all-Asian cast movie the weekend it premiered so that the sale from my ticket would be counted toward the opening box office weekend. My ticket was like casting a vote. I don’t remember crying in the theater. But that night I returned home and couldn’t explain the tears rolling from my eyes. This cartoon from Connie perfectly illustrates my roller coaster of emotions:

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A post shared by Connie Sun (@cartoonconnie) on

Asians in Asia

Fast forward a few months later, I met a Singaporean traveler in Japan and the topic of Crazy Rich Asians came up. She didn’t feel any of the pride and joy I had felt after watching the movie. In fact, she didn’t even watch it. When she talked about the movie, she focused on her aversion to romcoms or her dislike for particular actors but didn’t recognize the gargantuan task of producing an all-Asian cast film in Hollywood. Although surprising to me at the time, her attitude toward the film wasn’t unusual. According to Wikipedia, while the film grossed $174.5 million USD in the States and Canada, it completely bombed in China and South Korea.

When I met my friend again in Singapore and we strolled through the city haphazardly ending up in CRA film locations, I realized why she and many other Asians who grew up in predominantly Asian countries wouldn’t understand what the film represents to Asians in America. They grew up in a country where they are fully represented as the majority. They belong.

I’ve traveled extensively ever since my college days. But 2019 was the first time I spent an extended amount of time in Asian countries and felt what it was like to blend in with the crowd. Maybe this sounds cliche, but it was such a novel experience. I can’t describe it in any other way other than liberating. Of course it wasn’t always to my advantage. E.g., when Hong Kong waitstaff looked at me in disbelief when I asked them in Cantonese if they could read aloud the Chinese menu. Without spending so much time in Asia, I’m not sure if I would have ever understood the extent of my insecurities growing up as a hyphenated American.

it’s better late than never

With the outbreak of Covid19 the timing to start my blog couldn’t be more perfect. (Or possibly the worst timing ever since hardly anyone is traveling. 🤷‍♀️) The pandemic has affected every single person in every corner of this world, and yet everyone has their own story to share. I should have started sooner. But as the saying goes, it’s better late than never. Today is exactly one year and nine months since I quit my job and boarded a one way flight to South Korea, jumpstarting my adventures in the eastern hemisphere. Covid19 gave me time to settle down in a city (specifically Yogyakarta, Indonesia) and reflect on my journey thus far. This blog is a space for me to share my stories with anyone who wants to follow along.


writing this as you’re complaining on mosquitoes, here in Ketemu Cafe, Jogja. Hope this blog would grow BIG as you go on more adventures!

Thumbs up to your travel blog. It’s a
refreshing perspective of what life is like on the other side of the world. Especially now with many of us locked up in our respective homes. I hope it serves to inspire more would-be travelers who read this. So keep the posts coming – more new content, fresh ideas, tips for the Travel’s community, and certainly some bikini pics now again 🙂

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