Exploring my stories

Sorry for the silence! I’ve been busy working on another writing project and so haven’t been writing blog posts – sad, I know. So instead of a regular post, here’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while – a “tour” of my blog website.

Some of you may think “but I’m visiting your website right now – why do I need a tour?” Good question. A lot of people read my blog through email, and may be unaware of the ways my website has developed over time. Or, perhaps you click through from facebook and read individual posts, but don’t realise how much else is around.

This post will explain different ways I have organised years’ worth of stories on my blog. You can read up on a particular category (Chinese Festivals, language, transition…) or a particular location (China, Cambodia, Australia…) or see what posts have been the most popular overall.

At the top of the page is a horizontal list of menu options. These are separate pages that collect stories by category. Let me explain…

Favourite Stories
This is a list of some of my favourite stories – the ones I enjoyed writing and telling – going back as far as 2006. I also have a list of Popular Posts, with the posts that have been read most (online, that is – I can’t count who has or hasn’t read the emailed version). I list the Top Ten posts of the month, and the Top 25 posts of all time (updated most months). Finally, I recently created a list of Top posts each year, which showcases some older favourites (going back to 2011).

at Buatong Waterfall, Thailand

at Buatong Waterfall, Thailand

Travel Stories
Pretty self explanatory, right? These are stories I’ve written about visiting other places. I’ve broken this up into three sections – three geographical areas I’ve travelled in: China, South East Asia, and the USA. The China travel stories are then broken up by province; the South East Asia stories by country (Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam). This is a section I hope to continue adding to – there are some great travel stories I’ve never got around to telling.

Life in China
This is the biggest section on my website – unsurprisingly, given than I lived 11 years in China. I’ve collected some of my stories about living in China into categories – types of experiences and subjects. The Life in China page itself has posts about Chinese Conversations (translating things I’ve talked about with locals), my experience of being a Foreigner in China, and discussions about weather and pollution in Beijing. Another page has posts about Chinese Language and Culture, also divided into several subject groups – the Chinese language (Mandarin), elements of Chinese Society and Culture, and posts about Chinese Festivals and how they are celebrated. Another China page is about Chinese Food and Tea – there is a series of posts about Chinese food (some of the most popular pages on my whole website) and also a series on Chinese tea (one of my favourite series). Then there are some posts about my 10 year Chinaversary, and links to some other China related pages (that is, other websites – not mine).

Celebrating Chinese new year

Celebrating Chinese new year

Life in Australia
This is where most of my more recent stories are found. Most are about exploring the country I left for so long – being a tourist in my passport country, or reflecting on aspects of life in Australia.

Life in Cambodia
In addition to travelling to Cambodia a lot from 2009-2014, I lived there for about five months in 2014-2015 (between leaving China and arriving in Australia). This section has stories about life in Cambodia, mostly from my time living there.

Transition
This is probably the most ‘personal’ section of my website. This is where I processed the journey of going from a long-term expat in China to a newly repatriated citizen in Australia. It starts with my first public announcement that I would be leaving China, and continues through to arriving in and adjusting to life in Australia.

So there you have it – a quick tour of how I’ve arranged my blog archive, and some ways to explore. Thank you for reading the things I write. I really enjoy the process of writing, preparing thoughts for someone else to read, and it amazes me when those someones not only take the time to read my thoughts but actually enjoy them as well.

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