Hi! I’m Athena, a forager on an omnivorous learning diet. I roam far and wide with text, audio, transportation (land, sea, and sky agnostic), and on my two feet in search of nothing in particular. You are probably here because of some old post of mine that has been deleted (you can try your luck in my new online scrapbook).
My degrees in East Asian Studies and public policy for international development heavily inform my opinions and writing. Professionally, I do content marketing.
Ownership of a bike is what differentiates a longer-term home and a pitstop. The places I am fondest of are Japan, India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. That has almost no correlation with where I spend my time. My time is spent on routines, which adapt to the habits of places. In Hong Kong, I can walk 5 minutes to a public squash court and have freshly churned soy milk at a stall across the street by 7:30am. In Vancouver, my orbits around Chinatown provide everything from bouldering to coffee and cream puffs.
I also get involved with side projects like the ones below:
- Co-hosting an Asian Founders Network in Berlin and Business 3.0 covers product and business development with a focus on East Asian angle
- LGBTQ Glassdoor is an opensource LGBTQ-friendly workplace directory for Hong Kong that I had started with the support of many people from Oursky, a former client
- Open-source maps at Niche Tokyo
- Personal & startup writing on Medium
- Photography on Unsplash used by companies like Adobe, Xero, and Buffer
- TEDxYouth@HongKong (2010-2018), which has since been rebranded to TEDxYouth@VictoriaHarbour
Background on the blog
I am always curious about how things came to be the way they are and am always on the hunt for different perspectives (including many that offend me). Travel is one of the ways I learn, through the physical experience of places and their peoples. Travel is a compliment to staples more available to me from other parts of the world: books and podcasts.
When I do travel, I am interested in knowing how people live in a particular place. This means that I try to search for information through keywords in a local language. As a result, I end up compiling information that is usually not available in English.
Though I am not a developer, there is a software engineering mantra I subscribe to: “Don’t repeat yourself.” Sharing lists as collective knowledge seems like a good way for people to not repeat themselves. This blog emerged out of my sharing reflex in 2015.
The first post I felt really strongly about was compiling a list of free and budget lodging for the Shikoku Pilgrimage, which I have since updated. This blog was set up as an exercise to write. My first major project was writing my Shikoku Pilgrimage Diary. When I finished the daily entries, I covered Third Wave Cafes in Tokyo because there were dozens that had not yet been covered in English back in 2015.
This blog is an evolving personal experiment. For two years, I extended the idea of covering cafes, thinking that I could help other remote workers find places with WiFi and plugs. Since then, many others have dedicated themselves to the task with far more gusto, while my interest in attracting the attention of nomads has shriveled. I deleted all the English-region cafe posts in a day. The places I still have are Tokyo, Taipei, and Seoul because it looks like people are still reading them. I look forward to the day when other websites cover them well enough so that I can delete these posts as well.
If you are a returning reader (firstly, thank you!), please do not be surprised with deleted posts. I like spring cleaning and happily remove my posts when I find better sources on Google.
This blog continues to be where I share the lists I make, from my 2018 booklist to favourite podcasts. I’ve also tried to provide some information on LGBTQ information in Asia, including city-specific information for Tokyo and Hong Kong, as well as LGBTQ podcasts for Greater China.
With a bit more experience now, I am more certain about what I like to spend time on. You can expect more posts that involve the following:
- translated travel information
- random, niche travel topics that don’t have posts on English Google’s 1st page
- commentary on East Asia and overseas Chinese experiences
- practicing writing and improving how I articulate personal opinions
If you actually finished reading this, you might like my (at most) monthly newsletter.
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