From Backpacker to Expat: Why I Now Blog Less

You may have noticed a little bit of a change of pace in getting new articles out these last couple of weeks. The truth is that I’ve been tired as hell getting used to the new job, and have not had much of a chance to travel during these first weeks working in China, with the exception my trip last week to Shenyang.

You remember that I started the year backpacking through South America and Europe before going back to North America for two months. Changing cities every couple of days and countries every couple of weeks brought me a lot of crazy and unexpected adventures while meeting some of the most amazing people. I also had all the time in the world to go around and discover something new every day, and still had enough time to write about it. In fact, I had enough time to write an article per day if I really had wanted to.

And then I got a job in China, and my travel life changed from backpacker to expat.

Even though I am enjoying teaching in China, and I’m definitely loving the feeling of money coming into my bank account instead of it always leaving it, this decision has taken a toll on the free time I have available to go outside to explore and discover new places, and the amount of free time I no longer have to write about them.

Things to see in Shenyang

Colorful street in Shenyang

But How Busy Am I, Really?

The truth?
Not THAT busy.

I mean, I am….
But not really.

Let me explain.

I teach about 20 hours a week, 2 classes of 2 hours each day. Add that about of 1 to 2 hours of preparation every day, and I only really “work” anywhere between 27 to 30 hours per week, which really should leave me plenty of time to blog or to check out some new spots….if there were any.

Going from backpacker to expat


I have been asked when I would post an article about the city where I’m staying; Changchun.
The short answer: it’s coming

Why has it taken so long?
Well, the thing with Changchun is that it doesn’t pack a lot of sights or attractions to go see.

As the capital of the Jilin province, Changchun is a “small” city of 7.6 million people (small by Chinese standards) which only has about 200 years of history. Which means that not much has really happened here.

But that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to say about Changchun.

The true beauty of Changchun lies within its authentic Chinese feeling. Contrary to big touristy cities like Beijing or Shanghai, Changchun sees a relatively small number of tourists come every year, out of which the vast majority are local Chinese tourists. This works to its advantage as it has helped maintain its “real China” feeling, and prices quite low.

But for a travel writer, it definitely limits the number of articles I can write about it.

Changchun, a young city of 7.5M people, which unfortunately does not pack much in terms of touristy sights

So, What About This Blog?

While I’m still adjusting to my new pace of life, and the change that going from backpacker to expat has brought, I still have plenty to say and write about as an expat. While this blog’s main purpose will continue to be to encourage others to go travel and discover the world, there may be some changes in the how.

In the upcoming weeks there will be more articles about how I’m adjusting to living and working in China. My adventures and misadventures as I try to make this country my permanent home (for at least the next year to come).

There will also continue to be the usual travel guides and recommendations everyone is used to and loves, as I start to explore China… weekend at a time. And yes, the eventual bitchy articles about places to avoid after I get ripped off will also keep on coming.

I’m really looking forward to this chapter of my travel life! And I simply cannot wait to see what changes going from backpacker to expat bring to this blog!

Have you ever gone from backpacker to expat? How did that change your routine, especially if you’re a blogger?

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