This Blog’s 3rd Anniversary!

This blog has been running for exactly three years, and by now I’ve published over 200 posts. YEEHAAAAAAAA!

I had delayed starting a blog for so long because I wasn’t sure if I could maintain one in the long-haul. Apparently, I can.

As I did in my first anniversary post, I would like to point out the importance of the 500 word limit to this blog. The 500 word limit makes me write in a more concise manner than I would otherwise, and makes me throw out a lot of nonsense during editing. Finally, writing 500 words a week is not so difficult, which means I can keep this blog updated on a regular basis even when I have a lot of things going on in my life. I am much looser about the 500 word limit than I was during the first year of this blog, but I still try not to go too much over 500 words.

Speaking of things going on in my life, at the beginning of 2014, I wasn’t sure if I could keep this blog updated. I knew I was going to spend most of 2014 travelling, and that sometimes I wouldn’t have internet access. I wrote the Beidawushan Series in a rush so that I wouldn’t have to worry about writing for this blog for a few months, and I figured I could write additional posts when I can and somehow have at least one post a week. Furthermore, I kept a supply of older drafts which I could edit quickly and post if I wasn’t able to write anything new for a particular week.

Well, it worked out. I tended to comment on my travels this year since that is what was on my mind. And because I had to manage the timing of the posts to ensure that there would be at least one post per week, I sometimes ended up posting something months after it was written (I think the funniest example is the post about cherry blossoms, which was published way out of season). These ‘travel-themed’ posts include:

A Trip to Japan
Takarazuka for the Women (note: I include the Takarazuka posts because they were inspired by my physical visits to Takarazuka in Japan)
Takarazuka: Passionate, Yet Non-Sexual
An Observation about Ryukyu Culture
National Parks in Hokkaido Photo Week: Rishiri-Fuji, Rebun Island, Akan, Kushiro Wetlands, Shikotsu-Toya, Shiretoko, and Daisetsuzan
Why Do So Few Foreign Tourists in Japan Visit the Countryside?
Takarazuka’s Women-Presenting-as-Men Jolts Me When…
Island Fever (note: since I wrote that post, I’ve been to a few more islands)
A Second Trip to Japan
Why Cherry Blossoms Are Such a Big Deal in Japan

As you can see, these posts are all about Japan. If you want to know about my travels in South Korea, you should visit my new blog dedicated to my travel experiences in South Korea, S.K. in S.K.

Another theme this year is I discussed veganism and the ethics of eating much more than before. I think this is also because of my travels. When I was living in Taoyuan, I basically only went to vegetarian restaurants, and the people I associated with either never saw me eating, or knew I was strict vegetarian/vegan (it is much easier to convey the concept of ‘strict vegetarian’ than ‘vegan’ in Mandarin) and it didn’t need to be discussed that often. When I was constantly moving on to new places, and had to make my inquiries about ingredients over and over again, and kept on encountering people who found out I was vegan and were curious, I had to be a lot more conscious about it than I was in Taiwan, and thus I was more inspired to write about it.

The veganism/ethics of eating posts:

Taking Responsibility for What You Eat
Language Learning on a Restricted Diet, or Why Chinese Menus Don’t Seem Too Hard
Making Veganism about “Health” Is a Distraction from the Ethics
Being Vegan Does Not Mean I Am an Animal-Lover
Buying Dairy Products from the United States Funds Sexual Assault

This will be my first year blogging in the United States, living with my parents (I think it is very unlikely that I will move out of my parents’ home this year). How will that affect this blog? We’ll see.

And finally, a very big thank you to all of my readers! I try to avoid paying too much attention to this blog’s stats, but knowing that people are interested in my writing does encourage me to write more.


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