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Due East

Welcome, all!

A week from today Ashley and I will be embarking on our fourth trip to Asia – jetting to a place we’ve grown to love and crave to experience more. This time around, though, it’s a bit more permanent. We are moving to Shanghai, a multi-cultural metropolis that just so happens to be one of our favorite cities in Asia – even the world. It’s a happening place with a rich and transformative history, great diversity and mind-numbing food. Got to love those glorious, little bites of heaven known simply as soup dumplings! Ashley will be working on her photography and I will be conducting social research for a nonprofit organization. The other exciting news is immediately after getting settled in Shanghai, we’re setting off on a month-long tour of the exotic, dramatically landscaped countries of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – chronologically ordered. Flooding in Thailand may unfortunately cause us to avoid the country all together. The disheartening situation is being closely monitored and the decision to go or not will be made last-minute as we approach the country from Laos.

Now for the blog: Myself, a bored 20-something year old who recently graduated from grad school at the University of Hawaii, and the other pea in the traveling pod, my girlfriend who’s a photographer, will be blogging on a range of topics covering travel, culture, politics, science, technology and more. Ashley is an exceptional photographer who co-owns a photography business with her twin sister and will be photo-documenting our experiences.

As the title suggests, this blog does not have the particulars in mind. Rather, as already alluded to, the topics will be diverse, and fingers crossed you’ll find it exciting, interesting and perhaps, even useful. We do not wish to bore you with only explicit itinerary babble – a travelogue to keep our friends and family informed of our whereabouts is important, and we’ll certainly write our fair share of that. However, our hopes are to act more like photojournalists and be informative, than anything else. This time we’re not only traveling to see the sights, meet people, eat huge amounts of mystery meats on a stick and have a few local brews and moonshine, but to document the people, religion, culture and politics more thoroughly and intimately.

With that being said, though, throughout the next couple months we’ll mostly be writing about our lives and the haps in China and our exciting upcoming trip to the countries along the Mekong. Normally, updated blog postings would be posted on Facebook, but due to government restrictions in China, popular social networking tools are unavailing, so you’ll have to frequent the blog regularly on your own. That is, until we set up a virtual private network which will make us disappear, seemingly elsewhere and allow us to use the internet without hindrance, even though we’ll be amongst the People, in the People’s Tea House, reading the People’s Daily.

Hope you stay tuned and enjoy the blog!

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5 thoughts on “Due East

  1. Good Luck! Sounds like a whole lot of fun. I’ll be sure to track you down when I get to moving over there myself.

    Posted by Michael Piepkorn | November 9, 2011, 2:04 PM
  2. you know i’ll be on these updates like white on rice! knee slapper. nice work on the blog! keep tabs on any illnesses as well and if there are any abundant roaming animal species of the land you’re in, document them too. OH and any lousy yet knowledgably-comical tour guides. :) i’ll miss you guys! i know you’ll have a blast and i’m looking forward to your entertaining and informative updates along with the PICTURES!!! oooo, can’t wait! love you both!

    Posted by jamie | November 9, 2011, 2:33 PM
  3. Alex: So what do you have to do to get your international drivers license? Pass an international drivers test? Take drivers education in the intended country, or read “no right on red” in seven languages?
    Ashley: Nope, just sign a piece of paper and pay the fee.

    Posted by Alex Budnick | November 9, 2011, 8:16 PM
  4. God Speed Brooks and Ashley!!!! Looking forward to reading about your many adventures!!!!

    Posted by Baschl and Kim | November 9, 2011, 10:15 PM
  5. Be careful and obey the signs! We expect a BIG improvement in your Chinese language skills. When in doubt— ask. Just giving some advice. Love you both. Mom and Dad.

    Posted by Francis Lemke | December 8, 2011, 12:30 PM

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