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La Vie en China? Reboot

May 22, 2013

Ok, it’s officially time to reboot this blog.  I started with some mini comebacks both last summer after WWW’s and my trip to Malaysia and in the past couple of weeks, but now it is time to jump back in.  But in order to move forward, I feel like I need to first look back.  So, let me catch you up on where I’ve been the last few years.

Where I’ve been:

We left off with regular posting as I was moving to China in 2009.  Remember this?

Infront of Shanghai's famous teahouse in Yu Gardens.

Infront of Shanghai’s famous teahouse in Yu Gardens.

When I originally set up this blog in 2009, I intended to share all of my China adventures in real time, as well as some of my then-recent experiences living in France, but this simply wasn’t sustainable given my struggles with the Great Firewall while living in Shanghai for a year.  Sure, I could have gotten a VPN service, but I didn’t.  Looking back, this is a huge regret for me, as I think that writing would have helped quite a bit with the culture shock I experienced.  Also, I would have liked to have been the “boots on the ground” for others planning trips to China.

After returning from China, I worked a 9-5 job for a year at the Dallas Museum of Art, which was a great experience as I prepared applications for graduate school.  At the Museum, I gave K-12 tours, co-led teacher workshops, helped write online teaching materials about the Asian art collection, and even did some blogging.

Ashley and Manjusri at the DMA

Then, I moved to North Carolina, where I’ve been the last two years, to attend graduate school.

Old Well on UNC campus.

Old Well on UNC campus.

This often entails 60+ hour weeks working on my own research and writing, as well as assisting with teaching introductory art history courses for undergraduates.  You can read more about my path to a PhD here.

However, I’ve also had some time to explore my new state and have taken trips to Asheville and the NC coast.

Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

Beach rental in Oak Island, NC.

Beach rental in Oak Island, NC.

Additionally, since meeting in China, WWW and I have spent the last three years traveling across the U.S. and the world to see one another.

WWW and I at the Pitti Palace in Florence.

WWW and I at the Pitti Palace in Florence.

In fact, I’ve traveled quite a bit while away from the blog.  In the past year, we’ve been to China, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Italy, all while having full-time jobs.

DSC_0147DSC_0482Malaysia 080

Why I’m back:

Oddly enough, I’ve done more traveling during my hiatus from the blogosphere than I’ve ever done in my life.  I am so ready to share those memories with my friends and family in a more nuanced way and to give any advice or tips I can to fellow travelers.  Also, I am horrible about keeping a travel journal, so I’m hoping that the blog will force me to write things down and help me remember all of my adventures in the future.

What’s new on the blog:

I’ve added some new features to the blog.

There is a new “Destinations” tab at the top of the home page.  This will take you to a list of all the countries and cities I’ve traveled to.  From there, you can click on the place of interest to you and get a full list of all my posts regarding that destination.

I’ve updated the “Author” page with pictures and information from the last several years.  Of course, if you have additional questions, just ask.  I’ve added a link here to my writing outside of this site, including guest posts on other blogs and my academic work.

There is a new “Where am I?” widget on the right side bar that lists my recent and upcoming travels.

What’s coming up:

Next up on the blog is coverage of our recent travels to Cambodia and Italy.  Also, in one week I will be leaving for a seven-week stay in China, during which time I will also be traveling to Thailand (again) and to Taiwan for the first time.

Additionally, I am starting a new Thursday series called “Throwback Thursday.”  I will use these weekly posts to share pictures and information from some of my travels between 2007 and 2010 that have yet to make it onto this site.  This series is to catch you, my readers, up on these past travels, while using the rest of the blog to recount my more recent trips.  Be on the lookout for the first one tomorrow!


As always, dear readers, thank you for sticking with me!  I am grateful for those who continued to check-in on the blog and am excited for those just tuning in.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2013 10:50 am

    What an adventure. Just wanted to share my hiliarious Ecuadorian adventure with a fellow traveller. Hope you enjoy.

    • Ashley Bruckbauer permalink*
      May 23, 2013 12:33 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Erin. It looks like you have quite a few adventures of your own!

  2. May 27, 2013 1:48 pm

    So glad you’re back!! Can’t wait to hear about your adventures — every now and then I’d see your blog on my reader and wonder what you’d been up to for the last couple years!

    • Ashley Bruckbauer permalink*
      May 27, 2013 3:55 pm

      Thanks so much, Edna! I am happy to be back at it!

      I’ve also been keeping tabs on you and your time in Paris! I can’t wait to hear what’s next after you leave France and when you will be reunited with your guy!


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