It’s not really like me to update my blog twice every week. Heck, it’s not really like me to update my blog once every week. I prefer to wait until inspiration strikes before I write a blog post… or, you know, whenever I run out of reality TV programs to watch on Hulu.
But, don’t worry, it’s not like I’ve suddenly gone over-achiever on you.
First of all, this is not really a new blog post. It just looks like a new blog post, but it doesn’t actually contain any new ideas. (New ideas? But I already had a post full of new ideas this week. Who do I look like? Einstein? Sheez.)
Instead, it’s just full of old ideas… or, more aptly put, old blog posts.You see, Tripbase, is running this 7 Links Project which asks bloggers to publish a list of seven of their favorite posts. And then after you list your favorite posts, you have to nominate five other bloggers to participate.
And, it’s my honor to tell all of you that I have been nominated.
(Umm, excuse me, sooo…. is my medal in the mail or something?)
And, even though I just created a Best Of page on my blog where you can find links to all my favorite posts, I figured I might as well participate.
You know, because who am I to turn down a nomination?
I mean, how would I break the news to the academy?
Okay, so it wasn’t exactly an academy that nominated me. But two people did choose me to do this thing: the lovely Liv of I Eat My Pigeon and the super cool Roy from CruiseSurfingz. So it’s kind of like the People’s Choice Awards — the people want me to do it. Who am I to turn my back on the people? (Even though the people have yet to cough up a medal. I mean, really, people. It doesn’t have to be solid gold or anything. Besides, silver goes better with my skin tone.)
So here goes:
My Seven Links
1. My Most Beautiful Post
I like my words to speak for themselves, if you know what I mean.
Besides, most of the photos I take are of food. And there are only so many photos of dumplings you can put in a post before you’re going to have to quit everything you’re doing and GO EAT DUMPLINGS RIGHT NOW.
Plus, it takes me, like, forever to upload photos to my blog. It already takes me half of eternity to write a post. I’ve done my time, people. What more do you want from me? Besides, I want to GO EAT DUMPLINGS RIGHT NOW.
Therefore, the post that I think is my most beautiful is not that pretty on the outside. It doesn’t have a lot of pictures in it. In fact, it only has one picture – and that picture wasn’t even of dumplings.
But that’s okay because I think it was pretty on the inside. And that’s what really counts, right? Right? (Please tell me I’m right or my mom was sooo wrong all those years.)
Maybe it was because it was a top ten list, and who could hate a top ten list? They’re like the puppies and unicorns of the Internet. Everyone loves them! Even the people who claim to hate them still love them. (You know who you are.)
Or maybe it was because there was the promise of pictures, and everyone loves pictures! Even if the pictures make you quit everything you’re doing and GO EAT DUMPLINGS RIGHT NOW.
Or maybe it was because people truly wanted to know what I had learned during my ten months of traveling. If there’s anything I’d like to achieve with this blog, it’s to pass along my wisdom and the life lessons I’ve picked up during my years of living abroad… you know, so you can pay me back in medals. (Umm, yeah, still waiting.)
Or maybe it was because Lonely Planet tweeted the link to this post on Twitter, and people will pretty much go wherever Lonely Planet tells them to go.
I’ve spent hours walking past the same five buildings looking for some hole-in-the-wall restaurant recommended by my Lonely Planet guidebook. Even though I could have gone to any number of other restaurants on the same street and be EATING DUMPLINGS RIGHT NOW instead of walking around in endless circles. But, noooo, Lonely Planet didn’t tell me to eat at any of those restaurants, so I guess I’ll just keep walking around until I find the recommended restaurant. Or I’ll just die of starvation.
You know, whichever one comes first.
3. My Most Controversial Post
Frankly, this surprises me.
I mean, you people really should be disagreeing with me more. I come up with a lot of really bad ideas – like really, really bad ones.
And, instead of keeping them in my head like a sane person, I share them with all of you, and I pretend like I’m handing out sound advice. Like, “Hey, when living in a foreign country it’s best to learn as little of the language as possible. You know, because who doesn’t love a little mystery? Besides, you don’t really want to know what’s in your lunch. Trust me on this.” (See? How is that good advice? And, yet, no one emailed me to tell me that I really needed to be taken off the internetz already.)
Frankly, I wish more people would disagree with me. Disagreements can be really good. They create discussion. They make you rethink and reevaluate yourself and your values. They help you see the issue from another side.
And, honestly, there’s nothing that gets my brain ticking and inspires me to write more than a good argument. Most of my favorite posts, including this one, were inspired by something I read that I totally disagreed with.
Besides, all the cool kids have haters. I want haters! What’s a girl have to do to get some haters around here?
(I have dumplings. You give me some haters, I’ll give you some dumplings. Fair enough?)
4. My Most Helpful Post
I don’t really do helpful so much.
In fact, when I get a comment that says something like, “Great advice!” or “Really helpful tips!” I just assume it’s spam… or someone who’s not really into that whole reading thing.
I wouldn’t say my guide to house-sitting in the jungle was particularly helpful — especially should you actually want to house-sit in the jungle. (Now if your goal is to dissuade yourself and anyone you know from ever setting foot in the jungle, this is the post for you!)
But this post did reveal some truly groundbreaking information regarding the true nature of ants. Trust me, you will not find this information anywhere else on the Internet. This information is not available in any scientific textbooks or journals. It’s possible I solved a mystery which has been baffling scientists for years.
Or it’s possible that hanging out in the jungle by myself with nothing but two cats and, like, a gabillion biting ants to keep me company made me a bit loopy.
But, whatever, I really think I had something there.
5. A Post Whose Success Surprised Me
It’s also a good thing that there’s plenty of China to go around.
Because it appears I’m not the only one who loves me some China.
It must be the dumplings.
6. A Post That Didn’t Get the Attention It Deservedchoose the wrong blogging platform, right?)
This could also apply to pretty much all of the posts I wrote before I joined Twitter. But, alas, back then I had no idea how to find out how many people didn’t read my blog, so I was perfectly blissful in my ignorance. If someone besides my mom left a comment on my blog, I felt like a rock star. And now I expect medals. Really. What has become of me? (And what has become of my medal? Hmmm?)
Out of all my overlooked posts, I’m pretty partial to this one. I wrote this during my fifth week of volunteering on a Malaysian rice farm. It was not an easy week for me. My back was giving out on me after five weeks of bending over to weed rice paddies. I had developed some weird skin rash on my leg. My dorm room came down with a nasty infestation of bed bugs. The other volunteers were dropping off like flies. And I almost stepped on a snake.
Let me just repeat that last one, in case you didn’t catch it: I ALMOST STEPPED ON A SNAKE.
Like, a real live snake.
With my real live foot.
That memory combined with the bed bugs kept me from getting a good night’s sleep for the remainder of the time that I was on the rice farm.
So, yeah, it was a bad week.
But, I got a pretty good blog post out of the deal.
And that’s all that matters right?
7. The Post that I Am Most Proud Of
Like most women, I’ve had my body issues. It doesn’t help that I live in Asia, where I’m twice the size of the average female. Plus, it also doesn’t help that I have one of those bodies that could gain weight just by looking at a photograph of deep-fried dumplings.
But, writing this post truly showed me how much I’ve grown – ahem, mentally grown, that is. (Okay, so I’ve physically grown a lot over the past year, too, but that’s just between me and my pants, okay?)
While it still isn’t easy to let the comments about my size just roll off me, I have become a lot more confident and secure in who I am and how I look. And I’m proud of that. No matter what my pants may say.
Plus, I’m proud of how popular this post was – I got a lot of great comments from people and this post got about twice as much traffic as my average post. The topic obviously struck a chord with a lot of people.
Well, that, and my site became the number one Google search result for anyone using the search term “big girls in Asia.” (Yep, I beat out the porn! Turns out I don’t need haters to be a cool kid. I just need blog post titles that sound suspiciously like porn.)