Paris, France 2017

Hi Readers,

Welcome to my blog, where I’ll be posting my travel and fiction stories along with general thoughts on special, every day moments that bring us together.

It took me a long time to decide on a writing theme. The idea came to me one morning while traveling in Seville after stopping by a local’s diner where my travel companion (aka my “Company”, aka my husband) and I bumbled our way (speaking very little Spanish) to having one of the best breakfasts we can remember: I wanted to write about little moments that bring us all together, even if we may appear to be different on the surface. We can look in any direction today and find a dozen things that pull us all apart – political views, upbringing, philosophy, religion, and the list goes on. Yet I refuse to believe that at the core, we cannot find common ground – art, food, friendship and family, laughter, and the great outdoors – to love together; for I believe in order to understand how to fix the things that are broken, we must draw inspiration first from what is beautiful and what we share.

I was born in Beijing, spent most of my childhood in upstate New York on the border of Canada, stumbled into adulthood in the suburbs of Connecticut, bounced from New York City to London to San Francisco as a professional, and for this next year, will focus on traveling, writing and learning from others around the world. Even after years of stability, my desire to wander today stems a bit from this childhood but mostly from the desire for immersion and a loss of self in someone else’s culture and history. I find when you engage in deep discussions with people you know in a culture you’re close to, it’s easy to walk into the conversation with an outcome in mind: to be heard, to prove you’re right and to change the other person’s mind. Traveling, however, erases all sense of what you know: you’re now on someone else’s turf, unable to communicate fully (and therefore must listen and observe), and stepping into a history far older and more nuanced than you can possibly absorb as a traveler. It is a beautiful thing to be lost.

Along with my eclectic geographic history and passion for prose, I consider myself to be an athlete (a recovering competitive cyclist learning how to run) and, importantly, a professional in tech. Tech and entrepreneurship has a special place in my heart and will always. When I return home, I look forward to that career and community filled with optimistic, bright and passionate individuals. Yet like many booming industries, tech is going through some existential growing pains – the displacement of entire communities, products that fall short of its original lofty vision, the cult worshipping of leadership personalities that will inevitably fail (they are human, after all), and of course, the slippery gray slope of greed. In this way, I feel lucky to have the chance to take a step back for it’s easy to lose the mosaic if your face is too close to the myriad of tiles. My vision is to understand if and how technology enhances the human experience, but I’ll also settle for a better understanding of how the industry interfaces with different communities. Science can only tell you how and why; it will not tell you if you should. That is an answer left to the human heart and conscience.

Thank you for reading, as always.

Pan Pan