Missions, Explained

(Chilaxing in the big, fat, lazy Boulder sunshine. | Pc: Siyu Lei)

It’s still months before I head to Myanmar, and I decided to set some goals.

In this post, you will find what I envision for #DrizzleinMyanmar. I am committed to these goals because I want to gain your trust, stay honest and form a reliable relationship both with myself and with you. I want you to feel connected to me and engage in my life in Myanmar and my quest to grow and learn. Such is my mission writing this blog. In the year ahead, you may find me consistently referring back to this post to keep myself focused. You are welcomed to do the same.

I realize that not all the goals I’ve set, I followed. I want to be clear that with the following goals, I have full intention to follow through.

Here’s what #DrizzleinMyanmar is NOT about: it is not a travel guidebook. Surely, I will talk about Myanmar and Asia extensively, mentioning travel tips and restaurant recommendations and information alike. But if you are looking for information to create a five or seven day travel itinerary, I will tell you no one does that better than Lonely Planet (questions to leisiyu0@gmail.com is always welcomed. Of course, reply is not guaranteed).

Instead, here’s what#DrizzleinMyanmar IS about: it is my diary, with happy memories, self-reflections, struggles, concerns and everyday thoughts and progress as a 20-something-year-old trying to make ends meet in this wide, WIDE, world. It WILL BE personal, so if typical millennial oversharing is not what you can bare, or if the idea of a diary is thoroughly underwhelming, maybe we are not meant to befriend one another on this platform. And that’s OK.

Starting my first day arriving in Myanmar, each day, I will be posting one picture I take that day, iphontography or with other devices, before midnight MMT (Myanmar time, which is UTC+6:30h, whatever that means). Along with that picture, there will be one story, length of which completely depends on my availability and experience of the day. I attempt to do this, with no break or tardiness, for one full year during my term as a PiA fellow (hence the site tagline, *wink, wink*). Each diary will begin with a simple title: “Day #: (highlight of the day).”

Each weekend, I will post an extra post, containing some or all of the following elements: some things I’m reading (books, blog posts, news stories, features, long forms. The list goes on.), some things I’m watching (most likely Chinese/Burmese/Korean/American TV shows/dramas/web series etc. occasionally some offbeats from other countries or YouTube videos), some things I’m listening to (this category will mostly be filled with podcast recommendations, but if a song hits me particularly close to heart, I will be eager to share that as well), PIC of the Week (may come from the pics during that week, or may be a rando that wasn’t posted earlier) & Shoutout of the Week (recommendations including but not limited to workout routine, useful stationary or a easy recipe). Each weekly sum-up will begin with a simple title: “Week #: (highlight of the week).” 

Here’s just an example of something I’m watching: Nikole Hannah-Jones telling the story of ‘Apostrophes’ on Longreads.

(If you are familiar with Buzzfeed’s Another Round podcast, you may recognize that I took inspiration from their newsletters to settle on this weekly sum-up format. As a religious listener of the podcast, I’d recommend not only listening to the show, but also subscribing to their newsletter.)

In no particular frequency, I will also share my day to day stories in the form of sound. I am a podcaster. I seek sanctuaries in voices and find myself the most inspired by audio stories. Naturally, one of the first things that came to mind when I was thinking about how to better share with people my year in Myanmar is through sounds. To do this, I will gather nat sounds, plus recording the bits and bites of my conversations and encounters, and when I’m comfortable with the breadth of my collection, I will combine and edit these clips to (hopefully) form a cohesive story in order to share my oftentimes all-over-the-place ideas. Yes, it is kind of like a vlog, but with audio instead of video. So let’s just call it, an “alog?”

In the two months ahead, I will be posting on and off about my preparation process. If you have any request on the topics, please don’t shy away from commenting or emailing. I’d like to take you on this ride with me. I think it will be fun.

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