My name is Josh Summers and I’m the guy behind most all of the articles and pictures you’ll see on this site. Since you’re on this page and reading it’s obvious you actually care to know more about who I am, so here’s a quick summary.
From Texas to Xinjiang
In the summer of 2006, after shoving most everything we owned into a 5′x10′ storage shed, my wife took two large suitcases and a guitar half-way across the world to Xinjiang, China. At the time about the only thing we knew was that we’d be teaching English in a remote part of China, but nothing could have prepared us for the adventure that lie ahead.
When I first arrived here in China I couldn’t speak a lick of Mandarin and probably wouldn’t have been able to point out Xinjiang on a map. Fast forward three years: my Chinese is conversational and my knowledge of Xinjiang is daily expanding. Every chance we had my wife and I packed up our backpacks and hit another part of this province that we’d never seen before.
After returning back to Texas in 2010, I now spend much of my free time writing about Xinjiang, both here and on various other travel websites. My goal on this site is to help bridge the gap of understanding between Xinjiang and the rest of the world using both my experiences and the cultural awareness that has come with living there so long.
It all boils down to the fact that I have come to love this province and want desperately to help overcome the misunderstanding that both China and the world have of Xinjiang and it’s people. Most news that makes it out of China about this area is negative, so I want to use FarWestChina to present a side of western China that is (mostly) free from political commentary and focused on the lighter, more common side of surviving out here in the land of huge mountains and vast deserts.
There are a lot of personal blogs about China and quite a few websites that focus on ethnic issues, but FarWestChina is unique in that it offers an entertaining commentary on my personal life in Xinjiang alongside a well-researched background of the region’s history, ethnicity, and customs.
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If you’d like more information on FarWestChina you can get in touch with me using my contact page. This includes interview requests, guest post submissions, or if you just want to introduce yourself. I do my best to respond to all emails in a timely manner.