Hey there! I’m Josh. I’m a 33 year old guy living in the far western province of Xinjiang, China with my beautiful wife and son.
For most people this may be hard to believe but I love Xinjiang. I’ve lived here since 2006 as a teacher, a student, a traveler and a businessman. I’ve written one of the only comprehensive travel guides to the Xinjiang region and I now help to lead Xinjiang cycling tours during the warmer months.
My Story: From Texas to Xinjiang
In the summer of 2006, after shoving most everything we owned into a 5’x10′ storage shed in Texas, my wife and I 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. 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 years of exploring Xinjiang I don’t think of myself as an expert on the region – I’ve actually met quite a few others who have lived here longer and seem to know more than I do. Rather, I enjoy my role of sharing my experiences in a part of the world that still remains mostly a mystery.
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’re looking to connect with me feel free to use 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.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope to see you join us…and perhaps make your way out to Xinjiang!