It’s hard to believe that its been exactly 10 years since I made my first post to Randomwire while I was still at university in 2003. Back then the word ‘blog’ had only just been minted and WordPress was still in its infancy (also recently celebrating its 10th anniversary).

10 Years of Randomwire Infographic

If you’re wondering how Randomwire looked back in 2003 see this visual history.

Little did I know then that it would take me around the world to places I had never heard of and bring with it a life I had never imagined. One thousand posts later, a little wiser (and a lot balder), I find myself writing this in the heart of Tokyo, trying to make sense of how this all happened and wondering where it’s leading.

How & Why

The first few years of Randomwire were mainly just reposts of things I’d found online, reviews of scary foreign movies and some really nerdy stuff about my Computer Science studies. Random indeed.

I got my first job straight out of university in 2005 and was flung head first into the stressful world of a large IT consultancy. In the third year of my time there I heard there was a project in Beijing which might have an open position and, wanting the chance to see what all the growing media attention on China was about, immediately put myself forward. After a couple of false starts I found myself on a plane to Beijing a week later in early 2007.

Looking back I have to admit that I did hardly any work during the 3 months I was there such was excitement of being surrounded by all the new sights, sounds, smells and tastes. After arriving back in London everything felt decidedly dull and I became determined to find a way back. I scoured the internet for companies in China which might be in need of my skill set and eventually found an IT outsourcing firm in Shenzhen who hired me as a project manager. The rest, as they say is history.

I suppose it isn’t hard to see why a slightly introverted and naive 20-year-old guy would be attracted to neon lights of East Asia’s mega cities but over the last ten years my interests in the region have undoubtedly matured beyond my initial fascination with its mysticism. Today nearly all my free time is spent exploring the region’s rich history, art, architecture and language (not to mention the great food!).

While I never set out with a specific goal in mind, I now see what I’ve been doing as a form of slow travel which I hope has allowed me to more deeply engage with the places and communities where I’ve lived. More than anything else I’m glad that I didn’t spend my 20’s stuck in a sterile office following the 9-5, and although there is no doubt in my mind that the lifestyle I have made for myself has its pros and cons, as long as the positives outweigh the negatives I will continue.

Memorable Moments

Then of course are the untold stories which never made it to Randomwire for whatever reason, like the time I nearly froze to death in Xi’an, being taken to watch Russian military opera by a mysterious stranger, and the misery of spending Chinese New Year alone in an empty city. Most of these are personal and occasionally things I’d rather forget but perhaps one of these days would make an interesting doorstop.

On Blogging

Not many blogs make it past their first anniversary and although short-form social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have become immensely popular over the last few years, I feel that a blog has a greater sense of permanence and gravity than its younger siblings. While a short post to one of these social networks has a half-life of minutes, content on a blog provides value for far longer and I enjoying being able to look back over my memories at will. I also like that I’m in complete control of my content and its presentation – platforms come and go but what I have will always belong to me and not be bound by others terms.

Let the kids have their 140 characters – I’m sure those with more to say will still find their way to blogging.

Thank You!

Aside from my sheer bloody mindedness, much of my motivation has come from people commenting and emailing so I have a huge thank you to say to you all. Without these small nuggets of encouragement I doubt I would have kept it up so long. If you haven’t yet introduced yourself please do!

Here’s to the next 10 years 🙂

Comments

  1. Margaret says:

    What a tremendous achievement! Well done! We have been able to share some of your life and travels 🙂 Keep blogging!

  2. MKL says:

    Thank you for blogging! I truly enjoy your blog ever since I discovered your Taipei travelogues. Your writing style is very straightforward, detailed, one can feel the passion you have for photography, art, culture, travel, architecture, and design. We’re quite alike in many ways. And I love your simplistic design. I’m considering to head in your direction design-wise, but probably in the future, when I’ll have a bit more time.

    Here’s to the next 10 years. Cheers!

  3. Richard says:

    Congratulations on the tenth anniversary of Randomwire. It was great to be reminded of some of the memorable posts over the past ten years. It has been fascinating following your travels and reading your impressions. Keep it up – I look forward to the next ten years.

  4. Jee Soo says:

    10 years is certainly a thing to celebrate! My 20 months of blogging feels like it’s been forever, and I sure can’t imagine continuing for 9 more years! I will try my best for sure~! I’m glad we met in person earlier this month. I saved myself from having to introduce myself 🙂 All the best for the next 10+ years!

  5. Miguel says:

    I just happened to “Stumble Upon” one of your old article about Shenzhen (with great pics). and so I made it to this post and it was just what I needed today. I’m in Beijing working for an IT company and sometimes it can get me down. But seeing other bloggers living a similar life and enjoying it, always gives me hope and reminds me why I am here. Thanks for the post and keep going (maybe another 10 years).

    • David says:

      Thanks for your comment Miguel – I well remember the dark moments of working for an IT company in China but hopefully you’ll be able to look back at it and smile in the future!

  6. Dongzhe says:

    It is my first time to write some thoughts here ,and I feel amazing after reading the history of this blog .
    Actually ,I just read some travelling articles in Japan before ,and knew this website from one of my friend’s FB.
    BUT, it is indeed a fancy place to stay and thanks for sharing your life with us .: )

  7. relan says:

    spent my entire weekend, browsing your blog, Great documentation and observation)you have it here.

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