This week I want to talk about the time I backpacked around Asia after high school. I was your typical backpacker, with a huge bag making my way around the globe. Over the 8 months, I was in Asia I gained a lot of weight, this was typically from the amount of street food I was eating and the local beer I was consuming. Reflecting now, I noticed every place I went I would try their beer. It became a trend, I would arrive and then go out and sort after what the locals drank and what the tourists drank, to see the different tastes of the world. This gave me the idea to reflect on the local beers I experienced in my travels.
Autobiographers write about epiphanies, which are remembered moments perceived to have significantly impacted the trajectory of a person’s life (Ellis et al, 2011, p. 2). Travelling as a teen around Asia was a great part of my life I will never forget, being able to further discuss my travels, recollecting memories and feelings long after the events is a great form of autoethnography, which I am glad that I get the chance to draw further on within my university studies in Digital Asia.
Ellis et al (2011), illustrates, when researchers do autoethnography, they selectively write about epiphanies that stem from, or are made possible by, being part of a culture and by possessing a particular cultural identity. They can also use these experiences to also analyse and reflect on these experiences (Anderson, 2006 p.375). Traveling through all the different countries of Asia, and experiencing local cuisine gave me the opportunity to be emerged in the Asian culture, which is very different from my own culture. It taught me a great deal about Asian cultures, and in relation to beer the differing tastes from one country to the other.
Autoethnography is both a product and a process, I am really excited to further my knowledge on the contrast of beers amongst Asia and take an autoethnographic approach as I work towards my final digital artefact.
Anderson L 2006, Analytic autoethnography, Journal of contemporary ethnography, vol 35, no 4, pp. 373-395.
Ellis C, Adams T, and Bochner A (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, vol 12, no 1, pp 1-12.