Follow my travels and tips in some of the world's most amazing destinations.
As well as writing I’ve also enjoyed travelling across the world. I’m always on the move meeting inspiring new people in the countries I visit. Travelling helps put things into perspective and gives me new ideas.
One of the downsides of writing is that you often have to spend long periods alone, locked in a room working on your next project. I’ve solved this problem by continuously changing it up and experiencing new environments, food and people along the way. I’ve stayed in hotels, hostels and local homestays.
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 I’ve been based in Vietnam. I only intended to spend two months here and had plans to travel to Taiwan, Japan and the South Pacific. I scrapped all of those plans and decided to stay here as Vietnam got the pandemic under control with effective contract tracing and a hard border. 16 months later and I’m still loving it.
With cases often at zero in the past year, I’ve been able to travel around Vietnam experiencing the country with no tourists, a unique opportunity. I’m also learning Vietnamese to help me better understand the culture. The Talk Show is dedicated to the people, the government and my friends in Vietnam as this is where I edited the book and finally got a book deal after 8 years.
I started out living in a homestay in Hoi An. This was once an important trading post in the Early Modern World and today many of the original buildings in the ancient town remain. But it also has a sleepy fishing village, a few kilometres away by the beach. The beach and the old town are separated by some rice fields. Every morning I would ride a bicycle around, riding to my favourite coffee shop or co-working space. Hoi An is home to a small writing community. Elka Ray, author of Saigon Dark, a gritty crime novel about the underbelly of Vietnam’s business city lives here. She was able to give me some great advice about the publishing industry.
I lived here for six months before moving onto the bigger city of Da Nang, just 30 kilometres away. Da Nang is known as Vietnam Miami. It’s a city of 1 million people with tall buildings along a beautiful beach coastline. It is bordered by the Hai Van pass – one of the most spectacular motorbikes drives in the whole world – and to some mountains if you need a quick escape away from the city.
My Favourite Coffee Shops from Around the World.
Here are my favourite places to work around the world. I like to support independent coffee shops and tea houses where I can. And large chunks of my books were written in these places. You never know if you hang around long enough, you might bump into me.
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- J STANFORD