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Hi! I’m Jessica Xu (“X-U”).

I grew up in the square states of the U.S. (Wyoming and Colorado), studied business at UPenn, and worked as a User Experience Designer in the NYC area for 3 years.

While in NYC, I had all the trappings of a good yuppie (the boisterous apartment with college friends, the Coffee Meets Bagel profile, and frequent dinners and nights out), but I never quite adopted the mindset of one.

Despite living in one of the most diverse cities on the planet, I was trapped under layers and layers of social bubbles. The urban bubble, the upper-middle class bubble, the college-graduate bubble, the Asian bubble. The urban, upper-middle class, college-graduate Asian bubble. I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more to life than brunch, the newest Apple products, and one-time dates. And increasingly, I wanted to contribute more than designing services of convenience for those with sizable disposable incomes.

Some time around mid-2016, the idea to take an extended trip around the world entered my head and never really left. While it’s true that your environment is what you make of it, I figured it would be easier to pop all of my bubbles all at once by immersing myself in cultures that I hadn’t had much contact with before. I picked a few places that I knew next to nothing about, and in February 2017, I was on my way.

Follow my wanderings here!

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