Hi there, ciao, 你好. Welcome to my travel & photography blog!
I’m Jiayi, a Chinese-Italian (‘Chitalian’) photographer, writer, and content creator driven by a big passion for – you guessed it – travel!
My love affair with traveling began at age 6
…when my family and I bought a one-way ticket from northeastern China to Rome, Italy. For 12 years, I was raised in the Eternal City by my Chinese parents. I listened to Italian music, cheered for Roma in the Serie A football games, and became fluent in Roman slang. But though I stuffed myself with pizza and gelato all day, I still loved hot pot and dumplings just as much.
Growing up, I never had just one culture or group of people to identify with.
I was proud to think of myself as both European and Asian; to be raised with multi-cultural traditions, and to speak 3 languages (sometimes 4) on a daily basis. I saw how beautiful it was to transcend the boundaries between cultures so different from each other, and living that experience only made me crave for more.
That’s how The Diary of a Nomad began.
I let my curiosity drive me, and set off to see the world. I went on to live in the US, Japan, Peru, France, and Australia. My restless feet took me to 59 countries and I’m not even halfway through my bucket list yet. The more I traveled, the more I became fond of photography as well. I taught myself how to shoot with a DSLR and began documenting my adventures. You can find all my recommended gear here.
Then, in 2019, travel + photography became my full-time job.
One day, I decided to share my travel photos on Instagram. Little did I know, my audience grew from 0 to 125K+ in 1.5 years, and I discovered a new passion: inspiring others to see the beauty of the world through my lens. Especially the places that aren’t often visited or talked about; those that are unfortunately misrepresented in the media, and that truly deserve way more of our attention.
In fact, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from globetrotting around it’s that the countries that are typically deemed “unsafe” (such as Iran, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan) are often actually the safest and most remarkable ones. They also have some of the kindest and friendliest locals I’ve ever met. There are so many cultural misconceptions out there, and I hope with this blog, I can debunk as many of them as I can.