The WordPress.com community is a truly global phenomenon. With bloggers spread across every corner of the world, the stories we encounter daily in the Reader give us an unfiltered snapshot of the world we share.
Today, we offer you a free round-the-world ticket — through the personal perspectives of people with deep connections to the places that feature in their blogs. From Antarctica to Wisconsin, these eight posts and four photos will give you a taste of each locale’s uniqueness and complexity.
We start our tour in San Francisco, California, where the tech boom that’s made blogs and social networks possible is also leaving entire communities struggling and forgotten. In Where No Google Buses Go, the journalist behind Pueblo Lands gives us a sobering look at the rising inequality in the prosperous Bay Area.
Jumping to the other side of the world, Heather Mason, the blogger at 2Summers, recently led readers on a bike tour of Soweto, the South African township. As it just happened to be the weekend of Nelson Mandela’s passing, we were treated to a first-hand experience of the bittersweet celebration of the life of a national icon.
Deep in the Estonian wilderness, writer Julie Riso takes us on a spellbinding hike through Europe’s largest bog in Soomaa National Park. Surrounded by nothing but mud and silence, her writing channels the ominous, strange beauty of the landscape, and her photography lets us experience this place with our own eyes.
Sue, the blogger behind Brick House, uses humor to cope with some of the coldest weather ever recorded in her home state of Wisconsin. In Ten Advantages to Living in the Frozen Tundra, she celebrates the absence of hurricanes, spiders, and volcanoes from those frigid regions recently hit by a polar vortex.
On the southwest coast of Africa, Namibia-based food lover Christie Keulder introduces readers to the tensions between life in a traditional culinary culture and her passion for modernist, boundary-pushing cooking. In Time for Something New, a visually striking post, she suggests that tradition and innovation can coexist, and sometimes even feed off off each other.
Dan, a foreign kindergarten teacher in Korea, shares anecdotes at once universal and highly local on his site, Das Bloggen. Recounting his misadventures in his school’s restrooms, where privacy is minimal, we share with him a comical moment of culture shock at its most mortifying — and heartwarming.
Documenting what is by now a ritualized cycle of protest and violence, the photographer at Architecture, Urbanism, and Conflict gives an unrelenting and unflinching view of everyday life in Palestine. In a recent photo essay, he follows the pre-scripted stages of a weekly violent clash between protesters and Israeli soldiers, from hurled stones to teargas canisters.
Seemingly far away from all the world’s troubles, Antarctica seems like the final frontier of wild, uninhabited nature. On her second trip to the continent, writer Siv shares its beauty and feeling of absolute remoteness on her blog, Ever the Wayfarer. Her accounts are full of longing for a place she’s about to leave, a landscape that “gets into your soul and stays there.”
You can discover more stories from around the world by entering the names of places that intrigue you — whether around the corner or on the other side of the planet — in the Reader’s search box. You might also consider activating Geotagging on your own blog. You’ll be helping people from your own community (and those who wish to learn about it) seek out your take on the world around you. It’s one more way to make the blogging world and the world-world come together.
If you’re interested in keeping up with what’s abuzz in the community — from a collection of top reads to publishing news and bloggers in the spotlight — subscribe to WordPress.com Weekend Reads, which we’ll deliver right to your inbox.
Jan 28th at 5:30 pm
Thank you for recommending these great blogs! I love to see the world through the eyes of so many different people. If anyone of the German readers is interested in the daily life of a vegetarian living in Buenos Aires, surrounded by steaks and tango, feel free to check out my blog.
Jan 28th at 5:38 pm
Thanks, Ben! Ecuador is a lovely country, and Cuenca is a perfect setting for a WordCamp! HInt, hint!
Jan 28th at 6:20 pm
Thank you! You find the best blogs, too! I love Cathy from Ecuador. I am now following her (courage, inspiration to pursue the Dream<3). Have a blessed day.
Jan 28th at 6:29 pm
What about Indonesia, bro?
Jan 28th at 7:07 pm
Aw come on, two blogs from the USA? two from Africa? Nothing from Western Europe, nothing from the Indian sub-continent, and the Korean one is a foreigner who has to be at least North American if not US because he says bathroom when referring to a toilet. Nothing from Australia or New Zealand. If I was an Aussie or a Kiwi I would be well annoyed, because that’s where everyone goes on a world trip.
The Palestine blog is politically balanced out by a photo from Israel. And there are photos from Chile and the Filipinos and Vienna. But still, you could have at least included one blog from each continent (I go by the old five rule), without going for two from the USA (three if Dan is US). I appreciate most of your bloggers are American but it seriously racks the rest of us off when everything is so Americacentric.
I know, I know, another moan, but you have to admit it is not well balanced to have two US ones and nothing from Aus/NZ.
Jan 28th at 7:21 pm
Amazing stories and photos! Amazing blogs!
Jan 28th at 7:44 pm
Awesome. Thanks for this.
I have some reading to do!
Jan 28th at 8:18 pm
Sharing and seeing stories from across the world truly inspires me to keep writing about things that I care about. Amazing stories really helps to keep things in perspective.
Jan 28th at 8:57 pm
I am a hardcore wordpress user. I am really impressed, your blogging platform changed my life literally!
Jan 28th at 10:23 pm
That was awesome!
Jan 28th at 10:27 pm
Loved and appreciated this!
Jan 28th at 10:43 pm
My travel To-Do list just got longer.
Jan 29th at 3:35 am
Amazing worlds are condensed in our blogs!
Jan 29th at 4:00 am
Great choices and thanks for the Geotagging tip! I just activated it on my blog, so hopefully those looking to learn about life in rural China will find me.
Jan 29th at 5:07 am
I like seeing all these great pics.. It is like traveling from home to the whole world
Jan 29th at 5:28 am
Thanks for the tour! And for taking the time to share those bloggers and places with us!!
Jan 29th at 5:59 am
Great post with lovely images!
Jan 29th at 6:10 am
This was awesome! We’re snowed in with “Storm Leon,” it was nice to feel like I got around the world today, haha. Really tho, cool post, thanks!
Jan 29th at 6:53 am
Felt like I just did some traveling, just reading. Thanks!
Jan 29th at 9:33 am
That makes us just itch for more travel, it’s been a few months. Love this post!
Jan 29th at 12:11 pm
I love the photos
Jan 29th at 4:07 pm
Thanks! This is really interesting and has put me in touch with some other bloggers who I would like to meet when I reach the US.
Jan 29th at 7:42 pm
Hi, the pictures from Austria and Israel are my favorite- very happy that you included such nice pictures!
Jan 30th at 4:43 am
Loved this, thanks!
Jan 30th at 7:55 am
I really appreciate the mention of my blog — thanks!
Jan 30th at 1:02 pm
Thanks a lot for mentioning my post.
Jan 31st at 2:48 pm
simple but inspiring … great post Ben !
Feb 2nd at 4:21 pm
Great photos, really captures the atmosphere!
Feb 3rd at 3:00 pm
Super cool! I love traveling and seeing the World, always cool when someone posts about those experiences
Feb 6th at 2:59 am
I love the way you combined the experiences to expose the different cultures.