About Expat-terns

Hello. 안녕하세요. Hola. (Prague, Czech Republic: Photo credits by Croatian goddess and backpacking companion, Nina P.)

I am PintsizedPioneer, Ben Chung, an amateur explorer, budding linguist, and your run of the mill traveler. I am just your typical gay, Jewish Asian-American who wants to get out and see the world.

I was born in the port city of Incheon, South Korea and was quickly moved to the United States where I grew up in the flat Midwest. Now, I attend the University of British Columbia Vancouver campus and am a grateful uninvited guest on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, which Vancouver now occupies.

Qosqo, Peru: That’s me and a past host sister of mine. I enjoy spicy foods, observing pragmatics in everyday conversation, and sustainable agriculture. She enjoyed biting me. (Photo credits by my Peruvian host mom, Dina)

My areas of study are Linguistics and First Nations and Endangered Languages. Expat-terns has a vested interest in all aspects of the world’s cultures and languages, national and Indigenous. We at Expat-terns hope to at least touch on and look into some contemporary aspects of indigeneity and decolonization, which are taken seriously here. It is a big world out there, and it is important to us that everyone can be heard in their own voices especially in their own languages.

I fall into categories like budget traveler (I am at least a frugal spender), so moderate hostels, street food, and public transportation are my favourite utilities. Want to know how to save some bucks abroad? I got you covered.

Berlin, Germany: I’m super mature; I swear. (Photo credits by Croatian goddess and backpacking companion, Nina P.)

There are many destinations I wish I could add to the list, but currently, some of these places may not generally be deemed safe for me to visit (some LGBTQ+ unfriendly countries without getting into details). But, travel is about breaking down barriers, and I have had too many awkward encounters abroad to get discouraged and stop now.

I used to hope one day to work for National Geographic. Interview, explore, write, or possibly just get the real writers coffee … But honestly at least for now, I think I would be happy anywhere I could work with communities, doing something good, preferably with language documentation and revitalization. It is a little niche for a profession, I know, but I find that this work empowers, conserves, preserves, educates etc.

If any questions, concerns, or possibly even ideas about collaborations with this blog arise, please feel free to  tweet me, follow me on instagram, or contact us via email.

Safe travels and remember to explore!