New Book, Three Years in Asia, Recounts over 80,000 miles and 1,000 Days of Teaching and Traveling in Asia

November 01, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
Between 2000 and 2003, Chris Wedding, a Kentucky native and North Carolina resident, taught in Japan with the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. During that time, he sent home detailed letters which described his day-to-day life and travels in Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Australia. Based on these letters and over sixty pictures, he recently published a book entitled Three Years in Asia: Forgotten Buddhist Temples, Barefoot Children, and Unexpected Romance. This non-fiction work is part travelogue, part social and environmental commentary, part exchange of international ideas, and part humor. The book was inspired by the best-selling comedic travel writings of Bill Bryson.

Chris lived in a traditional Japanese home complete with tatami floors, rice-paper doors, and an ornamental Japanese garden in his front yard. In addition, he learned the Japanese language, studied calligraphy, and befriended more than 5,000 children as he taught. While traveling, he had the opportunity to meditate in Thai Buddhist monasteries, bathe in Balinese Hindu springs, hike along forested Malaysian islands, and swim in Indonesian waterfalls, among other unusual experiences.

Most importantly, Chris met another American foreign teacher, originally from the Cape Verde Islands, who would unexpectedly later become his wife. After meeting on their second day in Japan, they had to take two trains and two buses – traveling from the coast to the mountains – to see each other. The married couple now lives together with their newborn son in North Carolina.

The target audiences for this book are 1) those who have already lived abroad, 2) those aged 18-35, such as the thousands of new college graduates, who might read the book and go to live, work, or travel internationally, and 3) those who may never physically walk in the markets of Thailand, but who would like to read about it while sitting in their living room chair with an evening tea. Those who have read Three Years in Asia have called it “charming” and “an entertaining portrait of life in Japan” claiming that it makes them “laugh out loud” and feel as if they’re on the journey with the author to “the other side of the world.”

The JET Program is an 18-year-old Japanese government-sponsored organization which welcomes over 5,500 foreign teachers from 44 countries each year. Tens of thousands of other foreigners teach in Japan and Southeast Asia through similar organizations.

More than 25% of the profits from the sale of this book will be directed to third-party approved charitable organizations whose mission is to improve the welfare of children in Southeast Asia. Chris clarifies, “Giving something back to the Asian communities who gave us so much is the least we can do after three years of life-changing experiences.”

For more information, contact Chris Wedding or visit

About the author:

Chris Wedding, currently a doctoral candidate in environmental sustainability at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has spent nearly four years living, traveling, teaching, and researching in fourteen countries, from Panama’s rainforests and Spain’s pilgrimage routes to Japan’s calligraphy schools and Vietnam’s culinary delights.

Media contact:

Chris Wedding,, 919-933-5917