INTERVIEW: Joshua Samuel Brown on His Ongoing Love Affair With Taiwan

‘Josambro’ chatted with TNL’s Cat Thomas ahead of an April 25 book reading in Taipei of ‘Formosa Moon,’ co-authored with Stephanie Huffman.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/04/19
By: Cat Thomas

Credit: Illustration by David Lee Ingersoll (2015)

Growing up “on the streets of New York,” Joshua Samuel Brown (also known as Josambro) always knew he’d wind up being a writer. In 1994, as he turned 24, he expanded his travels beyond New York State, first moving to Taiwan where he quickly settled in with a standard issue teaching gig in Taichung. Not long thereafter, he began his career as a freelance journalist mainly focused on travel writing. With the Taiwan of yesteryear not attracting much in the way of interest from travel publications, he moved over to China spending three years building his chops as a travel writer based largely in Beijing, Kunming and Yangshuo.

After a further two years living on Lamma Island in Hong Kong, he returned to the shores of Taiwan to write up his first Lonely Planet guide, choosing to base himself largely in Penghu for “weird” reasons. Fans of his work will not be remotely rattled by that explanation as a strong streak of the other and love of the strange, disturbing, and wonderful runs through his work.

The next four years or so were largely nomadic as he embarked on work on a series of Lonely Planet guides – Belize; Singapore City Guide; Greater Mekong; Singapore Encounter; Central America on a Shoestring – before settling for a while in Portland where he worked as a travel guide.

Over the course of his career, Josambro has been featured in a wide array of publications – including Bicycle Times, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Standard, China Post, Taiwan News, Colorado Daily, Beijing Scene, City Weekend, Business Traveler Asia, Cat Fancy, Dim Sum Literary Journal, Destination Belize, Travel in Taiwan, The Rocky Mountain Bullhorn, Funny Times, Taiwan Business TOPICS and numerous in-flight magazines – covering cycling, music, culture, politics and of course, travel, with his distinctive writing. He also authored “Vignettes of Taiwan” (2006) and “How Not to Avoid Jet Lag & Other Tales of Travel Madness” (2014) and contributed to several other travel-based food guidebooks.

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