“What are you working on online?” my mom asks. First of all, my mom is not online generation, let alone “born digital“, so you should at least admire her for saying the word “online”. Secondly, to be clear, she now uses computer and internet on weekdays, but only to check out stock prices. That’s why, to her, having a son working as freelancer (= insecurity) and working online (= intangible) can be one of the most confusing concepts to accept.
Ever since she knows I want to be a freelancing translator, she keeps encouraging me to translate at least a book, which is “more substantial”, in her own words. True, my translations can be around you all the time, on product instructions, in press releases, PowerPoint presentations, or even as a website, but you normally won’t see my name attached. We are invisible translators. I have shown to her my works on Global Voices, with my name on it, but it’s still not persuasive enough to her.
And now she is more confused. Why would someone invite her son to give talks for works he’s done online?
Mom, it just happens. I wasn’t aware four years ago that my life and career will be deeply connected with internet. But now it is.
South by Southwest Festival came to me for the first time in my life in this post on GV by Juliana. At that time, it looked cool to me, but I didn’t expect to attend at all. After all, it’s in faraway Texas. It’s a long, long flight from Taiwan. (Yes, I know, the flight from Taiwan to Chile is even longer, but we’ll deal with that later.)
Not until one week ago.
That morning when I opened my inbox, I saw an invitation letter saying hi to me, so two weeks later, I will say hi to Austin, Texas.
Also fortunately, I have experience the painful US visa application last year, otherwise I won’t be able to travel with such a short notice. Phew..
Working online connects people in unexpected ways. My life indeed takes turn as it wants, especially since I start to work online. I really cannot say for certain where in the world I will visit this year, but the picture is getting better and better.
Another turn of my life from online work is coming soon. I’ll unveil when I can.
But now, at least we can enjoy SXSW Promotional Video: