I have spent 16 out of 29 years of my life and all of my adult life in America. The US is as "home" to me as Malaysia is, but as I grow older I'm starting to realize that "home" can be anywhere you want it to be. I am incredibly excited to return to Malaysia, where my parents and family live. I think there is a sense amongst many people who study and live abroad that time back home stops for you -- you leave, and then expect to return back to the same people, same stores, same places, same everything. This is of course not true. In the time I've been away from Malaysia, I have missed births, weddings, and funerals; beyond that, I have missed all the little things that, as a whole, make life what it is. I'm very happy for our family to be together and to put some roots down, at least for awhile. We have relocated thrice in the past two years and we're ready to stop the packing-unpacking routine that has become a "normal" thing in our household.
Since I will be in Asia, I have decided to regularly maintain a blog on economic and policy issues in Malaysia and the surrounding region. My plan is to build a new research agenda that is more policy and Asia-focused, and I think that writing about topics and issues that are new to me is a great way to learn. I am also planning on summarizing published academic research related to my work for a general audience, which will hopefully be useful to some readers but if nothing else, this will be a way for to practice my writing. I am a theoretical microeconomist by training and do not get many chances to casually write anymore so this is all quite exciting to me. Happy reading!