A GLOBETROTTING Leigh-born journalist and writer has been sharing the secrets of his adopted country in South East Asia in his debut book.
Jody Houton has penned A Geek in Thailand based on his knowledge gained through living in the country’s capital city while working as a sub-editor for the Bangkok Post.
Former Lowton High School and Leigh College student Jody originally developed his passion for travel after studying at the University of York, touring Europe to teach English in Greece and Barcelona.
He then set his sights further afield, spending time in Japan and South Korea before settling in Thailand, where he originally worked on the island of Phuket before moving to Bangkok.
Jody, 36, has now put down all his knowledge of the country in a book ranging from discussions of Thai history, culture, religion and politics to chapters on the people, sport and cuisine.
The book will hit shelves early in the new year and Jody’s success at getting into print is now being celebrated both in Thailand and Leigh, where his family still lives and looks forward to his annual visits home.
Proud mum Jan said: “The book is for tourists, expats and would-be expats. He includes his top 10 things to see and do in the main tourist destinations as well as giving accounts of the main festivals and tips on getting around.
“Jody decided he wanted to travel and experience different ways of life and other cultures. He’s always wanted to live somewhere warmer than the UK and I suppose he couldn’t see himself doing a nine-to-five job.
“He’s lived outside the UK for more than 10 years now but tries to come home once a year. He’s still got grandparents living locally too, and I think they’re all ordering copies of his book.”
Jody originally started working as a teaching assistant at Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley before looking outside the borders of the UK and doing a post-graduate Celta course to teach English as a foreign language.
While in South Korea he decided to follow up on a long-held ambition to move into journalism and returned to Britain to do his Master’s degree in the subject at Kingston University. He travelled to Thailand to forge his new career and now works on the sub-editing desk for one of the country’s national daily papers.
A Geek in Thailand covers every thing from the country’s food, which has become known around the world, to distinctive cultural pastimes such as kickboxing and its artistic traditions like silk textiles and Thai architecture.
The book is set out with short articles accompanied by sidebars and interviews, accompanied by a series of colour photographs of the exotic and beautiful land.
As well as providing a guide to the country’s best-known destinations Jody uses his personal experiences of the Thai people to write in detail about their character and psyche as well as providing visitors to the Land of Smiles with cultural dos and don’ts.
A Geek in Thailand is being released by Tuttle Publishing and is expected to be out in January 2016.
For more information visit www.tuttlepublishing.com/authors/houton-jody