Why Hello Life!

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World Map in front of museum of fine arts in taichung, taiwan


It’s 4 A.M. and I hear the sound of my alarm waking me up after a brief nap that seemed like only a mere 30 seconds rather than minutes. In the final days leading to my departure, my days are full. Good byes must be said, time must be spent with those near and dear, and family must be prepped for my year long absence. They say the devil is in the details and my obsessive side wants to make sure all is covered. Instructions and important information are left for family in a highly organized binder. Check. The flight ticket to show immigration proof of onward travel is purchased. Check. Last minute chocolate gifts are bought. Check. Bags are packed and repacked. Check and double check. I appear to be ready but can one ever be prepared for a year away from home existing simply as a nomad without any real purpose other than to see the world and how its people live? I know the answer is a big fat NO. Even with a month and a half of prep time is anyone truly ready?

As my brother and mother drive me to the airport in the cold darkness of the early morning hours, I continue to feel uncertainty and apprehensiveness. People only dream of what I was about to do and would be jumping and screaming with delight, yet a mix of emotions brew inside me threatening to overflow. Nervousness, fear, and excitement are all meeting each other and saying hello.

When I think about why I decided to leave my job of almost 8 years and the opportunity to collect a steady income, my logical mind yells, “Are you crazy?!” Why are you walking away from certainty and leaping head first into the uncertain? Why are you leaving wonderful family and friends to travel mostly alone for a year? A big life decision like this doesn’t rely on a simple explanation but does so from many. I didn’t feel challenged in my current circumstances and was lacking the confidence in myself that I unexpectedly gained while studying abroad in distant countries as an undergraduate. I longed for and badly missed the challenges of being out of my element and having to lean on mostly myself or the kindness of others, and ultimately I wanted to clear the clutter in my head.

The well intentioned universe also came knocking and threw me several hints that it was NOW or never. I had found a self defense teacher in Taiwan through an on line forum, my job as a controller was handed over to someone else while no other important responsibility was given to me, and I kept seeing people who were figures in my life ceasing to exist though they still had that hunger to live. If this wasn’t saying something, then I don’t know what else could be said that would convince me that there is no perfect time but this surely was close. My dreams of meeting someone, settling down, and having a family would all have to patiently wait for me until after I traversed the globe.

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Hang out spot at Taichung Parkway


And here I am sitting in a park in Taichung watching people enjoy the early spring weather the day before Chinese New Year and reflecting on my last several days at home prior to my departure. As they say, this is when the story really begins.

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13 thoughts on “Why Hello Life!

    • Haha. I thought of writing a book about the crazy 8 years and now will see if this next year is book worthy. You know a screenwriter? Who? I didn’t know you were so Hollywood : )

      • i think you should go for it! it is kind of an “eat, pray, love” thing. i have a friend (originally from woodstock) who lives out in L.A. he is a few years younger than us. he recently won a competition, where he submitted his story line for a show airing on hbo and got to meet all these big-wigs. he is the nex big thing, lol. taiwan looks like a very pretty place. if you go to japan, do me a favor and visit disney tokyo! i want to go, but i don’t think jusin is sold on the idea 😦

      • Wow! That is pretty impressive and glad to hear someone local has gotten such an awesome opportunity. Disney Tokyo. Hmm…I’ll have to look into it. Will definitely be in Japan but it may be a little lonely being at Disney by myself. You can tell Justin that going to Japan itself is like going to Disney. It’s a great country and very different than anywhere you will ever be. Then you can sneak Disney in : )

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