I woke up this morning, looking calm on the outside. What I looked like on the inside:
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It hit me this morning that I’m leaving the US for a long time. I don’t know what a long time really means, but I’m planning for 2-3 years. Leaving everything I know behind, starting the next chapter of my life.
Holy. Fucking. Shit. Haha. (sorry for the language)
That’s what I’ve been thinking all morning.
My dream, for the past several years, was to work or live in Taiwan/East Asia. My actions planned around it: studying abroad in Beijing was intended to increase my Chinese skills, make connections, and have the study abroad background in Asia.
Working in Washington DC was also part of this master plan, as I was told that opportunities for international relations in Asia was incomparable to the rest of the US.
After going through recruitment, I found myself back in San Francisco, engaged in international business.
I was sick of commuting one hour each way to work. I asked my boss whether she needed me in Taiwan. She gave me the choice of Taipei or San Francisco. It was either lease an apartment in San Francisco and travel North and South America, or live in Taipei and travel Asia and the Pacific.
I chose the latter, which brings me to today, the one way flight to 桃園國際機場。I have two 50-pound checked bags, a heavy carry on, and a heavy laptop case. That’s my life right there, packed into four rectangular prisms, stowed away in a 747 jet grossing 800,000 pounds.
This is what I’ve been aiming for, for a long time now. It has been on a pedestal for so long, and now I’ll be boarding a flight that takes me 6500 miles away, on a 14 hour time difference, to the opposite side of the world.
What. The. Hell.
Everything’s planned out. I’ve brought the proper IDs and college diploma and will be applying for Taiwan residency. I’m giving up my California voting rights, thus will be exempt from California taxes. I’m finding potential places to live in the heart of the financial district in Taipei.
I’m scared, broski. I’m super, super scared.
But I think I’ll be okay. I know I’ll be okay. I was scared when I first left for Mexico 3.5 years ago. When I left for UC Berkeley 2.5 years ago. When I studied abroad at PKU 1.5 years ago. And when I went to DC just 6 months ago. Variety is the spice of life, and uncertainty is what makes living interesting.
I never thought I’d sail 1,000 miles in Mexico. (I had lunch with Captain Graham and Deanna yesterday. They’re doing well, and the boat is doing well in Panama).
I never thought I’d transfer to Cal, let alone a university.
I never thought I’d study abroad in Beijing, let alone see China.
I never thought I’d live in Boston, thanks to Susan and my cousin-in-law’s family.
I never thought I’d work in DC, the political capital of the US.
Some final thoughts about where I am today.
Where I am today is the product of the self. I truly believe that. But the self is merely a product of others. And I truly believe that.
I wouldn’t be in this situation if I didn’t have the support of many warm hearted folks. I’m a huge advocate of reciprocity and never forget good (and bad) deeds.
So if you’re ever in Taiwan, you know where to find me. Hit me up and you have a place to stay and a guide to tour the country.