I admit that these answers that I seek are all to questions I’ve never known, but I pray to keep on looking for as long as I can roam, and when the world finally fulfills me I will not forget my way back home. - Dawes
Remember how I said I hated blogs? Well I’ve been feeling that of late—feeling that posting here is just bragging about how easy my life is. I’ve been journaling a bit instead. But I know there are like 3-4 people who care to hear about life here (love you, Mom!), and I know I haven’t posted much of anything in awhile (and a lot’s happened: Andrew and Dustin visiting, my one year anniversary, leaving Hess…). So, for you few, as soon as I can, I’ll be talking about my Malaysian trip and what it was like to travel alone in an unfamiliar place with zero plans.
Last day at Hess and I’m moving on to my next job with less than 12 hours to digest my leaving.
I hope I get a chance soon to write about this life-changing year here, but for now, all I can think about is how much I’m gonna miss these kids.
Enjoy this terrible picture of my faded flight ticket from a year ago, when I left North American soil for the first time in my life. I have saved this crappy piece of paper because, to me, it represents my decision to make a radical change in my life. I am gonna go enjoy my one-year anniversary of L.I.V.I.N.G. in this outstanding country. Here’s to another life-changing year.
Thank you to my incredibly supportive family and friends for helping me make it happen. I couldn’t have done this without you: Mom, Dad, Liz, Grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles…I miss you all like crazy.
(GO USA! Can we haz a tie Germany?)
Its been a year (and some change) since “The Great Broccoli Rebellion”
"Prepare. Don’t think."
- That’ll be the tagline of the cliff-jumping blog Council and I are going to start one of these days.
Kat, Ivan, Mark and I had been to the cliffs near Xindian MRT before. I wrote about our time jumping off the 15-foot platform a few months ago. http://twelveahead.tumblr.com/post/77079693167/finally-found-my-quarry. When we were there, I saw a cliff to our right that looked perfect for jumping. But at the time, it was just a dream, a fool’s hope, if you will. (Gandalf will.)
A couple months later, Council, a frisbee pal and fellow cliff-jumping enthusiast, and I were talking about that big-boy cliff in Xindian. Sure enough, he said he’d jumped it before. And “it’s HIGH.”
I had to try it for myself. So two weekends ago, Council and I, along with a big group of friends/spectators, revisited the Xindian cliffs so that I could conquer what would be my highest cliff jump to date. I didn’t think it was higher than the quarry in ye olde Fredericksburg until I got up there. “It’s HIGH,” indeed.
Council showed me the way as we work-shopped our cliff-jumping blog, and I took in the scenery. It’s really a unique perspective being on cliffs. I feel lucky to have been afforded such glimpses, and it’s a big reason why I keep doing it.
I have somewhat of a routine when I jump off cliffs now. It starts with surveying the water below. Even though Council had jumped it before, he did me the favor of swimming around the landing area to thoroughly check for any hazards or shallow water. "Prepare." Having a lifeguard as your jumping companion certainly doesn’t hurt.
Next, I took in the floor-less landscape (I try not to look down too much) one more time, admiring the endless Taiwan mountains (unfortunately not really shown in the filming). Then, because this was the highest cliff I’d ever jumped off, I didn’t waste any time. I hopped off right after my approach. "Don’t think."
See, that’s what I’ve learned from all my cliff jumping experiences. Everyone knows you’re not supposed to over think it, because then you’ll never do it. That’s why we prepare: so that we don’t have to think when it’s show time. And not thinking is exactly what I did the whole way down. “I really can’t emphasize how little we thought about this.” With two seconds and some change of falling, I had a long time to not think about anything. This was the most meditative jump I’ve ever had. I only realized this after the euphoria and accomplishment had worn off post-jump. My mind was clear.
So maybe we need to add a few things to that motto. Prepare. Take it in. Approach it. Don’t think—meditate…Reflect.
Nah, I like what we’ve got. Keep it simple. Jump however you want. Just don’t try this at home, ‘cus it’s not as fun.
(I apologize for the mediocre footage. I’m still trying to get good at GoPro filming. I also apologize for the language. I was ecstatic and I guess my filter washed off.)
I taught the word “special” to my youngins today and we veered away from the English lesson and into a life lesson, which are my favorite days, because I actually feel like I’m doing something of value.
I was trying so hard to remember this quote because, really, who can say it better than the “Doctah?!” I couldn’t come up with it during our talk about how no one in the whole wide world was, is, or will ever be like each one of us. I only have two more weeks with this amazing group of seven year-olds. I’m gonna miss them a lot.
Muddy, rainy ultimate. There was nothing more belly-laugh-worthy than seeing Gerrit try to mark and slip straight onto his butt in a sticky puddle of mud - and then going out there to make the same fall as him.
It hasn’t stopped raining in Taipei for what feels like months. What are we, just not gonna play? C’mon.
Gonna go ahead and toot my own horn and say it was an awesome call to still have pickup Sunday. Everyone had a joyous time slipping and sliding and getting dirty. I forgot how much fun it was to lay out in the mud. Deepest apologies, Da’An Park.
For the long Dragonboat Fesitval weekend, some pals and I biked from Taitung to Haulien. Here’s a taste of dat bootiful Taiwan east coast.
Nothing to see here, just howling at nature with three buds whom have since left Taiwan.
Pardon the language. I promise I treat my British friends with respect.
Taroko Gorge, February 2014