I have been dragging my feet about writing this post for DAYS now. I felt that not acknowledging my imminent departure might make the leaving less real, less immediate, less right now. Now that I’ve finally started, I’d like to share more about the inspiration for my excursion.
It first occured to me to plan my Taiwan project/move in May of 2010. I was visiting my homegirl, Christian, in D.C. for her birthday + our bestie, Arielle, came in from Baltimore. We three share a love of travel + I had recently returned from my three weeks in Asia. With my girls gathered around a small cafe table, I gushed about how amazing my trip was, how amazing Taiwan was, how nice the people were, my eyes welling while telling them about feeling like the best version of myself.
I can’t remember who said what, but basically they were like,
“Go back!” “Apply for a Fulbright!” “Teach English!” “Do itttt!”
So, I started doing research. The more I learned about Taiwan, the more resolved I became to learn as much as I can about the island + share what I find through performance + written word.
I truly cannot believe that after more than a year + a half of planning, my journey is about to begin. I have a feasible project. I am enrolled at National Taiwan University. I have my ticket, visa, active immunizations + an apartment lined up. I am boarding the plane in 3 days. My last day of work was yesterday. Now there’s just goodbyes, goodbyes, packing, goodbyes + lift-off.
Coming full circle, Christian visited me in NYC this weekend. On Friday, I took her to DUMBO and downtown Brooklyn–places I wanted to revisit before I left + places she had never been before.
Then we had a fabulous dinner with my family friends + parents at our friends’ Flower Distric loft.
Turned out my beautiful friends + family had planned me a stellar surprise going away party for later that night. I was truly surprised.
I am still so moved by the love I have been feeling all around me. I understand now more than ever how lucky I am to have such smart, supportive, unselfish people in my life. Thank you for helping me spread my wings. Thank you for being excited. (All for the feather!)
As Christian left, I said, through tears, that I could not believe this time was finally here.That saying goodbye to her made the fact that I was leaving seem really real. She said to me, “It wouldn’t be worth it if it wasn’t a little bit terrifying.” The next time I see her, we’ll be in Taiwan. (!!!)
I am so proud of you, Lu, and of your Mom and Dad. “Roots and wings,” that’s what it’s all about.
Best of luck Lulu, I know your daddy is going to miss you more than anything. Keep being true to yourself! I don’t know you but your are quite amazing. Blessings, Laurie Stuart
Your adventure will be amazing. Good luck!