It has been 10 months since I last blogged. Many things happened since. I don’t even know where to start. It is already the end of 2015! This year went by really fast…
In January, I finally went snowboarding in Japan. It was incredible! I still remember the early bus ride to the mountains. It was a long ride but the weather changed dramatically. In Tokyo, the weather was cold but it wasn’t snowing. It was a sunny day along the way to the mountains. I was able to see Japan’s nature and mountains! After going through a few tunnels, there was snow everywhere! We stayed at a Japanese style hotel. The funniest thing was I reserved under my name, and after hearing my name, Japanese people will know that I am foreigner. The owner of the hotel thought I was going to be a big Canadian foreigner, so he gave us the biggest room he had. After arriving, he was surprised by what he saw. Haha. I am not your typical Canadian eh.
February was the month where I set sails to Taiwan. I stayed in Taiwan from February until early August. During these 6 months, I was enjoying my life in Taiwan. I was attending Chinese classes twice a week. My Chinese has improved dramatically whereas my Japanese has not. I explored many places across Taiwan. Went to Tainan, Kenting, Hualien, Keelung, and many more. Living cost was much cheaper than Japan. With a Japanese salary I was living like a king in Taiwan. I was able to travel and eat without worrying spending too much. In addition, there was more food in Taiwan that reminded me of home. I am Chinese after all. I was able to eat more Chinese vegetables and cuisines. More importantly, I could eat fruits! Fruits in Japan are very expensive. You don’t know how much you love something until you don’t have them anymore. I really enjoyed my time in Taiwan. The only issue I had was the weather. Starting April, the weather was already getting hot. After May, it was unbearable. To be honest, I enjoyed living in Taiwan more than Japan. Taiwan was like a second home to me. Weird heh? I have never been there before, but it just felt like home. I am a quarter Taiwanese after all! If only Taiwan’s weather was cooler during the summer then I would LOVE Taiwan 200%. I wouldn’t mind living in Taipei again.
During my time in Taiwan, I flew to Cebu, Philippines for a vacation. I was working 4 months straight without taking any days off. Working longs hours and even on weekends as well. I was only in Cebu for a few days. It was a long needed vacation. It was my first time to go to a “developing” country. There were parts of the city that was developed but there were other parts that were not. It was my first time to see children begging for money, houses that looked unlivable but yet people were living there. I was born and raised in Toronto to a middle-class family. The homeless were drug addicts and I never felt sorry for them. But when I saw those little kids begging for money, it hit me. I saw videos on TV about poor children around the world, but it really never struck me. I am the type of person who doesn’t learn until first hand experience. Experiencing first hand always had a bigger impact on me. This was my first time in a long time that I felt apperceive to what I have and what I didn’t have to do. I was lucky. I felt more apperceive after this trip. I enjoyed this trip a lot because everyone spoke English. I was able to do normal things. I had been living in places where I can’t speak their language. It is very frustrating at times. Knowing multiple languages is a very important life skill to have. This is one of the weaknesses I have, bad memory skills and poor pronunciations. I need to improve upon this. I really envy people who can speak multiple languages well. I missed a place where I can understand no matter where I go. Perhaps going to Japan was a mistake when I didn’t know how to speak Japanese. This trip got me thinking about a lot of things…
My second big vacation was during Obon. Obon marked my end of Taiwan. I missed out all the long holidays of Japan. I couldn’t miss out on other one. This year’s summer holiday, I went to KL and Penang Malaysia. Malaysians could speak at least four languages! I was amazed and envious of them. Food was cheap! Other country where I could speak English and Cantonese! I loved it there. I was with great people! It was the best trip I had so far. Not to mention I met some Youtube stars. During this trip I had no stress at all! It was a time where I could leave my work behind. I no longer need to worry about Taiwan because I was leaving Taiwan and will begin my “new” job in Japan. I didn’t know what was to come, but heck; I seized every day during this vacation. Saw sunsets, night stars, and did water activities. Thinking back, this was the most non-stressful time in my life. This trip proved that nothing lasts forever. So we have to make good use of our time. Live a happy life. Do what we enjoy doing.
After half a year I was back in Japan! It was like nothing had changed, but in fact everything did. I was back to my old place, but in a new office. When I walked into the new office, Crimson House. I was amazed. I forgot that I worked at Rakuten. I thought I worked at Google. I really felt like I was working at a globalized company. Lots of open space and standing desks! I think it is the first of it’s kind in Japan. Good physical working environment really brings a better mood to the employees. But like everything, this feeling didn’t last long. Even the company looked like a globalized company, it was still a Japanese company. After living in a hotel for 6 months, sleeping on a futon on the floor just didn’t feel right. Within a few weeks, I got myself a bed, chair, desk, and a TV. I decorated my place. My place looked like a “livable” place now. Time to enjoy my life in Japan again!
After one year and a half, I finally went home! Home sweet home! How I missed it. I was back in Canada for 2 weeks! 2 weeks of relaxing! I was able to meet up with my best friends. We talked, laughed, and shared life stories like if I never left. This group of friends is like family. No matter the distance, our friendship will stay. I was able to meet the next generation and meet up with old friends that I haven’t met in a while. I saw that my neighborhood changed. Everything changed. My sister moved out. She brought her first apartment. I am nowhere close to having enough money to buy a place. This trip reminded me that no matter where I am, home is only a flight away. I chose to travel the world and experience it first hand. Toronto will always be my hometown and be part of my life. I couldn’t have ask for a better city. Toronto is number 1!
I went to Hong Kong a month later. This trip was unexpected. I went back because of my grandma’s funeral. During this trip, I learnt how important money was. I admitted it before and I will admit it again. Money matters in life. As much as I hate it, but money is everything. I really wished it wasn’t. I just want to have fun and enjoy the moment. I don’t want to worry about the future. But in reality I can’t. The future comes soon enough. There are two important things in life. Money and family. I am truly thankful for my parents. I may not show it all the time but I am grateful and thankful to them. Even we may quarrel at times, and disagree on things in life but at the end, I know that they are doing what is best for me. This trip got me thinking of life. I am nor young nor old anymore. Maybe it is time to start to think about the future. Every action has consequences. Everything we do have.
These were just some highlights of this year. There are still so many things I want to say. Luckily there are photos. Photos are worth a thousands words. But to recap this year, the things I learnt this year was attitude and priorities. Your attitude changes everything. Life is based on your perspective. Everyone has his or her priorities in life. Do what matters most and do what is best and right for you. Only then will you be happy in life. What are mine? Only I will know.
So what will I do next year? I am not sure what will become of it. But one thing is certain. I will travel as much as I did this year. I will gain more life experience and meet new cultures and friends. As for my regrets, well let’s see if I am able to change myself to fix it. I am grateful to have enjoyed this year with new and old friends. This year would have been boring without you guys. I am grateful to know all of you. Cheers to a wonderful year.
I have to make next year as good.