Annie’s Place 1.0

It’s been a while, and a lot has happened. A good news is that I was able to find an affordable apartment in the new city I recently moved to, and started Annie’s Place for real on Airbnb.

Before moving, I was able to host a few travelers in my hometown to see how I feel about running a BnB/homestay. The result was comforting. It was an experience like no others to meet travelers from around the world, and listen to their stories of adventures. It was like bringing a piece of the world to me. Needless to say, it calmed my travel bugs a bit so I can stay more grounded to save. After the experimental trial, I thought, why wait? I may not have my ideal house in my ideal location right now, but that should not stop me from moving closer to my dream. Other than that, I’ve finally completed my TCSOL (Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages) homework last weekend. At first, I was going to wait til I have the chance to leave Taiwan before enrolling in the program. Long story short, I decided to stop waiting once moving to another city became certain. And here I am, 2 months later, with Annie’s Place listed online and ready to teach Chinese.

So, if anyone’s interested in visiting Taiwan. Annie’s Place is open for you.

Kaohsiung lodging

The living room.

New Birth

遊學, study tours

After years of procrastination and lack of confidence, I finally decided to turn ideas into practical operation. And that’s the birth of my business – 背包遊學客 Affordable Study Tours.

Although fears of failure still haunts me, I chose to treat “business” with a more casual approach this time. Shortly after the website is published, many other aspects of my life started to fall together. This is a milestone and a major leap for me towards my dreams. As uncertain life continues to be, I’m taking my time to march on with a better sense of direction and purpose.

優勝美地

Vacation from a Vacation

view

The Chinese New Year vacation has officially ended on this side of the world. Like many people, I took the chance to travel and relax…or supposedly. Took a trip that gave me many new memories and laughable moments. Photographed amazing views and put on hundreds of kilometers on my vehicle. All is well in general, despite some incidents and conflicts on the road. This week passed by like a blink of an eye, ending with an under rested mind needing more relaxation from this eventful vacation.  As my friend said, I feel I need a vacation from my vacation.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Timing

A couple days ago, I was able to catch up with a dear girlfriend online and had the best 2-hour chat across the globe. Our discussion went from family, business to boys. And then we spent quite some time on the topic of timing and expectation. Some of our conversations reminded me of Steve Job’s speech about connecting dots in our lives. It is amazing when I look back and realized how perfect the timing was, when the right people were directed to me when I am in need of strong spiritual support. Many of them are believers in God, which makes me wonder whether He is sending me a message that I’ve been too stubborn to understand.

With the holiday spirits floating around, even on this end of the world among various English-speaking communities, I’m truly thankful for everything given to me. All the opportunities and help that have been gradually presented to me makes me feel alive and hopeful again. It is a strange thing how religion can change one’s state of mind and choices in life. Perhaps it’s merely a great and relaxing weekend that I haven’t had for a long time. Yet, it feels like I seem to finally get a glimpse of that light I’ve been searching for in the tunnel. It’s still far away but at least more visible now. There are still fear and doubts in me. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to trust myself in Him this time around. And with my country tour packages finally launched, my life has moved a little closer to where I want to be. Speaking of timing and patience. Looking back, this blog along with many things and people that I’m grateful for now, would not have existed if everything has been rosy. I guess God knows how to get my attention and got me working!

Doubt

The “benefit” of the doubt as we say, indicates the positive side of having doubts. Being cynical as I am, I tend not to believe or trust until seeing lots of visible results that support a theory to be real. This goes with how I deal with many different aspects of my life. Take religion for example, though most of my personal belief indicates one particular religion, I refuse to wear a label because I cannot bring myself to believe what I cannot see. Yet at the same time, I believe in the existence of God and many unseen and unexplainable sensations. Also, I do not always agree that one can only believe what one can see. After all, human knowledge can be limited. This doubtful mind of mine surely brings me benefits, while leading me to destruction at the same time.

Lately, I wonder real reason I doubt. Is it because not everything is what it seems? Or, do I do so to make myself believe that life is depressing and reality is cruel so that I’m emotionally more equipped to handle the downs of life. Today, a friend pointed out that I will not get any conclusion by running in this circle of suspicion. I’ve also once come to the conclusion that living in this world of vagueness is why religion survives. It does make me feel calmer and more certain while knowing there is a support that I’ll never be rejected from. This suspicion, nature to question and challenge; however, also pushed me away from many blessings. After all, the ability to believe in good without needing any conventional reasons that are convincing to a common mind, takes a lot of energy and a strong will.

Yet, I suppose, when in doubt, focus on our inner selves and do whatever is guaranteed to bring happiness to them. Really need to stop being a control freak and live for the moments of life. What’s meant to be, will be.

Light in the Tunnel

Life has its way of meddling with our hearts. I feel as though disappointments come when I’m in my up’s, whereas hope shines down on me when things are down.  Some people commented me as an extremist whose emotions swing back and forth at either ends, but never stays in the middle. Maybe that’s why I’ve always been searching for a peace of mind.

It seems to me that everything the human society works towards is to sustain “happiness,” whatever that means for each individuals.  That’s why there’re sayings and quotes about seizing the moments because nothing lasts. But does nothing really last, or is that just an excuse to not work hard to keep it?

Yes, there’re uncontrollable elements. But is it more reasonable to stop trying to make what’s cherishable last, or just make believe that nothing lasts hence learn to let go and not care so much? I’ve allowed myself to live a “in the moment” lifestyle, without expecting what the outcome should be. At the end, I always find me fooling myself. Maybe I’m brain washed. But like this light shining through the clouds. If a never-ending darkness will fall upon us soon, I’ll want to find a way to capture that light and keep it with me for as long as I can. Does that make me a control freak? Maybe…what’s wrong with wanting “the moment” to last as long as possible if I can help it?