You, Me, And The Universe

travel, nature, reflection

My #1 Fan

I find meaning by living in accordance with nature. Nature gave me life. It wants me to live- it’s rooting for me. 

Evidence of this is seen simply within my body: my heart, my breath, my blood…they are all working as a unit, for me to survive. My meaning and my objective is to live a fulfilling, happy life and to die humbly and graciously, thankful for the opportunity to witness something so beautiful and complex.


Life or Lives

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Crater Lake, Or

Some days I’m unsure whether I should accept circumstances- or fight them. Is it time to give up on living ten lives? And instead live one or two?

So many places I want to go. So many jobs I want to master. So many lifestyles left unexplored. Physicist, biologist, anthropologist, animal conservationist, science teacher, book writer, travel writer…when is it time to give up?  Or do I keep barraging myself? Criticizing myself for not being able to make definite progress in any one field. Instead, feeding all interests, simultaneously, ineffectively.

Why is there a burning inside me? One that won’t go away unless I’m fantasizing about the day that I have achieved all these goals?

I don’t want to give up… I want to fight. How much longer will I be able to fight, I wonder.

6 Things That Make Taiwan So Lovable

DSCF23631) Their facebook-loving, no-child-left-behind, everyone-is-included, attitude towards their peers. Even towards strangers. I’ve never been around a community in which nearly every person in that community is eager to welcome you into his/her social circle; few people are looking for  power or looking to stand out among the crowd- especially at the expense of others feeling uncomfortable or alone.

2) How they cook their street food: immediately, outside, on the spot, right in front of you so you can watch how they make  it from scratch. All fruits and vegetables are fresh and bought day-of to sell. All  meat is bought that same morning- and animals are even killed that same morning, right in front of everyone.

3) Their night-life… I mean, bars/  clubs don’t close till 5, 6 a.m. You could say I fully exercised my new rights.

DSCF23684) How easy-going and laid back their culture is. No one appears to give a fuck really. Noted, this  is in Tainan, which is populated by 99.9% locals. But everyone seems to be accepting of a lifestyle that consists of chilling, managing  the store, doing some Tai Chi.

I believe this largely contributes to the fact that I see 80, 90 year old people on their mopeds, walking the streets, still going strong. I saw so many elderly people that I felt sad comparing this reality to the reality in the U.S.

5) How cheap their food is. On average I paid $1-3$ for every meal bought on  the street. And I’m talking good-sized, I’m too full to eat anymore, meals. Living in Taiwan felt like my mom was  cooking on every street corner, and I could just go up, pay $1 cause she loves me, and she’ll provide me with a home-cooked, yummy dish- except in this case, I had no idea what I was eating half the time.

Still tasted amazing.

6) Dumplings. I think I would go back just for the Dumplings…sad but true.

Traveling Is To Me


learning all over again how to see

exploring not who I am but who I can be

learning from others

others learning from me

traveling is to me

reexamining nature

taking a second look

noticing beauty I can’t glean from a book

traveling is to me

erasing my assumptions

replacing them with love

now I understand- your beliefs are hard to let go of

Eugene, Oregon…when Fall comes around


Happiness is the abscence of the striving for happiness -The Zhuangzi







6 days in El Salvador


Hiking up the Santa Ana Volcano

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost


The acid inside the volcano


At the top of the volcano

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As the Earth Rotates. Taipei, Taiwan.




My last days in Tainan, Taiwan


Final meal at my favorite place to eat in Tainan.


The sweetest girls in my class

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wpid-fb_img_1440162322415.jpg By learning to teach, I not only discover potential- I create it. I find the opportunity to progress. Now I know that I’m capable of unearthing parts of me that are currently hidden. Now I know that  success has nothing to do with talent, and it has everything to do with hard work. I want to improve. I want to reach out to people in the most effective, loving way that I can. I want to lead. And I’ll accomplish this by following- by learning from others. I want to give all of myself.

The Perfection of Character

To live each day as though one’s last, never flustered, never apathetic, never attitudinizing – here is the perfection of character. 

M. Aurelius 

Today I choose to forgive others for their wrongdoings. I choose patience instead of anger- and I take the initiative to love others who don’t even love themselves. Today I strive to achieve the perfection of character.

I Give All of Myself- And I End up Finding Myself

I have never felt more joy than in this moment, when I feel my viewpoint is no longer focused on myself but on others. If I am thinking of myself, I am contemplating how I can better myself so that I might be able to give more to others. I have never cared more about other people- not truly- until these last few weeks.Until now, I don’t think I knew how to.

11811304_10205168430145117_4936715151639915644_nThis may bring shame to the perspective I used to have. I feel exposed and slightly embarrassed. But that’s the truth; I never knew how to invest myself in another person without expecting self-centered pleasure in return- without being in want of attention or affection. I never thought I’d perform a task for any other reason. I’m ashamed to say this. However, I finally feel ready to admit it to myself and to others. I hated myself for functioning in this way. Sometimes I still do.

I’m glad I’ve found a part of me that I can admire again. I’m relieved to discover a part of of me I never knew had potential- the part of me that can love others selflessly and honestly.

Teaching is something my 15-year-old self would have never considered as part as her future. My heart would pump out of my chest, my face would turn red, and I would sweat profusely every time I had to speak in front of others. If someone even looked at me for more than a second, my embarrassment was apparent to everyone. It is weird to think that that person was me…I no longer identify with any of those feelings. And yet, when I was feeling them, I thought I would be bullied by  fits of embarrassment forever. A few years ago, I stopped feeling this way for the most part. After teaching for just three weeks, I don’t ever feel this way.

I thrive in silliness, in drawing attention to myself- so that other people might feel liberated enough to do the same. So that other people might stop looking at themselves, and begin observing the situation from above. . . so that others might begin to love themselves as I have begun to love myself.