February 17, 2014

7 Ways to Travel Enlightened

I wanted to write a post about the art of traveling. Perhaps this is a nexus point between my meditation blog and this volunteer/travel blog, but I've had a growing number of insights through my journeys that I wanted to share. 

 As you may know, I have been a student of wisdom and meditation for some time now; so I enjoy asking the deeper questions in life. I traveled outside the US to more than eight different countries. Some sightseeing at first but, for the last few years, mainly volunteering - both voluntourism as well as secular mission trips. 

As I went from country to country, culture to culture, I couldn't help by wonder what is the point of all this, why travel, what do people really get out of it? 

Is our time abroad spent just tasting new foods, taking pictures and chasing experiences, or is there some deeper meaning behind all this that we can touch? Are we truly present and aware on the go, or do we lose ourselves in a fantasy world, hoping to make up for something we run away from back home?

February 11, 2014

Chinese Lunar New Year in Taiwan

This is my last post from Taiwan. I previously blogged about sightseeing here, the local culture and volunteering with at local NGO. The last 4 days of the trip I spent celebrating the Lunar New Year, and it was a blast! 

February 4, 2014

Living Like a Local in Taipei City

I've done a lot of writing about the China-Taiwan situation, but not much about what I did there day-to-day! Sorry, got carried away. So here is a little write up about living and working in Taipei City.

I rented a studio across National Taiwan University by Gangguam district (great neighborhood!) and help fund the cost by renting out my own apartment in New York - all through airbnb.com. Highly recommend the site, I'll use it for all my trips going forward. 

February 1, 2014

Taiwan Hopes For 'Status Quo' But Knows China Takeover is Inevitable

In my first post from Taiwan, I wrote about their tricky relationship with China. Since then I interviewed several more local families and got new insights and perspectives I wanted to share. The government and people are more split than I thought.  Each hoping to remain status quo as a separate nation, but know that a China takeover is inevitable.

January 31, 2014

Volunteering in Taiwan: The Garden of Hope Foundation

I am writing from New Taipei City, Taiwan, having just completed my two week volunteer project with the Garden of Hope Foundation. The organization is an NGO that combats human trafficking and domestic violence, promotes gender equality, and helps empower women and young girls in the country. They run 20 shelters in Taiwan and employ about 400 employees, most of whom are social workers rehabilitating women and girls after abuse. On picture right is the CEO Ms. Hui-jung Chi.