Seven and a half years ago, almost to the day, I arrived in Taiwan with a rucksack, a pack of CDs, a job with a little-known computer company and not a clue about what the future might hold.
I came for a year of experience in Asia, to see if I could cut it as a proper designer, and with a vague notion of getting paid for an extended period of backpacking.
I could not have predicted the depth and breadth of the experience, the amount I learnt about both the world and myself, the formation of such lasting, granite-strong friendships, and that I would form such a strong bond with this little island in the Pacific Ocean.
It is all of this and more that has given me the opportunity to be where I am right now; somewhere above Okinawa, a beautiful girl by my side, a job offer from one of the most exciting organisations in the world, and the goal to make a new home in a place that I thought only existed in the movies. Every time I think about all of this, I shake my head in disbelief and let out a little English-sounding murmur. Beautiful madness.
I’ll miss you, Taiwan. The worn-in familiarity of an old pair of jeans, the warmth and openness of the people, the love for food that is woven into the culture, scenery to make you weep, and enough crazy little details to make me laugh every single day. My secret little gem; a speck in the Pacific Ocean I came to call ‘home’.