HALF A YEAR HAS GONE BY since my last cycling trip around the island of Taiwan and finally I was able to find time and energy for another trip — traveling AROUND Hua’ Lien this time. Since my last trip, my bike and me stayed within the boundaries of my school and the nearby streets, mostly due to the lack of quality FUN time after I started my clerkship this semester. My lovely bike would still accompany me everyday to the hospital for work and lessons, to the various places where I would run my errands, and to the neighboring shops or eateries, all within a 5km radius. Fortunately for me, the last weekend of 2007 would offer me my long waited chance to jump-start a brand new journey for me and my bike, claiming our existence to everyone out there — “Hey, we’re not dead yet, so you better watch your backs!”
CHANGE IS GOOD, CHANGE BRINGS IMPROVEMENT. If you go wondering how much change can six months bring? Quite a lot I must say. My bike went rusty at some of its joints and it barely survived an unexpected bump from a motorist. Time really can age someone (or something) so much that you can never be the same again. As for me, I changed too… I grew my hair several inches longer now (I can’t find time for a proper haircut), and I grew emotionally too, mainly from the change of environment since I entered the challenging hospital workforce. But maybe you’ll ask: How are you different compared to your earlier trip? Are you more confident? Have you gained enough experience?
The problem is, I can’t really say that I gained a lot from my earlier trip. I enjoyed myself, and I saw how even strangers can be so friendly to you. However, my experience meant so much to me because it was an example of a “dream come true”. I held on to a goal, persevered, and accomplished it. The feeling of achieving your dream triumph over all the joys the trip bring.
THIS TIME AROUND, I want to give my trip a different try. I want to enjoy the journey as it is, without any preliminary goals or expectations. Traveling is always fun, be it the sceneries you see, the people you meet, or the different grooves of the places you go. I will go there and back again, but this time around, with a different mindset, hopefully I will get a different experience.