Earlier this year I wrote an article for a magazine called The Seasonals, which features stories of people who are travelers, nomads, adventurers, those living alternative lifestyles, and working seasonal jobs.
The story that I wrote was themed around a birthday ritual that set for myself a few years ago, so I figured it would be fitting for me to share it with you all today, on my 25th birthday.
Birthdays: a time to celebrate another trip around the sun, an excuse to eat cake, receive presents, spend time with family and friends, or a great reason to throw a party. My birthday is not only a time for me to reflect on growth of the year, but also an occasion to set intentions for the year to come. It’s an opportunity to check in with myself and ask questions such as “what do I want?” and “how...
Hello my friends!
As some of you may know I just got back to Vancouver, BC two weeks ago after two months travelling and touring in Indonesia, Singapore and Japan. I will be posting more blogs and vlogs about that trip in the coming weeks/months, so subscribe to my blog and YouTube channel to stay updated when those come out!
While I was away my parents decided to go on a wine tour in the Okanagan.
Rather than renting an RV, they asked if they can borrow Vanwise Gamgee for the trip, and I said of course as long as they vlog their trip for me to see and share. So my mom, being the good sport that she is recorded some great footage, which I had edited together in two videos that are now up on my YouTube channel!
I get asked quite frequently what my parents think about my vanlife, and I've add...
I was feeling them HARD yesterday.
No, not in my joints or body (I haven't grown any taller since I was 13...); but in my heart and my mind.
It started with the other night when I shared some new original songs with my parents, and my dad said to me "you know, you should be practicing at least 30 minutes to an hour everyday."
I was very triggered by this, not because it was particularly mean or harsh (it's actually a very typical thing for my dad to say) but because it struck a guilty chord in me that I've been suppressing.
The truth is I haven't been practicing as much as I would like to due to the fact that my attention is pulled in many different directions between people, hobbies, gigs, and other creative endeavors. With a limited amount of time and energy...
As I mentioned in my last blog post, I recently went on a week long sailing trip with my friends Riley, Forrest, and Greg. I just finished editing and uploading the final part of the vlog series on my YouTube channel documenting this trip, I will link them all at the end of this blog post if you wish to see video footage of the shenanigans that went on with three guys, one girl, and one old sailboat.
I had no idea what to expect on this trip, since I have never been on a multi-day sailing trip before. To my surprise it was very similar to road tripping in the van!
The perks are similar, getting to be mobile, sleep where you end up, and wake up somewhere new everyday; and they share the struggles of being in a small space that is constantly moving and shifting around.
Learning how to sail and going on a multi-day sailing adventure has been a dream/life goal of mine since I first stepped foot on a sailboat. I love the idea of being out on the water, swaying with the ocean, far away from city lights, and exploring new places that I would not be able to see travelling by land.
So when the call came for me to join a couple of friends on a sailing adventure around the coast of British Columbia, of course I cleared my schedule and hopped on board.
My History and Experience
My first experience with sailing was in 2017 when I went on my first solo backpacking trip in Mexico. While I was there I ended up participating in several ayahuasca ceremonies, and met a Mexican sailor that I ended up running away with into the jungle for 2 months.
As some of you may know from my Instagram and Facebook that I recently went on tour with the band Buckman Coe in my home country of Taiwan. After the tour was over and the rest of the band went their separate ways, I stayed an extra week to explore Taipei on my own and hang out with new friends I met on this trip.
On my last day in the city, I spent the day at a place called 草御殿 Ivy Palace located in the area of Dihua Street (in the Dadaocheng area of Datong District, which is famous for it's dried Chinese medicine and herbal shops, also a popular place for Lunar New Year celebrations). I met up with a few friends here and recorded a few live songs that I will be posting in the next few weeks to come, so far the first on is up on my YouTube Channel.
Most people who know me well know that I don’t drink.
Sure I’ll have the occasional sip of someone’s beer or a tasty mix to try the flavor here and there, but I think the last time I was “drunk” was probably 2016 or 2015.
Does this mean I have any less fun than anyone else? NOPE. If you’ve seen me on the dance floor you would know that I love to dance, prance, and frolic.
When I first meet people and this topic comes up they usually ask me why, and if I’ve ever drank.
Yes, I have, my first drinks were at family dinners when I was a kid and my aunt thought it would be hilarious to get us kids to try this super strong Chinese liquor that burns the throat and you can pretty much light on fire (in our culture the drinking age is a little more slack…). After that I also had beverages like Smirn...
Reading was a huge part of my life while I was growing up in Taiwan. My dad has always valued literature, and made sure that my brother and I got into the habit of reading as well since an early age. He read us Chinese poetry before bed, and made sure that there were lots of books available in our home in whatever topics interested us. My favorite will always be the The Legend of the Condor Heroes series by Jin Yong, which is a classic wuxia (a genre of epic novels about martial arts heroes in ancient China) comparable to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings in Western culture (which I am also a HUGE fan of). My whole family has read this series at least a dozen times each, and our conversations frequently referenced the books.
I loved immersing myself in another world, going on adventure...
When I first started vanlife this is one of the first daily challenges I came across, HOW DO I DO MY DISHES WITH LIMITIED WATER AND A TINY SINK??
At first I mostly resorted to bringing my dishes to my friends' houses, or using public washrooms, but eventually I got tired of hauling all my things back and forth (and also sometimes getting weird looks).
There's got to be a better way.
So after some months of trial and error, I've figured out these tips and tricks that made my this daily chore much more manageable.
1. DO THEM RIGHT AWAY
I've learned that it is much easier to do my dishes while I'm cooking and right after I eat, before everything gets dry, crusty, and stuck. For example, chop everything first, and while it's cooking I'll clean the knife and cutting board, while my food is co...
It's been pretty hot here in Vancouver this summer, so here's 5 ways that I've been staying nice and cool in my van living!
1. I CAN MOVE IT - Anyone that lives on the top floor of a house, or an older apartment building without AC knows that there’s no way to escape from the heat of the sun when it’s beating down on your house turning it into a sauna. Well the good thing about the van is that I can simply just move it. Nothing is holding me to stay in the heat of a baking parking lot. It’s quite easy for me to just go find a patch of shade under a nice tree, or find a spot near water for me to cool off
2. IT AIRS OUT QUICKLY - I’ve been in tons of houses/apartments that no matter how many windows you open it doesn’t seem to be enough. The thing I love about the van is...