Exactly 5 years ago, in 2008, I landed on the island of Taiwan.
FIVE years! How did that happen? Where does the time go?
I can still remember getting off the plane and the feelings I felt when I looked around and saw Chinese characters everywhere. I remember feeling excited and not the least bit scared. I knew that no matter what, that I would survive. I knew there would be ups and downs, but I had no idea how many wonderful moments combined with the darkest days of my life were really ahead of me.
My entire outlook on life is different now. My resume is full of holes but the holes are all life experiences and educational certificates and degrees that were worth every dime and every sacrifice.
Sometimes, I think back on that 26 year old girl in 2008 and wonder where she'd be now had she never left for Taiwan. What would I be doing? Where would I be living? Would I be married to Matthew? Would I maybe even have children by now? What kind of job would I have? Would I be happy?
I'll never know the answers to my questions. All I have is the present day, and present moment and how I feel now looking back on all I've done (and not done). Yes, I think about the what if's but never for too long. Because no matter what has happened, or the crappy circumstances I currently find myself in, I will never even once regret getting on that plane to leave this country behind. It was the best experience of my life and no amount of money or job security or professional accomplishments can replace real life experience. That's my opinion of course. I'm sure there are tons of people who value their 4 bedroom home, steady income, and 2.5 kids more than a risky adventure.
I'll catch up to my peers one day. Or maybe I won't. No matter what, I hope to always find adventures around every corner.