life's adventures lately

though we travel the world to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not. Ralph Waldo Emerson

it's pouring rain today in Taipei, and so I find myself inside the apartment and sitting in front of my computer. I've been pretty absent from the internet lately. no particular earth-shattering reason why: I just wanted a break and realized I could take one.

so here's what's been happening...

Taiwan elected its first female president

America isn't the only country with a potentially course-changing election happening in 2016. last weekend, Taiwan elected Tsai Ing-wen as their next president. she is a highly educated, multi-lingual cat lover who was highly supported by Taiwan's youth. this article gives you a brief idea of what she's about, while the New Yorker discusses more about how this could effect the country's future. I can't claim to be the most informed about the political situation here, but I'm interested to see how this turns out.

editing my book manuscript

remember way back in fall of 2013 when I decided to write a book? it took about 8 months of writing to get me to a very rough rough draft. I took a break before printing and reading it through for edits in summer 2014, slowly started making my edits and gave a portion to a friend for her notes that Christmas. in the spring of 2015 I started rewriting things into past tense. which first involved rearranging and gutting the first third of my manuscript. by the time I finished that and got to the actual changing of tenses it was so painful I had to take a break. I went back to it - maybe twice - last fall but I really wasn't ready to pick it back up until a few weeks ago.

right now I'm about 18,000 words into the revisions. sometimes that feels like I'm not very far at all. but looking back over what else has happened while I wrote this book - all the visitors we've had, keeping up with the blog and the teaching I did, moving to Taipei, traveling for nearly 3 months of every year - it's actually pretty damn impressive. and when I sat down at the beginning of this year to read through what I had already revised, I felt really proud of what I have written.

exploring around Taipei

before Anna [of Slightly Astray] left for Malaysia, we managed to have a few adorable adventures together - including the Taipei Zoo, a Disney Tsum Tsum exhibit, and a cat cafe. my friend Sharon took me to the historic Dihua Street, where all the shops are setting up for Chinese New Year. [and where delicious peanut-covered mochi balls can be found.] I met another expat downtown in Ximen to walk around and chat while drinking coffee, and have made habits of biking around our neighborhood, shopping at the local market for produce, and mid-week pho lunches with another friend.

planning travels for 2016

it's the time of year where everyone is talking about travel plans... and while I'm not quite ready to reveal everything yet, we've been making steps. a lot of this involves the least fun part of travel planning: making a budget. when I heard how gas prices have been dropping, I thought we would luck out on plane tickets... but no.

one thing I can say is that I won't be heading back to the states this summer. [I know that makes certain of you very sad - and me too.] but after three years of not planning to go back and somehow ending up in the US for a month or three each summer, I'm at a 99% confidence level that this will be the year it doesn't happen. but what Husband and I are trying to plan for instead should be pretty awesome.

what have you been up to lately?

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