Four days from today I am leaving the country on a four month long, round the world journey. Not too long ago this trip was in the realm of "wouldn't it be cool if." Over the holidays the idea moved into the "hey it might be a good time to." Now I find myself staring at my wall calender, four days away from finding myself packed and at the airport.
The ultimate goals of this trip are: 1) to visit Asia and 2) to begin learning Mandarin. I will be spending three weeks in Hong Kong (Feb 3 - Feb 25) and then I will be flying to Taipei for three months. (Feb 25 - May 28) I have applied to two language centers in Taipei but I wont receive word back from them until while I am overseas. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one. (notice: levity masking a fear which keeps me up at night)
This blog exists as a bridge to keep in touch with friends and family members. If you know me in real life then you might have noticed that the things I talk at length about are mostly just food, agriculture and tea. If you notice that the blog posts to follow this one feature those three elements almost exclusively, I hope you wont be too surprised.
Hopefully this Google affiliated blog engine will be accessible while I am in Hong Kong. Only time will tell if Google is serious about its moral opposition to Chinese Internet policy or whether they were merely firing some shots across the brow of China. My bet is that Google won't give up the fastest growing economy in the world in order to stand up against censorship, but hopefully California-based Google will prove this Texas-born cynic wrong. (even if it means I can't blog from Hong Kong and am forced just go dark for three weeks, maybe flickr will work.. a picture is worth a thousand words right? If only I could have created a picture to express all the elements of this blog post)
Anyway, getting back to this blog post's title, I have a lot to do, particularly since I need to go to the Taiwanese consulate in Houston to get a student visa but I don't have an acceptance letter from either school yet, which is usually a requirement for a visa. Trust me, my pending acceptance is not looming heavily over me or anything, not at all burdensome. In no way are there any dark clouds off on my horizon, oh boy how lucky I am to embark on my journey footloose and fancy free!