Tuesday, February 2, 2016

the difference 1 year makes

We are two weeks into our winter break. 

This time last year, we were one week into our road trip across New Zealand. We had traveled through three countries-- Taiwan, South Korea and New Zealand-- and both of New Zealand's islands-- the north island and south island. We had been on three airplanes, and endured a lot, like broken down cars, cars that were broken into, gale force wind storms and getting completely lost.

We even climbed a mountain! 

To say that this winter break bears no resemblance to last year's winter break is a vast understatement. 

These past few weeks, we have not done a single epic thing.
We haven't even left little Hsinchu-- except for a brief overnighter in Taipei.
And it's been exactly what we needed.

To say that it has been perfect would also be a vast understatement. 

Instead of globetrotting the world, we have simply enjoyed each other. 

No obligations.
No deadlines.
No work pressure. 

We watched all three extended versions of the Lord of the Rings (now we are on The Hobbit).
We frolicked in the snow-- because, yes, it snowed in Hsinchu for the first time ever
We played a lot of tennis, rock climbed, took long walks and went for runs. 
We slept in until 10 and stayed up late (once until three in the morning).
We went to a few holidays markets and to a cat cafe.
We scooted to the top of a mountain. 
We read for fun (I just finished A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson).
We spent hours making corn tortillas from scratch so we could have a feast of delicious, homemade tacos. 
We talked-- and not about work.
We deep cleaned our apartment; I am talking two huge garbage bags of clothes for donation, seven huge garbage bags of recycling and five huge garbage bags of, well, garbage.
We bought a brand new dryer to put next to the washing machine.
We got our bonuses and are about to pay off over half of Sean's student debt.

Spending our four-week long break in Taiwan is a little bizarre because most of our friends are gone.
We have friends who flew to America, friends who flew to Nepal, friends who flew to Sri Lanka, friends who flew to Thailand, friends who flew to the Philippines, friends who flew to New Zealand, friends who flew to South Korea and friends who flew to Europe.

I thought I would be a little jealous of my Facebook feed, updated with posts of their adventures, but I haven't been.
Together, we have been globetrotting the world for more than a decade.
The world will always be there, waiting for our next grand adventure (which we just planned and I cannot wait to tell you about!!).

I am perfectly happy to just enjoy my husband and our little Hsinchu & Taiwan for the next two weeks-- and finally have a Harry Potter marathon on my heavenly new IKEA couch.

Because sometimes, what we have in front of us is far better than what we could find in far off places.

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