On moving abroad and representing my own home

There’s something that’s hard for me to realize, as I am figuring out my future directions abroad.

There’s a lot to be proud of, being from the San Francisco Bay Area.

The very open, liberal feeling you get, in terms of ideas and innovation. Silicon Valley. Multiculturalism. UC Berkeley (I still plan to be connected to my college and my major after college, albeit still trying to figure this out) & Stanford. The amount of start-up culture that’s growing here and technology. The food. The weather. The air quality. The amount of activities that take place here!

It’s going to hit me once I’m abroad, where what was what I was really used to and familiar with, and took for granted in the Bay Area, won’t be with me when I’m abroad.

When people abroad ask me where I’m from, and I tell them the San Francisco Bay Area, they immediately get excited.

In some ways, being abroad makes me realize how much I should value my home, which has so many resources and amenities.

I won’t go too in detail about why I want to go to Taiwan after graduation (it would be a very lengthy post I’ll save for later), but one big reason for me is to really experience a different culture, learn a language, and make friends to really get a different perspective of the world. We tend to forget this alot as a lot of us have this American-centric perspective.

Too many times, from experience (and this is true when I talk to close friends about Taiwan), it is too easy to make assumptions about foreign countries without actually visiting them.

In some ways, when people really admire where I am from and the values/innovative ideas that come out of the Bay Area, I smile. I realize: wow, there is so much at home I’ve taken for granted.

And when I tell others in Taiwan about how much I love the country, they also smile too.

This is what true cultural bridges, cultural exchange should be about.

I want to bring a piece of Taiwan back to the United States the same way many around the world want to experience the innovative culture of The Bay Area.

In some ways, the unpredictability of my life is beautiful. How long will I be in Taiwan? How long will I be in the US? How often will I be between the two countries? etc. etc.

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