The morning the organizational announcement went out about my leaving, I read the email in my inbox. Even though I had proofread it earlier, the version in my inbox brought tears. It was real, this was really happening!
All of a sudden, life wasn’t very normal anymore. We were ordering travel guides, getting travel vaccines, stocking up on malaria pills (yuck), and packing up our stuff into suitcases, boxes, and backpacks. Within a week, our good friends were seeing us off at the escalators in Union Station in Toronto – we were embarking on an epic train journey from Toronto to Vancouver for our next destination. What a way to leave! In the next few days, we saw the flat flat lands in the Prairies, the majestic Rocky mountain range, before arriving in my mom’s home in BC. After a quick week of finalising our trip details, we were off!
This is indeed India! the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition, whose yesterdays bear date with the mouldering antiquities of the rest of the nations — the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the globe combined. – Mark Twain
We began our journey with four weeks in India. Although the pace was always frantic (I could not have imagined the horns honking in Indian cities everywhere), there was also an air of relaxation as we made our way leisurely around the North…until we realised we ran out of time and couldn’t make it to the southern parts of the subcontinent!
Then it was home sweet home – back to my first home, Taipei. In Taipei we spent just over three weeks eating everything Taiwan has to offer, took a cycling trip down to Kenting, one of the most beautiful places on earth, and had a nice family celebration dinner for our upcoming wedding.
From Taipei, we flew out to Bangkok and did the circuit around Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, with a few carefully chosen spots to relax. From Chiang Mai we flew to Bali for a week and enjoyed a beautiful vacation at the Chillhouse in Bali – highly recommend! After that it was a couple of days in Beijing where we convinced some fellow hostel dwellers to enjoy a duck feast with us at Da Dong Restaurant, and we arrived back in Vancouver with 12 days to spare until our wedding kicked off.
In those 12 days we spent upwards of 18 hours per day preparing the crafts, decorations, etc. for the wedding on most days, and I spent the last two days making the cake while some out-of-town guests began to arrive. The wedding went off without a hitch and on 30th June 2011 we got married at the Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, Washington, USA.
We spent the next couple of months hanging out in Vancouver with my mom, and took a trip to Banff before flying off to Toronto for a week with friends…and then it was off to Paris for pastry school!
You can delve deeper into the Pastry School Chronicles or continue reading Quarter-life Crisis: the Aftermath »