Postcards from Taiwan, no. 6: Embracing Change at Kenting National Park

d9545831-c4a6-4e9e-83e9-98e0fe20f427
Longpan Park, Kenting National Park, Taiwan

Taiwan is where I hit the “reset” button on life, and my visits always seem to coincide with seasons of transitions. In May 2011, I was fresh out of college, unemployed, and had just left Chicago for the East Coast. In December 2014, I was amidst transitions from DC to New York and from the private to the nonprofit sector. And this year, I had a few weeks off before starting a new job—and am within a year from turning thirty.

This time around, I wanted to spend more time in nature, so I chose to kick off my time in Taiwan around Kenting National Park. I stayed in the town of Hengchun, where I rented a bike and headed east toward the ocean, zipping through small villages along the way. After making a turn southeast on Highway 26, I was accompanied to my left by majestic views of Taiwan’s east Pacific coast. Longpan Park awaited at the top of an aggressive, windy climb. There, I was awarded with a breathtaking view of the cliffs, mountains, grasslands, and the sea and sky.

4846d630-7a76-4e82-9f66-4a299184965a
Windy and on a cliff’s edge at Longpan Park

From Longpan Park, I continued south on Highway 26, flying downhill toward the southern tip of Taiwan with the wind behind my back. It felt like freedom.

img_6833
Eluanbi Park near the southernmost point in Taiwan

I do my best reflection and learning when I’m on the move. Over time, I’ve also learned that the “traveling mindset” is an instinct that requires practice. It disrupts us from our rigid rhythms and asks us to let go of ourselves and embrace uncertainty. It’s like a dissonant chord or a pause before the beat drops. Even though I’m thousands of miles away, there’s something about this place that feels like home.

img_6875
A temple in Hengchun Old Town, Pingtung County
img_6867
Baishawan, Kenting National Park
6bde3b26-b831-4ef9-be18-f9884674caee
The white sands of Baishawan, Kenting National Park

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s