Although exchange is a great experience, you have to be prepared for when things start to go wrong, or if you hit a few obstacles on the way. One of the ones most commonly met in my experience is communication breakdowns with friends and family back home. Despite the weekly skype calls and messages, sometimes you start to feel guilty when the calls become less and less frequent, as you become more and more involved with the new life that you've created for yourself over here. Sometimes when things start going wrong at home and you're feeling guilty that you weren't there to help shoulder the burden, these kinds of tensions may also lead to a breakdown in communication or just generally unpleasant feelings. But I read something which really helped to put my mind at ease.
The bestselling book <The Alchemist> by Paulo Coelho has an introductory section, where Coelho discusses how following your dream is full of obstacles. Sometimes you may feel that friends and family are not supportive of you, but if you are really going for what you want, be it a goal or a new experience, know that the people who really matter to you will be supportive of you no matter what, 100% all the way. In the end, its only going to be you standing in the way of yourself achieving your own dreams and goals ; and you'll have no one to blame but yourself. Someone once said to me 'All obstacles are your opportunities, defeat these obstacles and you will achieve your dreams'. I thought about this for a long time, and it made me feel instead more confident that behind everything, there will be something waiting for me at the end of the tunnel. No matter what, each obstacle will help me grow as a person, and with every passing day, help me to get closer and closer to achieving my dream. So I hope that you all are able to achieve your dreams too!
A song that I'd like to dedicate to you is Anthony Neely's <Wake Up>, a totally upbeat song that encourages you to get up and out of your comfort zone and to achieve your dreams.
It's been my dream since I started getting to know more about Chinese music to be able to live in Taipei, and now I'm finally going to be able to! Starting from the 11th of February, I will be staying in Taipei for 139 days and hope to share parts of my experiences that may be helpful with readers everywhere! This may include upcoming events in Taipei, concert reviews, and just titbits on life in Taipei in general. (Feb 2014)