A friend recently posted a William Langewiesche quote as her Facebook status and it read: so much of who we are is where we have been. The above map shows where I have been, but it also shows where I still have yet to go.

When people ask me where I am from and I say that I am from Taiwan, it leaves them with a quizzical expression. If I simply respond with Canada, as this is what my passport tells me, it seems too broad an answer and people inquire as to a more exact location.

Are you from the place where you were born, as this is when you first entered the world?

Are you from the place where you grew up, no matter how far removed you may now be? What if where you grew up is a place that you have been gone from for almost as long as the time that had been spent there growing up?

What about the place where you currently reside or those special places in between?

Shouldn't where you are from be the place where your job is, where your friends are and where all your worldly possessions can be found?

So much of who we are is where we have been. True.

Caoling Historic Trail (草嶺古道)

Starting at the Dali train station (A) and deciding to make our way over to the Fulong train station (B), the route shown above took us 3 hours for the 10.5 kilometer walk.

From Dali, the trail actually splits at the top of the ridge and one can make their way over to the Daxi train station as well. I have added this route on my list of things to do, perhaps when it's a little less wet. The trail yesterday was muddy and slippery in spots but that didn't stop us! The scenery was beautiful as it always is on the awesome little island that is TAIWAN!

I have added a new album on the right with images from the hike in February Fotos. Hopefully more fotos will follow over the next couple of weeks.

Delicious dish ...

The food pictured here — from my kitchen — was inspired by this recipe:  Peanut Butter Spicy Noodles

Some ingredients were substituted for others but it still turned out to be so, SO good!

新年快樂 ...

The year of the dragon comes to an end today ... a year that everyone loves because the dragon symbolizes power.  During the lucky year of the dragon, statistics show that people have more babies, start more businesses and venture into marriage.

Tomorrow begins the year of the snake ... said to be one of the most despised animals in the Chinese Zodiac.  Snakes are linked with monsters and news articles are stating that the people of Taiwan fear the bite.  People may tend to avoid pregnancies, marriages and big decisions during this coming year.

I personally like that the year of the snake starts off with a nine-day holiday ... absolutely nothing unlucky about that!  Bring it!

Maui living ...

Baldwin Beach
The mountain seen in the far distance is called Haleakalā. The house pictured below — where I lived — is situated about 2,000ft up that mountain.

This house has five bedrooms, two baths and an awesome outdoor shower. The house is hidden from the road and surrounded by a ton of greenery. There is plenty of land and the owners even have a huge garden with fresh vegetables, fruit and plenty of herbs.

Maizie                                Lizzie                                  Maile

These are the owners' three cute (and cuddly) dogs. Maizie is about one and a half and still has a lot of puppy in her. Maile is about four and her and Maizie are best buds. Lizzie is the oldest of the three and quite a crankster. The bigger two tend to gang up on poor ole' Lizzie.

The owners also own five goats and twenty chickens. We were able to have fresh eggs every day and boy were they delicious!  I felt spoiled living on such a beautiful property!

More of Maui ...

Whale watching with the Pacific Whale Foundation was phenomenal! A two-hour boat trip included seeing many mama humpback whales with their happy calves who were often breaching about. One huge whale (pictured here) lunged right in front of the boat, leaving everyone gasping and clapping with excitement! One whale was caught tail-slapping while another was logging (laying on the surface of the water with dorsal fins exposed). Many whales were fluking (whale lifts tail out of water prior to making a deep dive) and this was always a sign for the boat to move on.

A trip over to Ho'okipa beach to watch the surfers is another great way to spend the afternoon! Luckily there were a ton more surfers in the water during the second visit. Sea turtles were basking in the sun as well.

I am very grateful that I was able to see a good chunk of Maui! It's a very diverse island, indeed. I have included images in two albums on the right: Magnificent Maui 2013 and Magnificent Maui II. Enjoy!