I used to really enjoy video games as a kid. I remember countless times employing my youthful, sleep defying powers to stay up late into the night playing my Nintendo DS. The bright glow of the screen illuminated my face and sucked me into another world. Night after night, I was whisked away aboard on an old sloop, charting imaginary seas. The in-game maps were always blacked out until you discovered new lands, always edging me on to discover what lay around the backside of that island on the horizon.
我小時候特別喜歡玩電子遊戲. 在無數的夜晚, 我靠著我的年輕活力玩到整晚都沒有睡覺. 我的任天堂DS螢幕照亮我的臉帶我去到另一個世界. 一夜又一夜, 我被我的DS引領到一艘老帆船上, 為了要去尋找一片新陸地. 我在遊戲的地圖裡總是昏沉的, 直到我發現地平線上的小島似乎隱藏了甚麼. 這個神秘感是我的動機, 讓我前進.
With age comes freedom, and as I grew older my love of adventure and discovery grew with every new adventure I embarked on. Arguably my first independent adventure was the discovery of Nine Stitch Cove. My dad packed me and my friend in our kayak and watched me the entire time from the dock, but in the moment it felt as if I was an early European explorer preparing for a transatlantic voyage, unsure of the dangers that lay ahead.
隨著年齡的增長, 我有更多的自由了. 可以出去尋找真正的冒險, 不必留在家裡靠著我的DS來想像一個冒險. 我覺得我第一次單獨的冒險經驗是我去”九針小海灣”. 爸爸幫我準備好裝備後, 我跟我的朋友一起上了我們的皮艇. 我爸爸在岸邊一直監視我們, 連一秒都沒有離開過. 這時, 我彷彿成為一位古代英勇的歐洲探險家, 正準備跨過大西洋, 無懼未來的危險.
I had my eyes set on a patch of wetlands only two hundred meters from our starting point, and upon arrival I was greeted by a pungent sulfur aroma that hung heavy in the summer air. Pressing ahead I found a C-shaped cove, with a curving beach to the south and an expansive marsh to the west and north. As we got off of our mighty vessel, my friend found a river that slowly winded into the marsh. Eager to explore and discover what lay ahead, we pushed into the marsh.
我的冒險目標就是探測一個小沼澤地. 那個小沼澤地離我們的起點不遠, 所以這次的冒險應該會很順利. 我們到了以後發現一個像”C”字母的小海灣. 這個小海灣有一股很臭的硫磺味道 — 我們差一點就受不了. 這個小海灣的西邊和南邊有一條蜿蜒的海灘, 所以我們就把皮艇推到海灘上繼續冒險.
With each step, our feet sunk deep into the decaying plant sediment that made up the marsh. We were waging a war with the marsh floor, and it was reluctant to give up our feet after each advancing step. Suddenly, the adventurous mood of our trip vanished, replaced instead by a yell. My friend had vertically sliced his calf open on a submerged sheet of metal, and we rushed back to the kayak to take him back home. The blue kayak was stained red with blood, and I could feel my heart sink into my chest as my friend described his pain. Upon arrival, my friend was rushed to the emergency room, where he got nine stitches, hence giving rise to the name, “Nine Stitch Cove.”
一步又一步, 我們的腳陷入那片很臭的沼澤地. 我們像在和沼澤地打仗一般，不可避免地每踏一步我們就必須放棄自己的腳一次．突然地, 我們樂觀的態度消失了，取而代之的是一聲吶喊．我朋友的小腿被一片隱藏在水下的廢金屬割到了. 我的朋友痛到大叫， 我們馬上回家. 我們藍色的皮艇沾到紅色的血漬, 到處都沾了血. 回到家以後, 我朋友緊急地被送到急診室. 在急診室裡, 醫生把他的傷口縫了九針, 於是我們叫那個小海灣 “九針小海灣.”
I have since then continued going on adventures, some with more caution than others, and discovering new places. My host family recently took me to Kenting, where I found a cove with striking resemblance to the one of my first adventure. Luckily, this far safer cove visit was stitches-free, and I took a break on the beach to think about why people put themselves in dangerous situations just for the sake of discovering what they previously didn’t know. Why is this enticing? After the dangerous trek is completed, what do you gain?
自從那次以後, 我繼續尋找新的冒險. 我的接待家庭前不久帶我去墾丁玩, 在那裡我發現了一個很像九針小海灣的小海灣. 還好這次冒險沒有一個受傷的故事. 我在那邊的海灘上坐著思考為甚麼有那麼多人包括我喜歡冒險, 儘管冒險可能很危險．但在完成一個危險的冒險之後，你可以得到甚麼呢？
After living in Taiwan, I’ve been able to see some incredible sights — and sometimes it seems as if God set aside this little island to be something especially beautiful inside a bigger whole. Like a painting in a thoughtfully designed art gallery, the gallery is a work of art in and of itself, but is each painting inside has it’s own distinct, intrinsic beauty that shines forth. Sitting on the beach of that cove, I came to the realization that the main fruit of adventure is the satisfaction that comes with discovering another painting, and exploring this amazing, vast art gallery that we call home.
我很幸運，在台灣發現了很多令人難以置信的美麗地方. 我常常對台灣的美感到驚訝. 有的時候, 我會覺得上天創造出這個小島，就像一張掛在一家很漂亮的藝術館的圖畫一樣. 藝術館也是很美, 不過裡面的圖畫有它自己的特別的美. 坐在那片沙灘上的時候, 我終於明白冒險最大的獎賞就是可以一再發現新的圖畫, 而這個讓人讚賞的廣闊藝術館我們就叫它地球.