2014 Review 5:
We make it through the year because of the people in our lives. Mine flying around the globe twice and spending about a month or two in a different country would be a dream, or at least an indulgent year off, to many. While the freedom to travel and do what you like when you like is a luxury, finding accommodation every few days or weeks is probably not to most. It is possible only through the collective effort of many individuals. Late in the year, I started a blog called Living off of Kindness to acknowledge the kind people have made all the trips and memories possible, but as I have not yet profiled everyone, I’d like to give a shout out to everyone.
- To my 36 sets of hosts, who gave me the opportunity to see so many new places and revisit many old favourites. Many new friends extended their homes to a stranger, and also shared their knowledge about their communities as well as tips and useful habits. Many more old friends were the highlights of cities I once called home. I’ve had fresh yogurt smoothies every morning for a week, learned many useful bike tips, learned traditional dishes for various nationalities, read many books on the to-read list, and gotten private lessons on health care, education, waste collection, housing systems in at least 4 countries.
- To colleagues on TEDx, at SOW Asia, on personal projects, and at Launchpilots. All meaningful, and all with memorable lessons. I’ve watched and learned from seeing how many of you manage situations in the office ranging from crisis management to team leadership. You patience, determination, positive attitudes, and understanding of others is admirable and don’t be surprised if you’ve heard me raving about you behind your backs!
- To people, who by naturally being their engaged, enthusiastic, and generous selves, created wonderful memories: dinners cooked together, complimentary meals, ad hoc activities, surprise experiences shared, day-long conversations, errand company, lazy days spent together. Bonus points to all those who chatted while cycling!! :D
- To my mentors, whom I am always grateful for asking relevant, point-blank, questions. Many times, mentors asking the right questions is a relief, and opens channels for further conversation.
- Those who checked in, lent an ear, or offered help without being asked. Even if there isn’t much to be done, the thought counts and is well remembered. Oftentimes help and offers come from people I’d never considered and those handful of special moments are far more memorable than all accumulated disappointments.
- Those who take the time to hang out and share their experiences. Oftentimes the most interesting people are the most busy and fully engaged in their lives. For those with a full schedule and doing meaningful, interesting things, it takes a lot of effort to unplug and squeeze someone in. My greatest respect for those who do so with full attention and no rush. You’ve lifted my expectation bar extremely high!
- To those who laugh at the silly and absurd, and to those who tolerate those of us who do. Because a lot of things are really funny. :-)
And my thanks to my parents who are my largest, silent, benefactors.
Asia: Sato, my cousin, my aunts in China, Ada, Winky, Joanne, Crimson, Christine, Scott, Ben, Monique, May, Lisa, Kirsty, Helena, Xiju, Ying Ying, James, Maile, Bonnie, Jah Ying, Cesar, Magky, Terry, Janet, Vivian Leung, Carol, Keith Li, Hubert, Florence, Bill, Carson, Yvette, Yan Tat, Hsiao Jou and Sarah, Vivian, S.K., 小顏
US & Canada: Cheehan, Shruti, Sumanth, Yinmei, Judith, Sarah, Brigitte, Jane, Lily, Emmett, Alyssa, Ying & Frank, Denise, Michelle, Christelle, Alex, Mia, Clara, Eitan, Roberta, 4 姨婆, Greg, Aqeela, Sherrie, Melissa, Cherilyn, Kacie, Grace, Carmen, Jessie, Layla, Monica, Robbie, Cherry
Europe: Nigel & Michelle, Hsueh, Jing, Alex, Rob, Kat, Vern, Jessie, Elliot, Parvin, Andrew, Dana, Nikki, Graham, Jude, Andrew, Garry, Anne, Andrew, Rachel, Hannah, Noah, Sunitha, Letizia, Francesca, Valeria, Y & L, Costanza
The full list is too long, so if you’re reading this, consider it a thanks to you as well! A few pics with shared moments, and cats as proxies for owners.