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Take The Road Less Travelled

When I was 13, the only English I knew was the alphabet from A to G. At age 17, my grandpa canceled my fieldtrip with school to Los Angeles at the last minute. His reason was that “I am too young to understand about the meaning and value of traveling”.

I am from Taiwan and grew up going to a Japanese influenced Christian church. My life was well planned until I went to the US to get my master’s degree in computer art. My culture encourages me to stay low key and plan my life safe and happy. Soon I figured it can’t make me feel happy if I always play safe and follow others expectations. So I started my own adventure.

For the previous 10 years, I always feel something is rushing me and I am running out of time. I start a snowboarding accessory company in the US, an art gallery in Taiwan and a ski school in Japan. I am a graphic designer, a snowboarding instructor and an aerial hoop instructor. Now I am living a life my grandpa would never have imagined and I am sure he is very proud of me from heaven.

I believe there is a higher power planning my life and it is my willingness to face the challenges and expect for more surprises. The first time I visited China was back in 1994, and I might have be the first one to China for my familys generation. Taiwan and China had a very interesting relationship since 1940’, and we are not allowed visiting China before 1987. When most of my people start to call themselves Taiwanese, I’m still identifying myself as a Chinese from Taiwan. I love Chinese history, art and lots of other things. I’ve been to China a couple times but this is also my first time visiting Yunnan. What excites me the most is their culture of ethnic minorities, natural scenery and stories I’ve never heard of.

I am Ginger Chen and I am one of your instructors for this trip to China. I am so glad I get to travel with a group of tough young warriors from the mountains of Colorado.  Chinese new year is a very special tiem and you guys are in for some special surprises. Just like how my life has been bringing me unexpected assignments and experiences as rewards here in the USA.

I will see you in couple days.