A New Year’s Resolution - A Month in Taiwan - CycleBlaze

December 29, 2018

A New Year’s Resolution

So as some of you know already, we’ve been holding back on a bit of news for the last few days.  

On last New Year’s Day - we can scarcely believe it was just a year ago now, so much has happened since then - we resolved to sell our home in Portland and redefine ourselves as bicycling vagabonds.  A year down the road, we both still feel fine with this decision.  We’ve had an amazing year, and look forward to more of the same in the year ahead.  I don’t think we’ve looked back with regret about this decision even once.

And yet, being a bicycling vagabond leaves room for getting a bit homesick from time to time, and that’s where we find ourselves now.  We’re into our fifth month of our current tour, and have been having some wistful thoughts about home.  Some of this has been triggered by our experience here in Taiwan, with the weather, my cold, and our issues adjusting to Asian cuisine - but really we were actually starting to think fondly of home toward the end of our stay in Spain.  A few days ago, back in Hsinchu, we looked at each other, and both realized it’s time - maybe even a bit past time.  For our new year’s resolution this year, we resolved to cut our trip short by a few weeks and head home.

We spent a good chunk of our first day in Hsinchu figuring this out - finding a flight, deciding how and where to end the tour, where to stay when we hit Portland - but piece by piece everything fell into place quite nicely.  We fly home on January 13th.  The bike tour will end in Kaohshiung, the southernmost stop on the west coast train line, and we’ll take the train back north to Taipei from there.  When we arrive in Portland we’ll stay temporarily in an Airbnb unit in our old neighborhood, a block from my favorite coffee shop and in walking distance of our storage unit.  Sounds perfect.

None of this changes the long term plan though.  We’ll be in Portland for a bit over two months, staying through the end of the international film festival, and will then hit the road again.

Happy new year!

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Comment on this entry Comment 21
Steve Miller/GrampiesSuch a momentous entry deserves some comment. It has been a great and entertaining run. Dodie is philosophical about recovery without your blog to read. By the time you head out again, we hope to be taking to the road too! This is all so much fun!
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5 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesWell, it’s not like we’re quitting immediately, Steve. We’ve still got two weeks, so that should see her nicely through the worst of the post-op period.
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5 months ago
Jen GrumbyI'm feeling some relief knowing that you'll be back home for a comforting dose of familiarity and friendship. (Wish we were there for a Hostile Actor reception!)

And rest!! There's no place like home to rest and re-set.

So grateful to you both for so beautifully documenting your grand adventure on CycleBlaze. Thank you for the daily inspiration and entertainment.

And thanks for timing your return to Portland so that Dodie continues to benefit from your blog during the first part of her recovery.
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5 months ago
Bruce LellmanWell there goes OUR winter. We had been counting on getting through this cold drizzle of a winter by following your adventures daily. It's one thing to leave Dodie in a lurch but us too?!! At least I'll be able to have coffee with you in person while it drizzles outside. I guess that's something. And we're looking forward to having you over for dinner and warming by the fire.
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5 months ago
Bruce LellmanActually, your journals have been great. You have been so diligent in doing them just about every day. That's work!! I know because I failed at that and sometimes I was weeks late in posting. I admire your discipline and energy. Your journals are always informative and interesting with lots of photos to illustrate what you are talking about. Thank you.

I'm glad you decided to end the trip early. If things don't feel perfect you might as well make such a decision. You've been on the road long enough for now, not only on this particular trip but most of the past year you have been riding!
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5 months ago
Andrea BrownWe are looking forward to seeing you back here in Portland . We'll miss your blogs but can't really say anything since we seem to be housebound ourselves, and we don't even have Dodie's excuse. Enjoy your remaining time in Taiwan, and eat some of that food on our behalf!
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5 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Andrea BrownTaste in food is such an odd thing, and for me a bit uncontrollable. Maybe it’s because I have no sense of smell or taste, but visuals and texture are really important factors. How about I imagine eating some of these meals, and you imagine enjoying them?
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5 months ago
Emily SharpI've always wondered what my limit would be before needing a break from continual touring. And how that limit would change if riding in places unfamiliar and with language barriers. It's good that you've acknowledged that you need a break - it's always nice to get a dose of friends, family and be able to leave your toothbrush in the same spot for more than a few days in a row. This may give me a chance to catch up on your European adventures, too! Enjoy home :-)
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5 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Emily SharpHi, Em. I think Rachael and I were both surprised to suddenly realize it was time. This year’s been a pretty big leap for us though. Before this spring’s eight week trip to Greece we’d never been on the road for more than six weeks at a stretch. Neither one of us was sure that this would really work, or even how we’d do seeing so much of each other’s company for so long. Happily, it’s been a big success for us. It’s just time for a change for a spell.

And, like you, I’m behind on my blog-reading. I have a lot of catching up to do over on Cycle365 especially. I’m looking forward to some leisurely, relaxed mornings loafing around a coffee shop. Happy New Year!
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5 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyRelief might be a bit too strong of a term for us, but we’re definitely looking forward to a change of scene. As much as anything, I think Rachael’s ready to spend more time looking at a different face!

Hey, thanks for the awesome Xmas poem! A woman of many talents, I see.
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5 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanYou’re making me feel very guilty, Bruce. I’ve still got an iPad and a bike though. I’m looking forward to giving Rodriguez a spin or two when we get home, and I suspect I’ll find a thing or two to say about it. For your part, why don’t you and Andrea work on conjuring up a nice dry spell to welcome us home with.
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5 months ago
Gregory GarceauYou absolutely deserve to go back "home" for a break. (I put "home" in quotations because we all know you're actually homeless vagabonds.)

I've said before how much I admire the exotic locations in which you tour and the wonderful photography, but I also have to agree with what Bruce wrote. Your dedication to keeping up such an interesting and informative (and often exciting) journal on a daily basis is quite amazing. It seems most people on very long bike tours tend to fall behind, then struggle to catch up on their journals, the length of their posts gradually shrink, and sometimes they just quit writing altogether. As much as I enjoy touring and writing about it, I'm not sure if I could keep it up every day for five continuous months. Good job.

Finally, I wanted to comment on the picture of Rocky and the hostess found on the next page. Not only do they seem to be in color-coordinated uniform, but I swear they look like sisters.
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5 months ago
david alstonMaun and I have financed several of our trips by renting our home. Since HOA rules require us to lease it for a minimum of six months, we have been away for that long on pretty close to half a dozen occasions. But you have me thinking back and we were underway with our bike saddle as our only address on just one of these jaunts. But we were never alone for whole time; that trip, from Montpellier to Dubrovnik, included two commercial trips back to back and even a serendipitous Danube river cruise as we had way too much time in Budapest where we hooked up with the group tours. We are still in touch with people from those groups. I think not being alone the whole time made a big difference. Now I start thinking about going home after a month.
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5 months ago
Bruce LellmanTo Scott AndersonI've lived in Portland long enough to know that like clockwork right around January 1st the weather changes from solid drizzle to being more broken up with some sunshine every day. It's an interesting phenomenon. So, you will certainly be able to do some good riding between films and having coffee with me.
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5 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Gregory GarceauThanks, Greg - and thanks again for following along. I’m glad you’ve found enough here to hold your interest for this long. You’re right, it does take quite a bit to keep the journal up for this long. That was part of the experiment we both wondered about too - we weren’t sure how it would wear on ourselves, much less our readers. I’ll enjoy having a bit of a break from it also when we head back to PDX, but I’m sure glad we kept at it. We’re going home with so much more to look back on in our dotage this way.

Sisters! Great observation. I didn’t pick up on it myself.
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5 months ago
Rachael AndersonTo Jen GrumbyI’ve really appreciated all your encouraging and witty comments. Thanks so much!
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5 months ago
Rachael AndersonTo david alstonI think your right. I will really appreciate seeing Portland friends again although I’ve had a great time.
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5 months ago
david alstonWhen you have had a good trip and are looking out the window at the possibility of two weeks of rain it is easy to think of friends and home. I should have said I start think about going home when it starts raining. You guys are incredible.
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5 months ago
Scott AndersonTo david alstonRain had something to do with it, alright; although now that we’re on the west side it’s been quite nice, and unseasonably so. Probably we’re a bit late in the season for the best time to visit Taiwan by bike, particularly on the east coast which is really the best part of the island.

Embarrassingly enough though, for me the biggest issue has probably been cuisine. I’ve about concluded that I’m not destined to be an Asian tourist because of the difficulties I have finding meals that look edible to me. I’m pretty convinced this is because I’m congenitally anosmic, and go almost entirely on texture and appearance. I imagine that if I could taste and smell I’d have a much easier time experimenting with the amazing variety on offer here.
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5 months ago
Suzanne GibsonGreat decision! If you don't feel like continuing, then stop. Easier said than done, though, because you don't want to see yourself as a quitter. That applies to me, anyway. Besides, you're not quitting, you're taking a well deserved break.
I've loved your pictures and writing and energy. You two are fantastic.
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5 months ago
Sue PriceGood for you! Knowing what you want to do and when is important and I imagine will be something that will happen from time to time. The freedom to travel at will is wonderful, but being in a familiar setting with loved ones is also important. It's all about balance, I guess! And Portland is just such an awesome city to spend time in. Enjoy your last bit of time in Taiwan!
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5 months ago