#Taiwan Journal--Final Episode: Uncomfortable Traveler

April 25th, 2014, 9pm

Instead of watching movies on the plane, I prefer staring at this screen. This tiny jet on the map shows where I am flying right now. I cannot help but imagine, “If this plane crashes, would this little jet on the screen flicker and disappear?”

That’s how I am. Discomfort travels with me. That’s why J. often has to drag me out. Without him, I would never have travelled this much. But this trip to Taiwan was different. Three weeks before the trip, I had coffee with my friend Eiko, a fantastic graphic designer. She told me that she travels to free herself. Huh? Her statement somewhat irked me at first because traveling had been about putting myself in an uncomfortable situation and had nothing to do with freedom. But her words kept me thinking.

On the second day in Taiwan, J. and I took a wrong bus from Tainan Station. I was annoyed. But a fellow passenger with a thick Brooklyn accent and in a shiny blue pimp suit, kindly told us where to get off. And it suddenly hit me: I don’t have to try hard to feel comfortable. All I can do is accept how I am and how things are. Then, usually, some stranger will help me out.

For the rest of the trip, I was still an uncomfortable traveler, but felt freer than ever before.

Gould, Jared, Ragini, Thomas and 7 others said thanks.

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Shu Kuge

Woodcut printmaker

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