Taiwan, you creative catalyst youuu ;)

One day, not too long ago, a friend and I were cycling along the promenade when we decided to stop for a picnic. As we chose our spot he started telling me about a contest that he was entering, and that he thought I should enter too. All you have to do is choose a theme and create your dream itinerary for travelling around Taiwan with the theme as motivation. If you win, you get $2000 or $3000 (US DOLLARS) depending on which part of the world you live in. Now I LOVE travelling and I love travelling with a purpose…and when I don’t have to pay for it myself…well HELLO!!

I started thinking about various ideas during the week…things I’m passionate about; it seemed obvious really. Something creative, something artsy, something that just allows me to be ‘me’. I started scribbling down ideas, and researching various routes that I could take…The deadline was only two days away and I was having a mad dash to finish it. I thought there was no way I’d have a chance now. I mean my application contained no visual elements, no colour, just a whole lot of writing…

Before I knew it, it was the day before the deadline, I had an ugly sweater party to attend, a white elephant gift to wrap and half an application still to finish. Well let me tell you, if it hadn’t been that particular day, I doubt I would have got it in on time. That beautiful fateful day…the day of the lunar eclipse.

Time seemed to whirlwind on, and I must have checked the website countless times to see when the winners would be announced. So when I actually saw my name, I was like ‘WHATTTTTTT!!!!???’ I actually leaped down the stairs and screamed and was like ahhh feel my heart beat…SO STOKED : D

So come the end of March, I shall be off to Taiwan for two weeks of amazing travelling where I am going to be researching creativity in all it’s wondeful forms :) Truly a dream come true!

Here’s a link to the website:

http://youthtravel.tw/youthtrekker/

And here are a few snippets from my application:

From a very young age I’ve loved exploring. A day doesn’t go by that I can’t be found gazing longingly at an image of a far-away magical land, or wandering around the area I’m living in, discovering hidden alley-ways filled with book stores, or cafes that are off the beaten-path. I like seeing the main tourist spots as much as the next person, but I definitely prefer getting more under the surface of a country by wandering off in search of the secret corners that almost always result in unbelievable beauty and a real sense of serenity.

My recent trip to South Korea was just so. I had a basic itinerary of things I wanted to see and experience, but I also allowed enough time to just wander around and get lost in Seoul. It was in these moments that I stumbled upon the most awe-inspiring street art, or a tea-shop with the friendliest locals willing to share advice about more local places I might enjoy. I spontaneously decided to go to South Korea, and I didn’t know too much about the country beforehand, but just getting out there and discovering for myself, was truly enlightening. Such a small country, yet so much beauty.

This is how I feel about Taiwan and why I would love to have the chance to participate in such an exciting activity. I don’t know great amounts about what there is to experience in Taiwan (apart from what I’ve previously heard or researched) but this is why I want to go. To explore, to write, to learn, to photograph, to film, to get lost, to taste, to love, to meet, to wander, to relax, to think, to see and most importantly to bask in the beauty of a country that is not somewhere everyone is familiar with, allowing me to encounter all the magic that Taiwan has to offer, and hopefully inspire other people to make a similar journey- one in which they can embark on an adventure into the unknown and discover along the way, all the little things that make this country so special.

To be given the chance to make the most of every present moment, in such a stunning country, simultaneously learning and experiencing Taiwanese culture firsthand, would be fulfilling one of my many travel dreams, with memories that would stay with me forever.

Taiwan, the Creative Catalyst.

I want my journey to capture the epitome of creativity flowing throughout this gorgeous country. From traditional theatre forms to its contemporary counterparts; epic street art to fashion trends and how they are influenced. From basking in artistic communities to going out and seeking the ways in which they find their inspiration. I want to explore, discover and enjoy the imagination and originality of creative visionary that this wonder of a place encompasses.

Having studied Drama at University, I am extremely interested in the arts and what inspires people to create art; be it theatre, film, street art, fashion statements, music, poetry etc. I believe that the creative arts are an extremely valuable part of every society. Not only do they allow each individual to express themselves, they also highlight an important part of a culture and the various ways in which this determines how creativity is portrayed. This also works in the reverse, and can emphasise the way in which arts inspire and influence cultural movement and change within a country.

Therefore my plan in Taiwan would be to really immerse myself in the creativity flowing throughout the island. A country with such profound, diverse beauty and immense pride in its culture is a sure-fire catalyst for epic creativity. I’d like to focus on the ways in which the youth of today in Taiwan are influenced and inspired to create art, and the ways in which this is shaping the culture of Taiwanese society. I will do this by visiting university areas where I can be exposed to student events such as theatre, art exhibitions, gigs, fashion trends etc. I also want to experience different sources of inspiration by exploring the differences between the cities and rural areas, in terms of flourishing arts.

It is the youth of a country that will mould its future and I believe it is an important, exciting part of a culture to understand what direction it is taking and the kind of work that is being created. Arts not only highlight the freedom and expression of the individual mind, but they also play a huge role in the beauty and attraction of a country.

I will use my time to attend creative events, visit art districts, meet local people who have an equal passion for creativity, compare traditional Taiwanese art forms with contemporary ones, and also travel to less well-known places to try and discover more alternative, underground art scenes. I want to try and stay in hostels with a focus on arts, whether it be an interesting interior or situated in a creative centre, or just with a beautiful, inspiring view. Staying somewhere peaceful, that allows the mind to relax and wander into the imagination is one of the special parts of traveling, and Taiwan seems to offer many different kinds of accommodation that are just so.

I also have a big interest in Lomography- an exciting form of photography. And I aim to capture as much as possible through alternative forms of this method of taking photos, which results in the creation of a dreamy perception of a scene, allowing for a hazy, ambiguous meaning of what has been captured.

My creative journey will take me to many places in Taiwan to seek out exactly what inspires the Taiwanese imagination and in return, inspire me to create my own art- be it theatre or writing, my two main creative passions. I hope that I can make people more aware, not just of the extremely inspiring beauty that Taiwan has to offer, but also the ways in which it can be like treasure to the creative core of our mind. Travel truly is a catalyst for the imagination.


                                                                Here’s to travelling ;)
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just submerge yourself, jump right in.

lomography…because who doesn’t love surprises?!

I finally purchased my first Lomography camera when I was in South Korea last year. I thought for my first one I’d opt for the Diana Mini ‘en rose,’ because not only did it come with the ‘blinding’ flash, it’s also PINK! Done deal. Ha!

Anyway, it’s quite the conversation starter and I prefer the photography experience of not knowing how each photo is gonna turn out. It’s like Christmas all over again when I collect the developed film :)

Here are a few of my favourites so far:

my lovely friend Emma in a rainbow hazy Guangzhou.
Shenzhen- mystical city.
i will ride my horse to a frolicking musical land.
futuristic bicycle.



wish upon a chandelier.

And here’s me with that little wonder ;)

The Land of Trolls and Snow and Purple Beer and Faeries.

NORWAY! This Christmas I spent a beautiful week in Norway with the entire family. Epic! Not only did we stumble upon reindeers (OK, so they were stuffed and being displayed in the supermarket), trolls, faeries, gnomes and other strange, mystical creatures lurking in the nearby forest…we also ended up in mountains of snow that reach your neck…rivers that steal your cousin and submerge him into their icy waters, frozen waterfalls sparkling in the midday sun. Snow that sucks you under and makes you eat it..(it’s quite refreshing ;). Snow that makes your toes turn blue, but at the same time makes you feel like you’ve entered another world. I love snow. I especially love snow in Norway because it is just sooo unbelievable!!

Norway is such a chilled country. We spent a day in Stavanger, drifting by the Fjords on a train, mountains looming in the background. Stavanger is so pretty. They have love-heart shaped lights on their trees around the lake and church area, and they even have an entire street that looks like a rainbow exploded and landed on all the buildings. It’s a quirky little city and the fact that it’s mainly cobbled streets and little gingerbread houses makes it even more loveable.

Here’s some photos from this beautiful land…

It’s like a fairy-tale wonderland :)

snow is princess food ;)
My fam-dam :)

squeak…



Rainbow Land.

Troll ;)

Love heart leaves.

December…serendipity and the full moon ;)

WOW. This month was MAGICAL. More magical than I could ever have imagined…and it’s all thanks to that full-moon lunar eclipse day and fate being on my side. (FATE YOU ROCK)!!

Not only was this the day that I submitted my application to make one of my ‘many’ dreams come true (AND I WON…more on that later ;), it was also the day of a serendipitous encounter…

Basically, December rocked. It was tooo fun, and I went back to Scotland and got to be with my whole family on Christmas day in NORWAY (hello snow)! Although there was a little sadness at the very end of the month (love youuu Granny), setting off a magical lantern to end 2011 and watching it pick up speed and be carried towards the stars and the moon to dance in that other world really put things in perspective. Everything is how it should be once again.

Life.is.wonderful…

The Jezabels are probaby the most magical band around right now. They blow my mind. And I got to see them live two days ago ;)
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Oh moon, the things you do ;)

Novemeber…Hello Bluebell ;)

November was a pretty relaxing month. For once I think I pretty much stayed in Shenzhen and chilled out. I did however, buy a bicycle. She is AWESOME. She’s called Bluebell (of course she has a name haha ;) and she’s blue, funnily enough, and has a bell ;) Hence the name : P And she has a basket. Essential. We’ve rocked all over Shenzhen, from the 15km-long promenade, just flying past the sea, living our lives to some tunes from the ipod while enjoying the gentle breeze cooling us off as the sun burns freckles; to riding past rollercoasters at Happy Valley, along foresty paths, discovering hidden cafes, street art and lakes. Bluebell is a really cool bicycle and I can’t wait for it to get a little bit warmer so we can continue our adventures ;)

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i wish Bluebell could do this…
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too pretty :)
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I also must try this sometime ;)
beautiful.
This is Bluebell ;)

October…SOUTH KOREA :D

South Korea is unbelievably cool…I plan on dedicating a few travel posts to this awesome country at a later date, but in the meantime here’s some snaps from my journey….



Retro Mama’s burgers are thee best.



Fortune Tellers in tents…on the streets…cause that’s how they roll in South Korea ;)

Delicious Korean bbq and my first time to try the epic ‘kimchi’

cool street art :)

amazing mung-bean pancakes at the food market in Seoul.
Che (a.k.a Indie Berries-check out her blog indieberries.blogspot.com, she’s awesome)

Haeinsa Temple where I stayed with monks ;)

I LOVE the colours on all the temples.

Just some casual meditation with my Buddh ;)

Busan sunset. Hello rainbow water ;)



The coolest hostel in Seoul- Bebop House. Quirky and cute :)



September…Hangzhou.

Hangzhou is a very laid-back city. It’s famous for the West Lake…which, believe it or not, we couldn’t find for HOURS. You’d think a big ol’ lake, a famous one, would be pretty easy to find…nope! Crawling up grassy banks, skipping through motorway tunnels…and eventually a little glimpse of it was spotted from behind the trees. It looked mystical on that day. Thank you mist (SMOG) for creating that atmosphere ;)

We also went to Wuzhen, the Venice of the East ;) A magical little old-skool town…quite touristy, but if you get out of the packed alley-ways and go in search of something more real, you can have the pleasure of stumbling across people like this candyfloss man. How happy does he look :)

August…meow meow.

August was just fun. When you live with someone who is unbelievably positive and really makes the most of every little moment, of course life is gonna rock! Sharing green tea and red-bean buns, to dancing on the sofas, to rocking the promenade on sundays to sneakily swimming all night long..ducking under the water everytime the guards passed. Flip, our apartment was too awesome back then! We threw parties, I dabbled in a night of dj’ing…ok more just dancing, but still ;) Here’s to the best roomie ever….