Today, I start a new chapter in my life. I begin a 6 month trip that has been 10 years in the making. Since graduating from college, I have always told myself that my back-up plan in life would be to pick up everything, get on a plane, and move to Taiwan. If I didn’t get into grad school, I would pack all my things; if I didn’t get the job I wanted, I would find some stinky tofu; if I didn’t have the right house, I would work on the family pig farm. But the thing is, I always found a reason to not use my back-up option. I never admitted to myself that the back-up option was actually the dream that I wanted to have come true. I always came up with excuses to convince myself that I wasn’t going to be able to make the trip. That I would fail. That I didn’t have enough money. That I would ruin something good that was happening in NYC, DC, or Oregon.
I’ve decided though, enough with the excuses. I had to make a decision, and that decision was to have everything else be a back-up, and to just buy a ticket and go. So, thanks to the people who reminded that I was turning 30, the visa requirements in Taiwan, the understanding and support of my family, friends, and colleagues, and a drunken night, I will embark on a six-month personal adventure to discover food, family, and myself. I’m scared shitless.
I don’t have many goals for this trip; I’ve been trying to convince myself to not worry about that. It’s a challenge
that I want to try to succeed at. Goals are not necessary for me right now. I’m about to take a journey and I want to be as spontaneous as I can, without feeling overwhelmed. So, as I write this, I am preparing for the first leg of my trip. I’ll have limited internet access, but will post as often as I can, but I’ll be starting in South America. I’ll be going up to a lost city of the Incas, hanging out with pink dolphins, and checking out some blue footed boobys. But first, a trip home to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family. This is the first time having Thanksgiving with my family in four years and it’s a great way to start a journey of a new chapter. A return to something so familiar and so delicious: my Dad’s sticky rice and my Mom’s mushroom gravy.
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup (10.5 oz)
½ c turkey fat from drippings (or any animal fat)
1 c cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
½ c scallions, minced
combine soup, fat, and mushrooms in a medium saucepan over medium high heat
stir until combined and heated through (about ten minutes)
turn heat on low and stir in scallions and cook for about two minutes
remove from heat and serve, especially over my dad’s stuffing
-serves 6 or 7-