me in taiwanI’m a Western girl uncovering a whole new world. I started in Taiwan, moved to Hong Kong, and now, I’m in this strange place called “home.”

This blog is about connections. And people. And change. I write about many things, but, mostly, I talk about puzzle pieces: I’m trying to connect the puzzle pieces — and find the heart — of our world.

I call this blog shift because that’s what I feel like these days. Like I am shifting. Like everything is shifting — both inside and out.

“The only thing that is constant is change.” ― Heraclitus

(This is a rough draft. Isn’t everything in life?)


183 thoughts

    • You loved Hong Kong? So did I! Except for the crowds. Those got old after a while. But, yes. You must return, and definitely visit Taiwan, too. It’s a beautiful country filled with beautiful people–I would love to go back. Thanks for following!

      • The food? Lol. I like Asian food, too, though Taiwanese food was (generally) not my favorite. Currently I’m in Northern California, about two hours from the Bay Area. I’m hoping to get into graduate school, but, if that doesn’t work out (and maybe even if it does), South Korea is calling my name.

      • Wow, we are neighbors (in the global sense) I am currently living in Palo Alto. I am driven by Sushi and Dim Sum with a penchant for Vietnamese rice dishes, Thai noodle dishes, and Korean BBQ…I am certain I was Asian in a former life. Are you trying to get into Davis?

      • Yes, we are neighbors! I’m up north, near Tahoe. I’ve applied to Berkeley (gulp), waiting to hear back. Hadn’t looked into Davis much… Last year while teaching in Hong Kong, I asked my students to journal about would happen if there were no rice. Their unanimous response: “I would just DIE!!!”

  1. As for too many people in Hong Kong—oh yes indeed, I agree. Stayed at the Park Hotel for a while, before going on to Indonesia. Try New Delhi for crowds- it’s worse than Hong Kong. Good luck on your application for graduate school. I went back to university when I was 65 years old and had a grand time at. No pressure to graduate, just studying whatever I wanted. That was ten years ago. Time flies.

    • I do want to visit New Delhi! Someday… Hopefully sooner rather than later! How long were you in India? And that’s wonderful that you went back to school just for fun. I want to do the same—be a lifelong learner. It’s the only way to stay sane. :) Thanks for commenting!

  2. I like the honesty of you bio and feel the same way about “likes.” That said, I love the way your bio photo captures the essence of shifting. And lastly, “It’s Wonderful Life” is my all-time favorite movie — So I HAD to give another angel a pair of wings ;)

    • I’m so glad. It’s funny—I hadn’t even thought about the way my photo captures shifting! But subconsciously I must have known there was a reason I chose it. ;) And thank you! An angel is very happy right now thanks to you. :)

    • I wish! I learned some Mandarin in Taiwan, but in Hong Kong they speak Canto, so I was kind of screwed… Thanks for stopping by! I’m jealous that you’re going to Greenland. I hope to make it there someday, too.

    • Wow! Thank you so much! Your comment is so kind and means the world to me. You’re right—travel stories are the best when you can’t be abroad. But . . . These feet were made for walking. Don’t think I can stay home for too long! Thanks again. I’m enjoying checking out your blog, too! :)

  3. World travel is one of my life goals. It seems you are off to a good start.I have not been to Asia yet but have heard great things for my brother lives there for awhile. Keep up the traveling and the writing.

  4. Glad I found your blog and can now give an angel a pair of wings :) I loved your latest post and the Anatole France quote you used hangs on one of the bathroom walls of my job. It’s been speaking to me for a few weeks. Happy travels!

    • Thank you, Stephanie! I’m so glad you found my blog, and I’m looking forward to checking out yours, too! I’m glad you liked that Anatole France quote. It’s one of my favorites. Thank you so much for commenting. And yes, an angel and I are both very happy now thanks to you! :)

  5. It’s nice to get to know you better Jessica. I would love to live and travel all over Asia someday, it’s a dream of mine, sounds like Asia had a profound effect on you :)

    Take care, all the best!


    • Yes, I suppose you’re right. Mostly, I feel shifting is a natural part of life, and always has been. Thank you for the kind words. I’m so glad you’re here!

  6. I love the concept of your blog, Jessica! And your endeavors “to connect the puzzle pieces of our world” is a holy mission. Keep working at it, and you’ll be a Warrior of Love ♥

    • Thanks, Subhan! I was pretty pleased when I came up with the concept myself. I want to be a warrior of love. When I look at the world and the people everywhere in it I see beauty—or at least the potential for beauty. People who choose to do bad things make me sad.

      I’ll never stop working at being the best I can and making this world a better place. Thank you for reminding me why.

  7. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and liking my photo! I appreciate it very much. I’ve enjoyed my visit very much here and I look forward to following your posts! :-D

    • You’re more than welcome. I really enjoyed my visit to your site, too! And I’ll be back… I hope you continue to enjoy my site. I try to make everything interesting and applicable. So thanks for joining the journey! :)

  8. Hi Jessica, simply fabulous about Taiwan, Hong Kong and now home. l and my wife are planning to visit China in the near future,then India. l lived in Europe. Thank you for liking my post (the L A times..) Best regards, jalal

    • Thank you, Jalal! And good for you for visiting China and India. I hope my travels take me there before long, too. I’m glad you like my blog. I put my heart and soul into it. I really like your blog, too! Best to you, always, Jessica

    • James, how kind of you! Thank you! I have created a “recognition” page where I will be posting all of the awards I receive, so you can look for this one there soon! I am truly flattered that you like my stuff and honored that you would nominate me for this award. Thank you! :)


  9. i nominated you for the very inspiring award and versatile blogger award. i’m not entirely sure of the depth of these awards, but i wanted to pass the love that someone blessed me with on to you because you inspire me all of the time. your posts are full of depth and speak volumes. i love your character and you leave me coming back again and again by keeping it versatility! here are the details:

    • Thank you, Whitney. That is one of the nicest compliments I think I could ever receive. I will try to take action on this award very soon. I’ve got a few important posts I want to get working on, though, too. ;) You are so sweet! Again, thank you!

  10. Hi Jessica, I think your blog is super, I am going to enjoy reading through the rest. I like your style!
    Many best wishes and regards, James :-) Speak soon.

  11. Condivido con te il cambiamento..è il cuore della mia vita!..
    Complimenti per questo tuo personale spazio di anima!…
    Sono contento di conoscere una donna come te, che ama il mutamento!
    A presto
    Un cordiale saluto

  12. Thanks for coming by to like some of my posts, Jessica. I really appreciate it. I’m glad I found your blog. I think it’s also pretty relevant to my life currently, as I go out into the real world. Best of luck with everything, and keep up the writing!

    • Oh, wow, Benjamin! Thank you! I am honored. I will try to follow up on this on my recognition page very soon. I’ll let you know when I do.

      Best, Jessica

    • Thank you so much. You are kind. I appreciate your comment so much. I hope you’ll stick with me on this crazy journey we call life. :)

      Best, Jessica

    • Danielle, thank you so much, and sorry it’s taken me so long to respond!!! Your kind words mean the world; I’m glad you like my writing! The quote by Charles Baudelaire comes to mind: “Always be a poet, even in prose.” I really do think all writing is poetry… I will try to follow up on this on my recognition page very soon. I am truly honored. :)

  13. Your journey sounds extremely interesting, parts of it paralleling mine in that I am an Oregon/Seattle transplant in Hong Kong. As Doc Holliday once said “there is no such thing as a normal life, there’s just life.” Look forward to following along in with your journey.

    • Mmm. I like that quote. So glad to make your acquaintance. I must ask: What has taken you to Hong Kong? Now that I’m back in the States I am fighting the urge to wander… And I must say, I am incredibly impressed by the work on your blog, too.

  14. Work opportunities first brought me over here, and then just one thing leading to another has kept me over here… First time I heard that quote I loved it, felt like it was OK just to go ahead and live. With travel & communication these days, I would feel comfortable anywhere…so wandering is a good thing, especially when there is always home to go back to.

    • I feel the same way. I remember hating the humidity in Hong Kong but feeling encouraged to know that home with its fresh clean air and aridness was just across the ocean. How long have you been over there? I am desperately hoping that work opportunities lead me back there, too, and before too many more months go by. And, yeah, that quote… a good reminder that there’s no need to compare my life to everyone else’s.

  15. I just noticed your reference to Taiwan. I’ve always wanted to go there; my dad had a bit of a transformative experience there, and I’ve always wanted to see what it’s like…

    • I hope you *do* get to go. Taiwan was certainly transformational in my life. It’s unlike anything I had ever experienced until that point. I plan to write (more) about it soon… Very soon… :)

  16. Somehow, Jessica, I overlooked the fact that you already have a set of cupcakes in your stack of awards … before I posted as set of nominations in response to Brooke’s Sister’s nominating me for a Super Sweet Blogger award, So I’ve extended another nomination to you as well. While you know the rules, here they are, especially in case you decide to change any previous answers. (Oh, for the silliness!) Tootles!
    1. Thank the Super Sweet Blogger who nominated you.
    2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions. (See below.)
    3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post. (It’s the cupcake illustration.)
    4. Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other deserving bloggers.
    5. Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.
    1. Cookies or Cake? Both?
    2. Chocolate or Vanilla?
    3. Favorite Sweet Treat?
    4. When Do You Crave Sweet Things the Most?
    5. Sweet Nickname?

    • Jnana, I am flattered! Thank you so much. You are truly too kind. I gratefully accept this award and will try to act on it soon (along with a couple of others–hehe! I’m kind of behind). I’ll let you know when I do.

      By the way, I really appreciate your blog, too. :)


  17. 😃Takk for at du besøkte bloggen min😃Du har en spennende og inspirerende blogg😃vakker er du også😃klem Lisa

    • I’m sorry I can’t read and write your language… This is what Google Translate tells me you said:

      “Thank you for visiting my blog. You have an exciting and inspiring blog. Beautiful is also. Hugs Lisa”

      If that is correct, you’re more than welcome for the visit! I loved your blog. Thank you for stopping by mine. :) Best, Jessica

  18. I loved visiting Hong Kong when I was a university student, and I loved visiting Taiwan last December. I currently live in South Korea, and I am hoping to move to Taiwan next year to teach ESL.

    • I just commented on your own “about” section. You will love teaching in Taiwan. The people there are so friendly! And I too may be moving back to teach ESL again in the next few years. Korea is definitely high up on my list of possibilities… So glad to connect with you! :) Jessica

      • Oh no! For some reason your comment on my “about” page didn’t show up! Well I saw your comment via email notification, and I came to Korea because I wanted to travel. Well, that and there was a recruiter for the academy where I work I got in touch with. Though I’ve had lots of fun times here in Korea, I do think it’s time for a change of venue. If you ever come to Korea in the future, let me know! I’d be happy to answer any questions you have. Thanks for the reply and checking out my blog!

    • Thank you so much, Tanumoy! I am so incredibly honored. I have a few awards to follow up on at this time… I must admit, I’ve been putting them off. Too much else to do! But thank you. You are too kind. Blessings to you, my friend! :) Jessica

  19. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and opinions! I really like your blog. So I guess you are traveling now? Where have you been? I love traveling, too! I wish we could recommend beautiful places for each other :)

    • Wow! Thank you so much. I’m glad you like my blog. I’ve traveled to quite a few places in Europe and Southern Asia, as well as all over the States and a little in Canada and Mexico. I keep meaning to write more about my travels… Right now I’m at home in Northern California but during the next year I hope to travel to Romania and then return to teaching abroad. What about you? Thanks so much for reading and commenting! It’s nice to meet you!

    • Thank yo so much, Oranch! That means a lot to me. Nice to meet someone from Hong Kong! I miss it there. Where are you in Germany? I’ve been there a couple times… a long time ago. Thanks again! :) jess

      • I’m now in a peaceful small town called “Trier” near Frankfurt, around 1 hour train….Experiencing a European living-style…still a lot to see :)

      • There’s always a lot to see! I’ve been to Frankfurt once, years ago. Hope you’re enjoying it! Definitely a lot different than Hong Kong! :D

  20. Hi Jessica — thank you for finding my writing and for taking the time to explore there. I’ve done likewise here and there’s an artistic feel to the whole. Hopefully we can keep reading one another’s words. :)

  21. wow…just randomly stabled on this page as i was looking around your blog and saw is almost a year since my last -and first- comment on this page…
    boy time is flying…i’ve “known you” for a year..!
    big hug!
    keep it up

  22. Jessica, any friend of Vance is a friend of mine. =)
    I really like your concept. I look forward to following and reading your blog. Oh, and congratulations on the nomination — scratch that — nominations.
    Warmest thoughts,

    • And any friend of Vance’s is a friend of mine, Victoria! It is wonderful to meet you. I feel so fortunate to have met so many wonderful people through my blog—this blogging world is truly an amazing thing! Thank you so much for the follow, and I will try to check out your blog soon, too!

      Best Regards,

    • Thank you so much, Sophia. And blog awards aren’t silly — just time-consuming. Happy New Years, dear! Can’t wait to continue our friendship this next year. God bless! :)

    • Thank you so much. Glad to have you along! I look forward to getting to know you better in the coming year. Hope your 2014 is off to a great start! :) Jessica

  23. Hi Jessica! I hope you’re well! And I hope you’ll take this as a compliment and not WordPress spam! :)) I don’t usually do this but I sort of made an exception this time…Because I just accepted a Liebster award. lol. and I thought yeah it would be interesting to also nominate some of the blogs I have really enjoyed reading. And I nominated yours. :P But you don’t have to accept it if it’s not in line with the content you post here. Still, wanted to nominate you nonetheless!

    The nomination is here http://doubtproof.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/i-used-to-think-people-here-are-mean-but-now-im-happy-to-accept-an-award/

    If you don’t accept it, It’s absolutely okay! I understand that some bloggers limit their posts to stuff consistent with their theme. :)

    Have a great Sunday!

    • No, I knew no Mandarin. And, yes, I often felt out of place. But soon feeling out of place became normal. I learned so much, and learned to love every minute of it — even the hard parts. Thank you for stopping by!!

  24. Hi there. Glad I found this blog. You have built a very impressive site! I used to live in HK too and I blog about it from time to time. Would be lovely if you can follow back. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much! I will be sure not to decrease my font size! It’s really time for a new design, anyway… Hope you’re having a lovely day!

  25. This is really beautiful! I appreciate the shift you’re mentioning, and I love this: An angel earns a pair of wings every time you comment. Sending you ever so many blessings, Jessica! <3 Debbie

    • Thank you, Debbie! Very sweet of you. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed visiting yours and feel I can probably relate to much of what you write there. Blessings to you, too!

    • Sorry for my late reply–only by 2.5 years!! I have started a new blog at jessicacyphers.com. You should check me out there. I hope you’re doing well. Happy New Year!!

An angel earns a pair of wings every time you comment.

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