We arrived. At this point I don’t often describe journeys as being long. If it’s a journey, it’s long. That’s normal. But the journey down from Bangor, Maine to Kinmen island of Taiwan was long — proverbially and otherwise.
A month or so ago my wife informed me that the status quo of me traveling around the world working on various projects while leaving her in Bangor with the kids had come to its end. She just wanted to return to the USA to have our second child, not to stay there indefinitely. She wanted to get back to traveling.
She said that she didn’t care where she goes just so it wasn’t Bangor, Maine. So we put it to a vote:
Kinmen won, so here we are.
The trip here?
Well, a big weather delay out of Portland left us with thirty minutes between the time our flight touched down in JFK and the scheduled departure of our next flight to Seoul. We had to change terminals. We shouldn’t have made it. But Korean Air held the flight. We made it.
Skip ahead a long flight and long layover and like a full day later and we’re in Taipei. We stay there for two days and then flew to Kinmen, which is around three kilometers from the Chinese mainland.
My daughter Petra is a born traveler. She takes the road well. Traveling is just normal for her. Through the dirges she sits and reads or sleeps, when she’s bored she starts conversations with the people around her, when it’s time to run, she runs.
“Can I call myself a world traveler?” she asked me the other day, showing that she’s starting to identify with — or is succumbing to — the title.
My daughter Rivka, on the other hand, is a little more, let’s say, normal. She cries, she whines, she wails when on planes and busses. She squirms, she demands constant attention, she gets ravaged by jet lag. Rivka is a bit of a landlubber. She wasn’t born on the road, and it shows.
I won’t get into the rigors of the trip here — it’s nothing beyond what anyone would expect. But we’re here now: a traditional Chinese courtyard house on a sort of remote, highly traditional island. The place is a version of paradise. I’ve written about it extensively here: