Wendy’s July Founder’s Note: Living For Me

A life I’ve designed for myself is about living every moment in peace, and in joy.

When you live a nomadic life for years, the idea of settling down in one place becomes unbelievably daunting.

Ever since a few years ago, I’d scroll through social media, baby photos and wedding snapshots began to seize my feeds. When my younger sister got married, had a baby, and even my last batch of single friends managed to find significant others to settle down with; I found myself globetrotting, living from one hotel to another. Even when I stayed in cities I’d often visit such as Taipei and Paris, I’d commit to only a few months at a time.

Many asked if I designed my life as a form of escape, or was I just the kind of woman who never wanted to marry and have kids. Neither were true.

Deep in my heart, I created a company which allowed me to taste foods I’ve never seen before. I strolled through abandoned alleys that told me stories from thousands of years ago. I met strangers who opened their homes to me and taught me how to be compassionate to people I’ve only known for a few minutes. I saw incredible landscapes and beautiful wildlife that moved me to tears. All of this gave me immense peace. I’ve always grown up with traveling and this job has allowed me to thrive at what I do best: fulfill a thirst for curiosity, all via first-hand experiences.

What a different life than that of other thirty-somethings. I knew it’s one that many would kill for, one that seems so glamorous when I meet Michelin chefs, stay at five-star hotels and attend fancy parties.

But I spent the last three months in dreadful tears. To the point where my mother could see that even our mother/daughter heart-to-hearts weren’t enough, and asked if I needed to see a therapist. I couldn’t understand, exactly why I was feeling so…overwhelmingly sad.

I’d wake up everyday, motivated to keep this website going, only to look in the mirror and tears would fall down. For someone who crave for new experiences, I barely went outside. When I did, I’d take a pretty photo, post it on social media to mask the fact that I deeply needed someone to yank me out of an emotional black hole.

At this point, I was already set on moving to Paris in June. It was a decision I made back in January when a room was vacant. I’d live in a gorgeous Haussmann-style building where all my Parisian friends also live (Think Friends, we live across the hall.) At the time, it seemed like the perfect idea. I’ve lived in Paris before, and it is this beautiful city where I learned the meaning of true friendships. The kind of bond so connected, so protected, so pure and wonderfully familial. But during the months leading up to the move, I was sunken in such depression which led to endless doubts.

Was I making the right decision? Did I really want to settle down in France? Wait, but I’m not French. Why couldn’t I have been perfectly fine living in the home I bought in San Francisco? Was this selfish? My family is in Taipei, was I abandoning them? Was I not living up to the expectations of a traditional woman in Asia?

You see, when you’re multicultural, it’s a lovely ability to speak different languages and connect with various cultures almost on an instant basis. But when you’re multicultural, you’re also living under more than one set of societal rules, especially as an international Asian woman who grew up in both Taiwan and America while feeling at home in France.

The day of my move, I went to my favorite Buddhist shrine in Taipei. I kneeled down in front of statues of Buddha, alone in my sanctuary, I read scriptures. For an hour on my knees, I was still uncontrollably sobbing. Once the scriptures were finished, I spoke to my Buddhas. I thanked them for blessing me with such a beautiful life, family and friends. But I had to ask them for: guidance, peace, and a miraculous way to open my heart. I needed them to pull me out so I could see why my life has been so different from other thirty-four year olds.

And that was it. All these months of tears, questions, doubts and internal struggle was due to the fact that I felt so utterly different.

The fact that my girlfriends – successful professionals who took care of their careers and had the time of their lives, always on the hunt for “the one” – have settled down. Some moved in with their boyfriends, some are engaged, some are married, and many have babies. Why is my path so different? Of course, I take some blame too. I’ve been exploring the world, trading in the norm for colorful experiences that I would never exchange for. For a long time, it never occurred to me that someday I would feel anxious, in a way, falling behind.

Hours before I stepped onto the plane, I already felt more spiritually refreshed from the temple. Then, my father gave me a message which completely changed my perspective. “Nothing in life lasts forever,” he said, “your life won’t stay like this forever. How many people want to live in Paris and never get to do it in this lifetime. There’s a reason why your path has taken a different course, you might not understand it now but you can go and enjoy life in a city that you love. What a blessing it already is.”

Because nothing in life lasts forever.

I knew this, I live by this motto. But there are moments in life when you step back and compare your life with others and think: What am I doing? It seems that women who are getting married or have children surely have a greater purpose in life. And here I was, on my way to life as a single person in a big city. A concept considered cool when you’re a twenty-something, but as a thirty-something…is it backwards?

At some point, I need to stop the questions, and just live as I’m meant to. A life I’ve designed for myself is about living every moment in peace, and in joy. Fortunately, it’s been almost three weeks in Paris and I can honestly say: pure happiness.

It feels like home.


Wendy's siguature

Wendy Hung


As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!

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