Foreign Sanctuary, Familiar Oasis

Gate at CKS Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan

After selecting and eliminating several word combinations for my blog title, I finally arrived at the perfect title: Foreign Sanctuary, Familiar Oasis. But then I decided to shorten it to two words: Foreign Sanctuary.  These few words communicate and translate the true essence and purpose of this blog, it’s future topics, it’s potential stories to be written and shared.

I currently live in Asia, my foreign sanctuary.  Living here is quite different than living in Canada, my native country.  I am constantly out of my comfort zone which can be quite exciting and daunting at times. Shopping at morning markets from local farmers, snake driving through traffic on a scooter, throwing the garbage out at the sound of Beethoven’s music (more on that in a future blog), speaking a different language, while being immersed in a different culture with different social rules are some of the things which make this my foreign sanctuary.  But living in a foreign country presents opportunities to explore and travel, make new friends, learn by experiencing, and most of all, enjoy everything this place has to offer. 

Lantern at the Taiwan Lantern Festival

And right in the middle of this foreign sanctuary is my very own familiar oasis, my home.  My husband and I recently became new home owners and transfer the new shell of a house into our very own western oasis. We have a backyard with trees, a sunroom, (where the entries of this blog are written), colorful rooms, western appliances and design, and this house is so us.  It is comfy and cozy and screams our taste. Our Taiwanese friends are always in awe when they walk in to our personal haven.  It’s like someone transported our home over the ocean and land and placed it right in the our neighborhood.  One of my friends once commented that it ‘looks like something out of a magazine or a display room at a furniture store.’ 

I love living here, being surrounded by everything that is different and exciting, but I love the fact that I can escape to my familiar oasis, my haven where I can feel happy and comfortable.  Living in this foreign sanctuary has presented me with many opportunities, both personal and professional.  I have the luxury and the convenience of western life in my personal oasis and I have a foreign sanctuary with has proven many times to be my playground for fun, exploration, adventure, and experience.  Living abroad has presented some challenges from time to time but it has also presented many beautiful and memorable moments. 

Random sign illustrating ancient Chinese Calligraphy

So, that is why those words clearly summarize the true intention of this blog.  I hope to bring you all on a journey, through my eyes, via my blog as I share my travel and living abroad experiences as well as some personal design experiences about how we created our personal haven abroad with a western feel.  I also hope to visually display, through pictures, my love of nature, photography, and all things important and beautiful to me.  So, without further ado, let’s get started on this journey!

In essence, I am enjoying the best of both worlds and I want to share my worlds with you!!!


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Foreign Sanctuary
Foreign Sanctuary


2 thoughts on “Foreign Sanctuary, Familiar Oasis

  1. Moving to a foreign country is one of the most difficult things, if no the most, that I have had to do. I look forward to reading your stories.

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