100 Bucket List & Shanghai Local Eats

I’m eating lunch at a taiwanese restaurant called YongKang. I also bought a 100 bucket list journal…a few things I wrote:

1. Go to the top of the Eiffel tower

2. Go scuba diving

3. Live somewhere outside of the us for more than 6 months from now on.

4. Get married to the man of my dreams and have a loving marriage

wifi is really slow here so I will write later! I also found a Japanese restaurant and was so hungry I forgot to take pictures 😜🤣

Ps- I had to change the formatting of my photos because it was taking too long to load a story individual images.

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Shanghai

I got a haircut today for 30 yuan.

Enjoy my pictures of Shanghai and some of the food I had. I love spicy cold noodles.

I also love the miniso here…I spent an hour there yesterday. I’ll post photos of my trip with myself mom soon! Xoxo

Photos of China

I haven’t been able to access wifi for the last 2 days but thank goodness WordPress works here.

Here are some photos for your enjoyment.

I’m currently in Nanjing, having read Rape of Nanjing it does make me sad.

But we went to Hanzhou, Suzhou, and a few cities on a tour.

Im thoroughly impressed by the modern lighting and architecture wherever we go, I will make sure to include those photos next time!

 

 

My Plastic Bag Became Someone’s Shoe

Today my plastic bag became someone’s shoe.
As I sat in the train, I heard a girl scream “oh damn I lost my shoe”. Her sandal had dropped into the train tracks as the door slammed shut.

I looked at my bag, I had a Ross bag holding my snacks. I could give this to her I thought. No, that’s pathetic, she wouldn’t use it. After a few minutes I decided to ask her “do you want to use a plastic bag?”

“Yes!!!” She was ecstatic.

“That was exactly what I was going to use…I was in such a rush I lost my shoe. I should have just waited for the next train”.

Me- “I understand the feeling. I was feeling rushed too and wanted to get home, but we just need to slow down haha”.

She took the bag and enveloped her left foot, tying a knot around her ankles. She could put her foot down now, even if the floor was dirty. She was safe.

I thought about why I didn’t just offer right away and I realize we don’t offer help because we fear rejection. Even if our help is needed, sometimes people reject help due to pride.

What’s your name? She asked. Rebekka.
She came over and gave me a firm hug. Thank you.

As the doors opened again, I called out “bye Danielle, take it slow”.

She laughed, “you’re right!”

Just minutes before I was feeling rushed too, I just wanted to get home, I suppose I wanted to feel the comfort of familiarity. But then I heard God say, “I’m here, you’re safe, you’re home”.

What if we remember to take home wherever we go.

Your plastic bag can become someone’s shoe, don’t forget to look around and see how you can connect.

You may be the answer to someone’s problem. Or vice versa.

 

The Lifestyle of “The Unknown”

Laying on the soft korean mat, I tried to fall asleep…but all I could hear was the construction outside or the tv.

My thoughts drifted to last year when I had spent a night here- Jet lagged from 4 months of traveling in Southeast Asia. That is how I feel today having woken up at 5am.

I remember pushing a huge brown suitcase (because I acquired it at my last stop in
Taiwan) and my backpacking bag on 6th street.

For some reason I did not feel compelled to make plans. God had told me to trust Him and follow the spirit.

I landed at LAX and I don’t think anyone knew I was back. I didn’t have a sim card. Yes, I was hesitant, maybe a little anxious, wondering what I was doing back home and in the grand scheme, what was my purpose on earth.

The way I traveled in Southeast Asia was following the words that the spirit put on my heart. I would be in Vietnam wondering where I was going next and I would hear the next place. Sometimes I was at one city for a long time. But then I would meet the person I knew I was there for.

That is how I have lived my life for the last 6 years but even more so in the last 2 years.

I went from having a one bedroom apartment to selling all my furniture, every last bit of my spoons and forks. Sell everything and follow me, I heard.

One night I would question where I was going to be and the next I would be living with a friend. God orchestrated everything to force me, in a good way, to rely on and trust Him.

I obeyed not because I was forced to, but because I lived my own way for a long time. I would make plans and ask God to bless it. But I did not know what I actually needed. What I thought I needed was the outward appearance of success, but what I needed was healing in my heart, forgiveness, love, the ability to receive love and give love…so God went to work for me. 

Eventually I said I want to write, I have always written, but I want to focus on my dreams, on empowering people, on creating my own projects. I must not hesitate to go all in.

I eventually, though with much trepidation moved back to my mom’s house. After 6 years of living on my own, the thought of being in the same space with my mom frightened me.

But as I sit here writing this at Grand Spa, I think to myself…wow, I am a different person. My relationship with my mom has drastically improved as we learned to communicate with more compassion…Asians have issues with that.

I am solid in my identity, having gone through the whirlwind of trying to be like the world and eventually coming to terms with my unusual lifestyle and unconventional self.

The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Genesis

Sometimes and most of the time we must go into the unknown to birth our dreams. After awhile you get used to being different and then you start to lead others into the unknown.

Be Here Now

I love my travel friends, those I meet at hostels, at their homes, at pubs, at cafes, on trains, on planes…..in crossroads, at intersections, in transitions.

Even though they may be concerned about the future, they are often more in the moment.

They understand it is about the moment. One moment we are journaling, then the next jumping onto a moped and looking over the mountains overseeing the ocean, blue and crisp.

But we cant always be traveling, sometimes we need roots, sometimes we need to be still.

Why is it harder to be happy with the moment now when we are home? When life seems normal, stale even?

These moments forces us to notice small things, small moments.

Like when I was doing hot yoga next to a man who had a bible verse tattooed on his side. And this thought, oh wow, I am doing yoga and reading the bible at the same time, I laugh.

Or when we binge watch a netflix series and think, this show is so great.

In a year of sabbatical, some people ask me, are you in school or are you working? It seems we are always going somewhere, getting somewhere, trying to achieve the next…

We are uncomfortable with not knowing, we want to be single or married, we are not comfortable with unknown complications. We want to be in school or working, we want to have goals, we want to achieve….

But what if we were happy now.

Believing we are enough now.

Human ambition is a beautiful thing. I used to be a workaholic. But it can drain you, especially when you never feel like you are enough. What if ambition came from inspiration, not from a place of trying to prove your worth? What if creating came from rest and not from striving.

 

 

Discern The Times

it-is-finished-relax-and-enjoy

Not every season is a season to fight.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3

Though you may not be in a season of laughing and dancing, know that there is a season for everything. Embrace the tears if that is your season. Embrace the solitude if that is your season. Embrace your soul if that is your season.

I know that it is hard to wait and be still when you see others thriving in certain areas. Perhaps in the areas of career, love, travel. Maybe you want to date, but you are not ready, you cannot force yourself to be ready. Maybe you see other people traveling, but you are not, remember your time will come.

My relationship with God has helped me to discern the times, to sit and listen and sometimes to run and listen. I will hear “not now”, I have heard that for awhile now, I obey, submitting to a higher knowledge. I trust the timing. I also know that God knows my heart and whether I am ready for something. 

Have you discerned your season?

If you believe then God has already gone before you to pave the road. Just receive.