Eryka is a representative of new age girls, who enjoys life with full confidence. As an assistant organizer of the Singapore Formula One Races, she likes to spend her time off from her busy job travelling everywhere. She is an enthusiastic photographer, and had already been throughout Korea, Japan, Bali, and more. In the beginning of 2015, she and her good friend Oshyn decided to spend the winter in Taiwan. Eryka joked that with Singapore being summer year-round, the pretty jackets in her closet only has the opportunity to be worn when travelling abroad.
Responsible for Eryka’s travel itinerary was travel consultant Shirley. The two of them had connected on Facebook, where Shirley took note of Eryka’s personality and interests through her shared videos and photos, in order to design the best trip for her.
The first stop on their trip was Cingjing Farm. Although the temperature was low, the mountain ridges and overlapping peaks with the backdrop of blue sky and white clouds was breathtakingly beautiful. The frigid weather made Eryka want to experience Taiwan’s hot springs, so guide Clint took them to the nearby Lu Mountain. This wasn’t in the original itinerary but turned out to be charming detour, and Eryka and Oshyn couldn’t wait to go explore. At Lu Mountain, they got their wishes of a hot spring experience and soaked their feet. Additionally, when passing by the local police station, they were curious and went on a expedition to check out the place where police officers worked. Eryka said that friendly composure of Taiwanese police, which was unlike that of typical law envorcement officers, left a memorable impression for her.
Eryka was in a habit of posting about every place that she went. She would always tag Shirley in the photos, as if Shirley, who was actually back at the office, was also travelling with them. The lambs on the green prairie, dream-like clouds, lively Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area all seemed to be just in front of Shirley’s eyes. Even the delicious smell of the hot tea that Eryka used to warm her hands seemed to waft into the office.
In planning their accommodations, Shirley selected for Eryka guesthouses that were full of warm, hospitable people, so that they could have more opportunities interacting with locals. On the night that they were in Puli, they were the only ones in the guesthouse. They felt entirely relaxed and free in this greenery-surrounded environment, and so started singing loudly as if they were the only ones who existed in the world. In that moment, they owned the entire mountain town.
Near the end of the trip, Eryka specifically invited Shirley to have dinner and shopping together. The two Facebook friends finally had the chance to meet face to face. Shirley led Eryka and Oshyn to the busy Ximending district, where they purchased many “I Love Taiwan” souvenirs, certain that they truly experienced the best of Taiwan on this vacation.
After leaving Taiwan and arriving at Singapore, Eryka received Shirley’s postcard, which had printed on it a school of Formosan landlocked salmon enjoying the hot springs. Shirley especially picked it for Eryka, so that when she received it she could relive the time of soaking in the Lu Mountain hot springs. Not long afterwards, Shirley also received a surprise from Eryka. As she teared open the box, Shirley could even feel her hands shaking in anticipation. The small intricate box contained a pair of elegent earrings and a brooch. To Shirley, this was a precious gift of friendship.
Eryka said that as she became older, more and more of her past globe-trekking friends got married, and it made it harder to find future companions to travel the world with. Thus she greatly cherished Oshny’s and her other friends’ companies on this and other trips. However, she believed that in choosing to continue travelling, she would also meet and make many more interesting friends.
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