Had I never moved to Taiwan,

I wouldn’t have met a government representative from Guam, who told me to email her if I ever made it there.

I wouldn’t have tried Nestea’s Honey Pear flavored bottled tea, which is making my life without soft drinks that much easier.

I never would’ve gotten involved with TUAPA, which allowed me to meet some of the most selfless people on the planet. I wouldn’t have become such a dog person.

These dogs are my therapy. When a dog looks at me like this, it's everything I can do to not turn into a baby-talking, cooing fiend.

I wouldn’t have tried grilled chicken sphincter. Or duck blood soup. Or vegetable jelly. I promised my students I’d try stinky tofu at some point and told a friend I’d attempt to eat durian fruit sometime. I need to learn to choose my culinary battles more carefully.

I wouldn’t have discovered technical writing. If I can make networking cables interesting to read about, I can probably find a cure for spontaneous dental hydroplosion.

We were going to make more loops, but a VP walked by... twice. I don't think he found the humor in, "We're increasing company morale!"

I wouldn’t have developed a taste for beer. It took me 7 years, but I finally like it. I’m a late bloomer.

I wouldn’t have met the diverse, generous group of friends I have here. They keep me sane and laughing.

I wouldn’t have so drastically expanded my food palate. I used to hate vegetables; now I prefer to cook with them.

I wouldn’t have seen Benny Benassi or Tiesto or Roger Shah live in Taipei. Benny Benassi wouldn’t have waved to me from the stage (I was dressed as a beer can. Who doesn’t want to wave to a giant beer can?).

I was cheersed a lot that night.

I wouldn’t have learned just how much impact the words “I love you” have.

I wouldn’t have gone to Beijing over Chinese New Year 2011 and done a handstand in the middle of Tian’anmen Square. Or luged from the Great Wall back to the bus. Or stayed in a hostel with a round bed and mirrored ceiling.

Showing my respect in front of some government building or museum in Tian'anmen Square.

I wouldn’t have lived in a cash-based society, which completely changes your view on money and finances.

I wouldn’t have celebrated Thanksgiving 2011 by sharing a massive chocolate-filled crepe with four other people who yelled, “Happy Thanksgiving!” every time someone took a bite.

Yeah, I live a blessed life.