We’ve been very lucky that we’ve had very few restrictions to our daily lives in Taiwan as a result of Covid19, apart from the very minor inconvenience of having to wear masks on public transport. The biggest change for me has been the lack of international travel. I can’t remember the last time I’ve spent more than four months in one place without having to step on a plane.
Not that I’m complaining about that. The reverse in fact. It feels good to have much greater control of my schedule rather than having it governed by the demands of the next flight. So much of my time and energy was spent on traveling or preparing for trips that I put a lot of personal and business issues on the backburner. The past few months in Taiwan have given me the chance to address them.
Exercise is a good example. Although I started hiking last year, I wasn’t in the right physical shape to enjoy my excursions in the hills as much as I could have. Now I am able to make the most my climbs up Jiuwufeng every weekend despite the stifling summer heat thanks to a regular exercise regime consisting of 20,000 steps and 100 floors a day plus a little weight training.
I’ve found the best approach is to focus on a single goal every month rather than attempt to do everything at once. Only after increasing my step count, did I seriously start tackling the greater challenge of ascending the stairs to my eighth-floor office during my lunch hour to hit my 100-floor target. Now the routine has become so ingrained that I feel I’m getting much closer to a state of what the Daoist’s call wuwei (無為/wúwéi), or effortless action.
Even when (or if) international flights resume at scale, I doubt I’ll ever revert to my former schedule. It may be true that travel broadens the mind, but an extended time at home gives you the opportunity to dig deeper and discover more about yourself.