You Can Take the Girl Off the Island, But…

… You Can’t Take the Island Out of the Girl.

Where you come from doesn’t have to define you,
but you can choose to embrace who it helped you become.

Britt Lao

When I moved to the city and told people where I was from, they inevitably assumed either I, or my parents, were hippies. I vehemently denied any such claim, since I grew up with this idea that hippies were bad, stinky, gross, low-lifes, blah blah blah. (I’m sorry, hippies!!!) Anything to make someone look worse off than we were… or, to put it another way, anything to make US look better than THEM.

Moving away from my small community, to a larger one, and finally overseas to a new country and a new language, gave me the freedom to be who I wanted to be. No longer was I confined to identify myself by what my parents’ jobs were, who I went to school with, or hung out with. As I got farther away from the ideas of who I “should” be, I began to see parts of myself in what I missed from my hometown.

大自然 Nature, the odd synchronicities and random connections with strangers: those practically define Salt Spring Island, and I didn’t think they would happen anywhere else but my eccentric hometown. Oh, but how I was wrong! Those odd synchronicities still happen. My husband shakes his head and tells me “Only you, Britt” after I relay my daily adventures, or after a stranger in a bronze workshop in the hotspring village describes my personality by observing the shape of my face. So my point is, I carry that energy with me still. And I love it. Even as a foreign face in an island nation of 23 million, I am approachable enough to be offered jobs upon meeting in the dog park, or handed mosquito bite ointment while waiting for tea. Our apartment is a 5-minute walk to the Taipei Metro, yet we gaze across to the quiet, farmed hillside and watch Formosan Blue Magpies swoop around all day.

Everything I want and expect* in life, I have. No one here knows the town I’m from, or expects anything of me, but I still choose to carry that grounded essence of the natural, curious, vibrant corner of Earth with me.
The outspokenness. Challenging the status quo. The focus on natural health and healing remedies, the outright acceptance of something “other” than what we can see with our own eyes.

Find the curious in the little things. Pictured, a hand holding a small pebble that resembles an Oreo cookie
Find the curious in the little things, like this Oreo pebble

The encouraging to explore, yourself, your abilities, other realms, to find fairies along mountain trails. Carrying a favourite crystal, and recommending one to help a stranger with their woes. Butting in on conversations with unwarranted, but oddly useful and needed, advice. This is island life. This is charmed and vibrant and quirky, and I love it. This is me.

*what we expect can be good or bad, by the way. If we expect certain things, and accept them as truths, they will happen. Our minds and perspectives are powerful. Choose wisely.


To get a little kickstart in clearing out some of your energy blocks, and to put some oomph behind your intentions to move forward and grow in life, give Reiki a try! It’s available from me to you, wherever you are in the world. Check out The Reiki Page for more! See you there.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Mark aka Dad says:

    You really never left the island, just moved to a bigger one. Stay curious and you will find God even in a dew drop 🙂 Love Dad

    Liked by 1 person

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