17 months ago, a disillusioned me decided it’s time to do something to help myself regain the appreciation for Taipei city, a place that I once dreamed of building a life and career during my teenage years. I drew my inspiration from a blogging project collecting people’s love letters for Philadelphia, so I decided to start my own, giving it the name, Taipei Love Notes. At first, I didn’t know how ambitious I should be with this project, since I didn’t set a solid goal for it, but as I began to write my love letters based on different sites throughout the city, I realized that the sole motivation that could keep me going was the process of discovering the unique values and beauties of these landmarks, restaurants or cafes throughout Taipei.
Whenever I visit each site and try to capture memorable details with my camera, I was reminded time and time again why Taipei remains so special to me. The diversity, the friendliness, and the impeccable food scene are just a few reasons why it deserves more love and appreciation than what people are giving it now. These traits can be easily overlooked, because they have been taken for granted. We have been spoiled by these uniquely Taiwanese benefits, and expect every place we go offers the same level of satisfaction and convenience. This mindset devalues a city with so much potential, and falsely convinces people that Taipei is no longer capable of inspiring them. Even though it is not an openly discussed problem among Taiwanese people, the amount of people leaving Taipei for other places is already a strong proof.
But since I kicked off this project in early 2016, I have gradually noticed how the words and images on this blog are helping me to regain a positive image of Taipei. I start to focus more on how these places enrich my life in Taipei, and every time I express my gratitude through words and images, I am able to immerse myself in that strong sense of appreciation. Just like in a relationship, the love displayed through words is strong enough to keep me satisfied and content.
So if you think Taipei remains a special place to you, but you are having a hard time appreciating what it offers, try to engage the city through a different medium. You can write up a short post with a few images, and share them with others by sending the package to firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll be surprised how your perception of this amazing city might change over time.