Today it rained in Taipei. Hard.

I got swept up in the rain, soaked after getting lost on the train and having a fight with my partner.

It has been a long week and an intense month living in Taipei for the first time. We came here on nearly blind faith, offering ourselves to the Universe. Six months ago we had hatched an idea with another client friend who wanted to introduce us to their friends and potential partners in Taiwan.

After three and a half months of attending a yoga, meditation, and spirituality in Oaxaca, Mexico our hearts and calendars were so open we decided, why not?

Mazunte, Oaxaca, Mexico | Photography: Sabina Mac

Mazunte, Oaxaca, Mexico | Photography: Sabina Mac

Arriving in Taipei, the culture shock was real. Going from living in a tiny coastal town in Oaxaca where the farthest we traveled was 1km to and from the yoga school to living in a bustling city in Taipei was startling. We had spent three and half months getting grounded, increasing our awareness and sensitivities and then BOOM! Another country, another language, another culture, and way of doing things.

Welcome to Taiwan.

You could say we were naïve and a little unprepared. We had no idea what was in store.

Songshan District, Taipei, Taiwan 

Songshan District, Taipei, Taiwan 

And yet for all the challenges of city life and the identity confusion for me of being Chinese yet still a foreigner, Taiwan has been amazing. I love the people who for the most part have been so kind, generous and willing to help. The city is incredibly clean and well-designed. The train stations are spotless. I love the food, lots of traditional dumplings, scallion pancakes, and steaming hot pot. The island is full of lush green mountains and tea gardens just outside the city center. And more than anything there’s this air of peacefulness and this love for family and a good, simple life I appreciate so much. 

Wisteria Tea House, Taipei, Taiwan 

Wisteria Tea House, Taipei, Taiwan 

Taiwan has never been on my radar and I knew very little about the country before I came but the explosion of creativity and richness of culture here is astounding. The cultural history dates back to the prehistoric Stone Age when many aboriginal tribes lived here. During war times in China, much of the art and culture was destroyed. However, what was preserved still exists in Taiwan and to add to the mix, Taiwan has a true melting pot with Taiwanese, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, American, Portuguese, and Spanish influences.

Jiufen, Taipei, Taiwan 🇹🇼 

Jiufen, Taipei, Taiwan 🇹🇼 

But even with all this cultural wealth, the metropolitan area of New Taipei City is not immune to the struggles of city life. The air quality isn’t great with lots of noisy cars and pollution. Like most modern-day cities, many people you see are glued to their screens. This is the power of technology; it holds within it both the seeds of creation/innovation and destruction. When we lock our attention on it, our minds fall under a collective hypnosis. We lose ourselves.

Taipei, Taiwan 

Taipei, Taiwan 

That includes me. It’s been a mental, emotional, physical rollercoaster. Trying to work fulltime again and navigate my way in a busy new city. I thought I’d moved beyond “living for the weekend” but wow, I’m thankful it’s Saturday and I have a night to myself. A night to go IN.


I’ve drawn a bath for myself, a salt bath of rose water. I’ve lit candles and diffused some essential oils. I’m drinking creamy honey in my rose tea. Listening to the soul-caressing sacred songs of Peia's album "Four Great Winds" and the heart-moving mighty ballads of the new album "High As Hope" by Florence + The Machine.


There’s something so feminine about being in the water. A beautiful bathtub that makes even a busy city feel like home. Back to the mother, back to the womb. It’s so comforting, I feel so held. Slowly but surely I begin to relax, the suit of armor that I unconsciously wear to protect myself comes off. I peel back the layers and reveal my still beating heart. I breathe in deeply, filling my lungs with the scent of rose.

In this moment I wash away the rains from the day, the month, the year and I let myself be my own inner mother. Held closely and intimately by my self.

Wherever you are, I wish you some nourishing “you time” soon. It’s a wild world out there. Take care of yourself.

With love and gratitude,


Da’an Park, Taipei, Taiwan 

Da’an Park, Taipei, Taiwan 

Love Lost & Found | Part II: Love is a Mystery


Love Lost & Found.

What could me more worthy of dedicating space to than love?

Sharing stories, symbols and suffering from love lost. Discovering hope, belonging, acceptance from love found. I've written a three part series dedicated to these insights. 

  • Part I: Love is a skill [here]. 
  • Part II: Love is a mystery [this post!].
  • Part III: Great love and great achievement require great risk [to be published].

So here goes Part II...

"Love is a Mystery. We’ll learn what life is as we go.
No maps, no guides, or answers." — Max Mendoza

Love fascinates me. My favorite stories are love stories. How people met. What drew them to one another. How they knew that person was their person. How their love grew. Their favorite things about one another. How it feels to wake up in the other’s arms. What lessons they’ve learned from one another. What gifts they’ve shared. What challenges they’ve faced together. What’s their vision? What’s next?

All of it.

Some people call that being nosey. I call it being passionately curious.

Studies show that sharing these stories releases oxytocin. People experience gratitude and joy as they reflect on some of the most meaningful moments of their lives.

Sometimes when I ask couples these questions, they have never heard one another share these feelings so deeply or tell these stories so vividly.

One of my favorite moments was at Burning Man this past year. I befriended a group of “technicolor teddy bears”, we were all wearing technicolor fur coats and became a crew.

There were two bears named Astonish Bear and Beastie Bear. At first, I didn’t realize they were a couple, then I sensed something and asked one of the other bears. She smiled and said, “they’re Care Bears.”


We all cuddled up together and I said to Astonish and Beastie, “You’re Care Bears.” They looked at each other, smiled, and said, “Yes, we are.”

I asked Beastie Bear how they met.

They met in Tennessee. He hosted a Burner dinner party and Astonish Bear was invited by a friend. He saw her and it was like time stood still. She astonished him.

Her beauty, her energy, the way she lit up a room.


She started hosting events in the area too. She even led the first regional Burn in Tennessee, mostly by herself.

You could hear the admiration in his Tennessee twang as he spoke.

But the best part was seeing the way she looked at him while he told his love story about her.

“She’s my Playa Queen,” he said.

It was pure beauty.

I could hardly bare (no pun intended) the love and delight I felt in my heart from being able to witness their connection.

I felt like I got to soak in their lovecuzzi (love jacuzzi) for a moment. Bubbles and everything!


Feeling safe, love, and accepted by a special someone is no small thing.

Looking into the well of someone else’s soul. Starting into the eternity of their eyes. Feeling the warmth of their skin on yours. Lying entangled in a web of affection. Seeing them at their worst and loving them even more for it.

There’s nothing else like it.

My first love told me, beauty is meant to be shared.

And your beloved is someone to share the mystery of love with.

With love lost & found,


Pursuing a Ph.D. (Pure Heart Degree)

A wise friend once told me that the reason why most brilliant people fail is they burn out. He had been one of those people; an incredibly talented photographer and art director flying all around the world shooting for some of the largest companies in the world. Wayne suffered a severe brain injury that landed him in the hospital where he nearly died.

Ever since Wayne shared that, it’s really stuck with me and over the last few years I've been flirting with burnout. I consult with a firm that is self-managed and mostly remote, which allows me to travel 50-80% of the time.

Moment captured by: Marva Merci Dixon 

Moment captured by: Marva Merci Dixon 

The travel bug more than bit me, it's under my skin, and I have been crisscrossing the U.S. like my life depends on it. For the most part the life I designed looked and felt like a dream. Though it was fulfilling, the problem was it wasn’t sustainable and the very things I loved most (travel, community building, purposeful work) were also creating a tremendous amount of stress.

Even with this awareness, I continued to try to manage and maintain it. With each long trip or 12-hour computer day, I thought, if I just hack at this harder or work smarter I’ll make this ship sail.

But in January 2017, the writing was on the wall and my body, energy, and spirit could feel it. I was overweight, feeling trapped in a body that wasn’t mine. I was having my biofeedback therapist work on me almost every other week, rebalancing my energy, only for me to deplete it two weeks later. And my spiritual practice was an "MVP" minimum viable practice with a bit of stretching and prayer in the morning and journaling late at night.

Moment captured by: Vanessa Deering

Moment captured by: Vanessa Deering

I couldn’t do it anymore. I knew I had to make a change.

From what I’ve learned about change, the greatest transformations occur not in the doing or the thinking but in your state of being.

I was done putting so much of my mental energy towards this state of imbalance. I got really clear on my desire to live in a State of Grace where intention, purpose, and divinity meet.

Doesn’t that sound lovely? It does but getting there felt impossible. 

Einstein says you cannot solve a problem with the same consciousness in which you created it. If I had any chance of evolving into a State of Grace, I needed to do something radical.

Moment captured by: Vanessa Deering

Moment captured by: Vanessa Deering

I decided to pursue what I called a "Ph.D. in KPG" meaning a Pure Heart Degree in Koh Phangan, Thailand. 

Even though I had only spent a week in Koh Phangan I recognized it's an island designed for healing and growth. I felt this was the place I needed to be so I jumped through hoops, made leaps and bounds, let go of everything I knew and crossed oceans to be there again.

It felt risky but I went all in.

“There is no perfect place to meditate.” — Buddha

As soon as I arrived back in Koh Phangan I felt anxious. All of my insecurities and fears began to bubble up and stare me right in the face. I felt naked (which I love feeling now but definitely not then). I felt paralyzed. I felt lost and completely transparent like people could see right through my bullshit (and they could).

Everyone was a mirror.

Everything was a trigger.

It was inescapable.

And with no family and very few friends around to save or distract me I actually had to sit in the sweat lodge of my own shit and sweat it out.

Every day, step-by-step, breath-by-breath, story-by-story, I began to peel back layers of my conditioning. I thought I had already done a lot of internal work but wow was I humbled.

Through formal and informal healing sessions and experiences I began to release code after code of programming creating space for a new way of being. 

Ecstatic Nature Retreat |  Tantra Heart Love  | Captured by  Maxinne Bjork

Ecstatic Nature Retreat | Tantra Heart Love | Captured by Maxinne Bjork

Slowly my mind released control. I became more and more aware of my ego, my darkness, my inner child. Once you start digging you realize how much is REALLY there.

I began to let go of everything I thought I knew. I surrendered.

All with plenty of resistance of course, that’s actually one of my favorite Koh Phangan sayings my friend Wendy and I joke about, “Breathe into the resistance” someone will say when you're having a hard time and all you want to say back is FUCK YOU and FUCK YOUR ELITIST SPIRITUAL BULLSHIT. But then you remember, it’s not about them, you’re having your own experience. Everyone in your life is just playing a role in your dream sequence.

You’re the one who’s suffering and that's your choice. 

Moment captured by:  Maxinne Bjork

Moment captured by: Maxinne Bjork

While I see this as a lifelong journey, what I’ve learned so far from KPG is this:

  • In the cave you fear is the treasure you seek.
  • Health, balance, and grace are directions not destinations.
  • Every trigger is a teacher and an opportunity to purify, thank it. 
  • Anger is not a bad thing, channeled properly, it is an enormous well of creativity.
  • On the other side of anger is often deep sadness, on the other side of sadness is often anger.
  • It's less about what you are doing or how much you gain, it's more about who you are being and how much you're willing to let go. 
  • While we all have differences, we each have a desire to love and be loved.

Though the "Pure Heart Degree" is a work in progress, at the moment, self-love and healing feel like the most important things to study.

 Be well soul friends, 


p.s. View the entire Koh Phan photo album and another post about the island: 3 P's of KPG: Pleasure Passion Purpose.

Moment captured by:  Maxinne Bjork

Moment captured by: Maxinne Bjork


The Three P’s of Koh Phangan, Thailand

Everyone’s experience will be unique to them but from what I’ve seen, there are three main regions of Koh Phangan carrying three different vibrational frequencies. These frequencies correlate with the three highly researched levels of happiness that we teach at Delivering Happiness.

1.     Pleasure

2.     Passion

3.     Purpose

Full Moon Party | Haad Rin, Koh Phangan

Full Moon Party | Haad Rin, Koh Phangan


What most people have heard about when you mention Koh Phangan is the Full Moon Party on the Haad Rin side of the island.  This is “Pleasure-seeking” happiness or “Rockstar happiness”, which is chasing the next high.

I have only passed through Haad Rin but from its reputation, I’ve heard it’s like Spring Break meets Yacht Week in the tropics. Endless bars, cheap drinks, it’s a place you can really party your heart out. Haad Rin is catered towards people looking to have fun (dependent on your definition of fun). What it’s not catered towards is your long-lasting health or happiness.

Lovely Photography: Katsura Sato | Haad Yao, Koh Phangan

Lovely Photography: Katsura Sato | Haad Yao, Koh Phangan


Then there’s the East side of the island nicknamed the "Tri-Bay" for its three beaches: Haad Tien, Haad Yao, and Why Nam.  This is what I consider the “Passion” side of the island.

The word passion comes from the Latin root “pati” which means "to suffer". The suffering on this side of the island comes from the Tri-Bay’s unofficial tagline, “DETOX RETOX”. In the Tri-Bay you’ll find beach dance parties at Why Nam, Guy’s Bar, and Eden with good vibes and fun treats to keep the vibes flowing (if that’s what you’re seeking). 

The beachside resort and healing hub for your DETOX is the Sanctuary where you can take various workshops, experience healing sessions, or do a five-day cleanse. When I first arrived, I did a week long Thaivedic Massage course Thai massage + Ayurveda) and really enjoyed it. Though people are mostly on holiday coming and going, there’s also a pretty close community so you’ll see familiar smiling faces wherever you go.

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering


Finally, there’s the side of the island I call home. Along the West coast of Koh Phangan lies the “yoga” or “hippie side” of the island called Sri Thanu. To me, Sri Thanu is so much more than a bunch of yogi’s. Sri Thanu is a small village and conscious community where people come to heal and grow. If that is what you're longing for, you’ll want to pinch yourself when you arrive because the entire village is designed for your healing and spiritual awakening.

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

With the elevation of our collective consciousness, there are more and more communities like these sprouting up around the globe, but what I think makes Sri Thanu unique is the gentleness with which it heals and holds space for you.

Geographically, the beaches are shallow and low tide, perfect for floating. The sunsets reflect like mirror images onto the sea. The lush green jungles surround you in a state of serenity.

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Culturally, the local Thai people are kind and loving. The majority are Buddhists who live their lives humbly, respectfully, and with honor. Most speak some English and are willing to teach you some Thai. Koh Phangan has virtually zero crime and in my experience is very safe to travel solo.

Stunning Photography:  Maxinne Bjork

Stunning Photography: Maxinne Bjork

Communally, the people who really tap into the Koh Phan-magic always return. Whether they come back every season or 14 years later, this sacred place opens your heart and stays with you long after you leave her.

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering


Culinary wise, the options are mostly either Thai or Vegan-Vegetarian.


  1. Cafe Wan - try the orange curry! it's unbelievable, my favorite.

  2. Bai Jai (try the pumpkin and egg special and the massaman curry

  3. Mamma Pooh's - massaman curry and seafood

  4. Anutta - quick, easy, yummy spot! love their shakes and veggie noodles.


  1. Karma Café - I love the breakfast burrito, Kale-ifornia Salad, and Perfect 10 Salad

  2. Orion - their Buddha bowl and hummus!

  3. Green Gallery - excellent Israeli food

  4. - their mushroom shishkabab and vegan desserts!


  1. Seed to Feed – gorgeously vibrant salads with micro-greens from their hydroponic garden

  2. Barracuda – the best fresh Seafood, the owner is Italian or French? he is super passionate about fishing and really is gifted!

  3. Taboon - Israeli - I like the Sabih eggplant salad, hummus with mushrooms, and chapatti bread yum yum yum!

  4. Three Sixty Bar - not for the food but for the view!


Getting to Koh Phangan is a trip. There’s no direct flight and it’s not for the high maintenance.

  • The two main airports to fly into are Koh Samui or Surat Thani.

    • Koh Samui flights from Bangkok are faster, easier, and more direct (1 hr flight) and ~$100. Use Bangkok Airways or Thai Airways and then take a Ferry. Use to book your ferry ticket. Note that there are different piers and the timing from the Koh Samui airport to the pier is different. Bangrak and Maenam piers are the closest to the airport. Usually the ferry does not need to be booked in advance. You can just ask in the counter in the airport. I recommend going on the Seatran ferry it’s 30 minutes. The last ferry leaves around 4-5pm. Also check Lomprayah Ferry.

    • In case you arrive in Samui later than that you can also sleep in Samui for a night and take the ferry in the morning (8-10am). Resort which is Convenient, cheap and close to airport: The Mermaid Samui: (can be booked on or

    • Flights from Bangkok to Surat Thani flights are cheaper than to Koh Samui ~$45 but usually the ferry from Surat Thani takes 5-7 hrs. Fly n Ride n Ferry” - Nok Air & can get you all the way to Koh Phangan from Surat Thani.

    • International Flights: or is a useful flights search engine.

  • When you arrive in Koh Phangan you'll arrive in Thong Sala, which is a little town, you can then get a taxi of your choice to all three sides of the island (Sri Thanu, Haad Rin, or the Tri-Bay - well the Tri-Bay you'll take a boat taxi).




  • Andoo Bike Rentals - right next to ask for Andoo or Yik. Tell them Lotus and Wendy sent you and they'll take care of you!

  • Trusted taxi drive - Pele, he speaks good English and is super helpful and available. He also provides a much more fair price than others. Tell him Lotus sent you! +66 93-679-5215)


  • Visa: For most countries, entrance to Thailand for last than 30 days, doesn’t require a visa application beforehand and you can get 30 days when flying in (not if you arrive by land). To check if your country suits that, please see links below

  • After 30 days you can extend your visa in 30 days more in the immigration office in Koh Samui. (cost 1900 THB). This means you can stay in Thailand for 60 days without Visa application beforehand.

  • In case you plan to stay for more than 2 months please apply for a tourist visa at your homeland embassy. If you plan to stay more than 60 days in Thailand you can apply for a tourist visa in the nearest thai embassy (get 60 days + option to extend 30 days)

  • Travel Insurance - I recommend to get it. I use WorldNomads Travel insurance.

If you make it that far, hit me up and I’ll shower you with more Koh Phan Love & Support. 

Godspeed and safe travels,


p.s. see full Koh Phangan photo album


Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

There’s no place like Koh Phangan. No place.

People who’ve been there call it a magical island and you can see from the way they light up inside and the pictures that go along with their light that it’s 1000% true.

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

The entry to Koh Phangan reminds me of a kid’s amusement park ride. If you’ve ever been you might remember next to each ride there’s a sign that says, “You must be this tall to ride this ride” along with a given height. Well in Koh Phangan, there are invisible signs that say, “Your heart must be this open to experience this magic”.

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Located in the south of Thailand, this little slice of paradise has a heightened vibrational frequency that is undeniable. Similar to how at Burning Man people say, “the playa provides”, in Koh Phangan, “the island provides” giving you the lessons, experiences, and abundance you seek in a remarkably accelerated way.

Radiant Photography: Maxinne Bjork

Radiant Photography: Maxinne Bjork

I first discovered Koh Phangan through a friend of friend named Wendy. We both happened to be in Chiang Mai on the first day of the New Year 2017 and though we only met for 20 minutes, the Universe could not have orchestrated it more brilliantly. I had one extra, unplanned week of my Southeast Asia travels and after Wendy gave me the download on Koh Phangan I felt a FULL BODY YES.

My time there was even more delicious than I had imagined, this is due in most part to the profoundly impactful and expanding 5-day Tantra Heart workshop I attended (which is a whole other story) but the credit really goes to Kobi, Anna Maria, and the rest of the Tantra Heart Tribe! This is a testimonial from my experience. 

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Before I made my return journey to the U.S. I made a promise to myself to do whatever it took to come back as soon as possible for as long as possible.

While it was a challenging leap of faith that has it’s own blog post, I’m grateful to say I made all the arrangements, shared my vision with every loved one and made it happen.

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Since March 2017, I’ve been living, learning, and growing in Koh Phangan. Here, I’ve found a tropical home away from home where I’ve returned to loving myself. I’ve also been met with a conscious community where I feel whole and accepted.

There is so much I want to express about this sacred place and yet I’m a bit hesitant to share for fear that my attempt at putting my experience into words might diminish the magic and spoil the secret. That said, I believe generosity is the right gift at the right time to the right person and it was most certainly that for me so if this hidden gem speaks to you by all means GO and maybe these next posts will help:

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Part #1: The Three P’s of Koh PhanganPleasure, Passion, and Purpose - a breakdown of what I see as the “vibes” of the island. I also share some pointers on how to get to KPG.

Part #2: Getting my Ph.D. (Pure Heart Degree) in KPG - a story about my personal journey of healing and some of the heart opening experiences I’ve had so far.

Part #3: Soon I'll be writing "Tantra Heart Thailand", about the Tantra Heart Tribe led by the brilliant co-creators, Kobi and Anna Maria. For now, here is one of their upcoming retreats: ECSTATIC LOVE in Koh Phangan in January and this is a testimonial from me.

Lastly, it's not about just visiting Koh Phangan, while it has become home for me, my wish is that you follow your bliss, answer your call to adventure, go where you need to go.

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

You belong where you feel free.

And sometimes it just takes leaving your comfort zone to give you the space to see what has always been within you ready to be unlocked.

So here’s to the magic of possibility and the limitless frequency of love, may it shower you daily.



p.s. see entire Koh Phan photo album



Above White Lotus Meditation Center in Ubud, Bali

Above White Lotus Meditation Center in Ubud, Bali

Above every sky is another sky.

Agus, the Balinese palm reader said to me.

You've got to be willing to let go of this Sky trusting the next will come. To me, this is not the same as the grass is always greener. It's not about comparison or ego. It's trusting that spirit is calling you forward. It's trusting that the Universe has got you, that you got you, that the energy that brought you to this special place, person, or moment will carry you to the next.

It's trusting that there is a greater plan being orchestrated and you must follow the notes of your heart song towards your next symphony. It's a reminder that playing the same tune on repeat, even if you love it more than you've loved anything before, is to stop yourself from growing.

Evolution is inevitable.

Nature knows this. Seasons change. Leaves fall. Fires blaze. Rivers flow.

This isn't some mystical poetic bs, this is that real real. To deny Mother Nature is to deny gravity. To deny Father Sky is to deny the wonder of our very existence. To deny your soul's urge is to insult the gift.

What are you afraid of that you can't overcome? Are you afraid of falling? of failing? of flying? of going too far? Yes, me too! It's fucking scary but we'll be okay and whoever and whatever we’re leaving in this Sky, will be okay too. Life has plans for them.

So what the hell are we waiting for?

Let's trust ourselves. Know ourselves. Liberate ourselves.

Accept our truth. Our whole unreasonable sometimes hard-to-look-at but powerfully beautiful honest truth.

Look in and ask yourself, if I loved myself truly and deeply, what would I do next?


With love x flight,


#freebird #openheart #heroinesjourney

Virgin Beach, Bali, Indonesia 

Virgin Beach, Bali, Indonesia