Why would an American choose to live on the other side of the world?

For a different perspective, of course!

The Coolidge family during their first morning walk in Taiwan.

The Coolidge family during their first morning walk in Taiwan.

If you hold an object in your hand, and view it from one side, no matter how hard you study that object from your perspective, you will always have a limited view. Similarly, if you live your whole life in one city, or one State, or one country, your perspective is limited by what you are exposed to. As an American with a wife and three children, with a good business, pleasant living environment and great friends, relocating was not an easy decision to make. The downturn in the economy was not a factor, as the choice was made years ago. Shaping our lives to allow us to let go of the attachments of our relationships and property was difficult and took quite some time. Focusing my business to be Internet-based and virtual was important. Building an Internet marketing business and virtual world business solutions consultancy gave me the freedom to move and continue working.

What drove me to relocate my family were the promises that only a shift in perspective could provide.

  • Giving my children a different education and fluency in Mandarin Chinese
  • Strengthening our family support structure
  • Opening doors to international business in Asia
  • The ability to accelerate my writing and photojournalism career
  • Increased travel opportunities
  • An improved quality of life, with fewer expenses and less stress (good bye rat race)

In order to advance towards a new future, I chose to reconnect with the past in Taiwan. I was born in Taiwan, but knew little of it growing up. My mother was a descendant of the Taiwanese tribal culture (Atayal), and she shared very little of her heritage with her children. I discovered my indigenous Taiwanese heritage when my mother was dying of cancer in the early 1990’s. After her death, I visited Taiwan in 1995, reunited with my relatives, and fell in love with the indigenous tribes of Taiwan. I formed my non-profit organization, ATAYAL in 1996, promoting the indigenous cultures of Taiwan, and took on the cause of indigenous advocacy, which to me is synonymous with sustainable living and “going green.” Since then, I have had a calling to return to Taiwan to see what I can provide.

We chose to settle in Tainan County, Taiwan, where my wife’s family lives. We live in a fairly rural area, with a slower-paced lifestyle. This slower pace is unusual in Taiwan, which prides itself on entrepreneurialism and hard work. But the village of Sigang (pronounced shee-gong’) is still connected to a traditional Taiwanese culture, which has slowly been eroded by progress and modernism.

We are here to see what this new perspective provides and embrace the relationships and opportunities that come our way. Visit our blog regularly to read our latest discoveries and adventures in our new life. We would love to show a Taiwan that more American families may enjoy experiencing or living in.

Johan and Xander check out their new surroundings.

Johan and Xander check out their new surroundings.

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6 responses to “Why would an American choose to live on the other side of the world?

  1. Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Great photo! Can’t wait to show this to Koe! Hi Everyone!

  3. Glad you made it back home safely, my friend. We’ll be in touch re. ‘Voices’ and other such things. It was a pleasure working with you, Shu-min, and the rest of the family for the past 5 years. I’m proud of what we were able to create together. Can’t wait to get it into film festivals. Should be fun. Now I can move into the next phase of my own life as well, with Brigitte here finally. Greetings from her and the rest of the film crew. Stay inspired, brother. 😉

  4. Tony,
    Thanks for sharing your new life with us. I am delighted you had an uneventful trip and thoroughly enjoyed your write-up the the photos.
    Tony, I wish you, Shu-Min and your children enjoy a wonderful adventure there.
    Much love to all of you.

  5. Wow! What a great choice you have made. I too made a lifestyle change choosing to work from home part time instead of the rat race of full time employment and all that it entails. The sacrifices you may be making are miniscule in comparison to the advantages that you and your family will enjoy from you and Shu-Min’s decision to move. I definitely see the improvements in my house and know you will too. Take care and remember to count your blessings with each passing day.

  6. Tony,

    You are creating and fulfilling your dreams. Great stories and blog.

    I see that you are using wordpress!!!

    Where should I make request such as adding a meditation room in my website and creating a wordpress.org splash page for standing meditation.beingchampion.blog.com(?)

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