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A Little Like Can go a long way

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About

I am the author of various works of fiction, including The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair and Happiness & Honey. I have also written for several magazines and blogs, including Kindred Spirit, Watkins Mind Body Spirit and Wake Up World.

I currently live in Taiwan, with my wife and our dog, Hanbao (which is Mandarin for Hamburger… I didn’t name her).

So how did I end up here?

In 2012 I decided to shock my family and go live communally in a Buddhist Centre, in my hometown of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK.

Initially, they thought I was going to shave my head, wear orange robes and go chanting around the town center. But after counseling them about how I wasn’t a Buddhist, and that you didn’t need to go to such extremes to live there, they soon came around to the idea.

This is the centre, here…

The Buddhist Centre was open to a system called HelpX (Help Exchange), where people would come and stay for free, just as long as they worked for free (say, at the cafe).

In the two years that I lived there, I met people from all over the world: America, Russia, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, China, all of whom came to stay at the centre to help out. It was great to meet them all.

In 2013, a young lady from Taiwan came to the centre on the HelpX program.

As the months ticked on by, we hung out with each other, more and more, and then, after 6 months, we got together. When she had to return to Taiwan for visa and work-related reasons, I decided to follow (albeit seven months later, in August, 2014).

And that’s how I ended up here.

Now you know a little of my story.

Be well.

Gavin

It would be rude of me not to show you a few photos:

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Here we are in one of Taiwan’s many amazing parks. I’m at the back (the only foreigner) and my wife is the one on the far right, holding sunglasses. In the background you can see a group of old men, playing chess and whatnot.

 

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Here’s Hanbao, waiting to be served. That’s not her mobile phone on the table – she finds touch-screens hard to use.