“Nothing is impossible. There’s no such thing as having no time. The whole world is always in front of us, and if you are willing to take a break to try and to explore, every single second will be filled with life and joy.”
Janet Hsieh 謝怡芬，是 Discovery 頻道「瘋台灣」的知名旅遊主持人。在美國德州出生長大的 Janet 自認是 ABT (American Born Taiwanese)，美國出生的台灣人。Janet 在麻省理工學院雙主修西班牙文與生物，原本準備從醫的她，大學畢業後第一次來到台灣旅遊，想要藉此多了解台灣的文化和自己的背景。原本以為只是一個短期的實習，卻因此愛上了台灣這塊土地。Janet 形容自己是『專業的旅人，世界永遠的學生』，她帶著一直放在身上的『瓦力』小吊飾走過世界四十多個國家。對 Janet 來說工作，生活和旅行密不可分，旅行是生活的一部份，也是她親近一切的方式。
Janet Hsieh is the well-known travel host of the Fun Taiwan series on Discovery Travel and Living Channel. Born and raised in Houston, Janet thinks of herself as an "ABT", "American Born Taiwanese" - represented on the “I AM TAIWANESE AMERICAN” T-shirt she wore at her TEDxTaipei talk. Janet double majored in biology and Spanish at MIT. Originally hoping to go to medical school and to become a doctor, she traveled to Taiwan for the first time after graduating from college, hoping to explore her roots. However, Janet’s short-term internship would turn out to be a long-term stay in Taiwan. Her enthusiasm, curiosity, and unique way of introducing places and people have been well received by audiences across Taiwan. Described as a “professional traveler and a lifelong student of the world,” Janet has brought her stuffed animal Wally with her on trips to more than forty different nations. To her - life, career, and travel are closely connected to each other. Travel is an important part of her life and is her telescope to the world.
Travel Brings Us Closer
Janet wrote down her experiences and adventures in two memoirs: Traveling with 100 Toothbrushes published in 2010 and Backpack to The Future published in 2011. “Every trip happens for a different reason. Sometimes you travel to rest, sometimes you travel to escape, and most of the time… it just happens naturally. I instinctively want to seek ‘change’, and I often find ‘energy for the soul’ within the changes,” said Janet.
在『愛上旅行的理由』書中，Janet 分享了她第一次踏上南非的種種遭遇與心境。在印度洋與大西洋的交界處，Janet 試圖尋找生活的真實面，與當地人一起生活。無論是親眼目睹海豹、非洲獅子、象等野生動物，或是登上桌山看見大自然的美景，Janet 讓我們看見，世界就是一個巨大無比的教室。
In her book Backpack To The Future, Janet shares her first time experiences of stepping onto the African continent. At Cape Town, South Africa, where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean, Janet tries to find the “reality” of living life and lives with the locals. Whether it was encountering sea lions, elephants, and other wildlife animals, or climbing up the sugary slopes of Table Mountain to see the majestic view of the sea, Janet reminds us that the world truly is a huge classroom.
Janet 不僅分享她在旅途中的樂趣，更讓我們明白，旅行中最重要的事情就是『人』—『 我一直相信，在旅行中最大的收穫，就是「人」，只有他們，才能帶我走得更遠。』
Not only does she share her experiences of the trip, she also helps us understand the most important thing on any journey is the “people.” The biggest achievement during traveling is adapting to the local life and getting closer to the people living in this world – for people are the ones who bring you further on life’s long journey.
節目中總是活力十足的 Janet，在她的書『Janet 帶100支牙刷去旅行 』中分享了旅行對她的影響。十六歲時 Janet 利用暑假到了南美洲厄瓜多的小村落 Chone 當志工。在那裡她一天花兩塊美金過生活，三件衣服穿兩個月。因為當時她所在的地區爆發大規模的狂犬病，為了控制疫情，Janet 與團隊須幫當地的貓狗注射疫苗。她每天在大太陽底下工作得滿身大汗，甚至冒著有可能在注射時被咬的危險。但是村民們對他們的信任讓 Janet 很感動，更享受於這樣看似辛苦卻充實愉快的日子。
Chaning Lives with Toothbrushes
Always energetic on the screen, Janet shares how travel influences her in the book Traveling with 100 Toothbrushes. At the age of sixteen, she spent her summer volunteering as a relief worker in the small village of Chone in Ecuador – living on only two US dollars a day while switching between three sets of clothing in her two months in the village. Because there was a rabies outbreak in the area, her team had to vaccinate local cats and dogs in order to help control the spread of the disease. Even though Janet had to risk her life due to the real possibility of being bitten while conducting vaccinations, the trust and faith the villagers had in her team deeply moved her and gave her a sense of fulfillment in life.
在那裡，她和同伴們發現厄瓜多的小孩並不知道『刷牙』這件事情。於是她和同伴進行了公共衛生教育，刷牙教學。這樣一個舉動，不僅影響了小朋友的衛生習慣，更影響了整個村落。『牙刷事件』也讓當時十六歲的 Janet 深刻地了解到我們對週遭環境的影響力，遠超過我們的想像！
After finding out that the children in village did not know about the health benefits of brushing teeth, Janet and her teammates launched a public health campaign about the importance of dental hygiene. This bold move not only influenced the children, it inspired the entire village to participate in tooth brushing. This “toothbrush milestone” also taught Janet that our impact on our surroundings often exceeds our imagination.
“Never think that you are incapable or afraid of doing something, just take action and the result could be beyond your expectations.”
『旅行還有另一個非常迷人的地方，就是靠近生活：他人的生活與自己的生活。』在 Janet 對旅行及生活的態度中，我們也看到了她對待生命的智慧。面對生活中種種挑戰，她覺得那就像一個個『轉變』，而『轉變』本身對她而言，總是帶來了能量。
Travel: An Opportunity to Change
Travel is appealing because it allows us to be closer to our lives and the lives of others. We see Janet’s wisdom for life through her attitude towards traveling. She thinks of the challenges in life as “changes”, and change often brings her energy.
She believes the process of change is similar to that of having a hiccup: “sometimes you just can’t breath properly as if you have something stuck in your throat, and all of the suddenly it is smooth again. Whether it is traveling or going about ordinary business in life, there will be times when we encounter ‘hiccups’. If I understand that I’m only going through a difficult time, I would tell myself that this is just a hiccup. When I change my thoughts, change the space I am in, or change the things I’m so familiar with, everything will be fine. Part of the meaning of traveling is to allow myself to change.”
Janet 時而讓我們大笑，讓我們感動。她熱情，率直，永遠對世界充滿好奇。Janet 每一天都活得很用力，堅持活出自己想要的人生。當她被問即如果可以再活一次會改變甚麼時，她說自己不會改變任何事情，因為無論是好或壞的經歷，過去的每一刻讓她成為現在的自己。選擇了就不後悔。
Life is Like a Journey
With her spunky attitude, adventurous personality, and commitment to live her life according to her beliefs, Janet makes us laugh and moves us. “If I could live life again, I would not change a thing,” says Janet. “Good or bad—even during my really low moments. In a way, those moments have made me who I am today.
Even though she never thought that she could stay at the same place for more than a year, she fell in love with Taiwan and has settled here on the island. The best advice she has ever received was from her parents: “work hard, be yourself, cherish as well as be thankful to the people around you. Don’t be worried and don’t be afraid, just focus on the things you love to do at the moment because life keep us on the right path!”
Janet’s mantra is that life and travel do not contradict each other. The process of a traveler adjusting to local life is the process of learning how to live life. “You do not need to know the language to have a great experience,” says Janet. “Travel doesn’t have to be far, and the wonders of traveling do not decrease even when the distance is short. If we could change our mind, traveling could happen in our daily life!
Travel also allows us to learn new ways of looking at life. Some of the most insignificant things are actually very valuable. We cannot put a price on everything, nor can we calculate the value of a papaya, brought by a little girl who spent two hours walking just to bring Janet her household’s most treasured food. The value of things does not depend on monetary value but on our willingness to put time and effort into it. If we are willing to let go of our prejudices and stereotypes, life will teach us so much more. The story Janet shares helps us understand the meaning of life through the act of simple living.
As an empowering and inspirational role model, Janet has not only revealed to us the beauty of Taiwan and the world, she has also introduced Taiwan to the rest of the globe. Through her work, we see her courage, her willingness to try new things, and her love for life. Janet’s experiences remind us that life can be splendid – that if we are willing to be bold and brave, the world can be our playground and a window on self-discovery.
另外兩個 Janet 的訪談：
Two other interviews with Janet by TaiwaneseAmerican.org:
本文作者：womany 編輯部 / 藍巧紋 ChiaoWen Lan
Kao, Wen-In. 聚焦360度 Janet
更多 TEDx Taipei 相關內容請見：http://tedxtaipei.com/