Realistically speaking, though the standard of living there is very reasonable for a visitor from Singapore, 10 days is nowhere near enough to truly experience a country like Taiwan. I wanted to soak in an outdoor hot spring, go surfing, get on a hot-air balloon, go whale-watching, climb a mountain, there were so so many things I wanted to do.
So, I head over, with hotel bookings only for the first 3 days, a verbal scooter rental agreement with an angmoh (which seemed rather dodgy considering the fact that he was completely uncontactable when I arrived) and a backpack full of excitement.
And yes, things started to go wrong from there.
Bad planning and big empty spaces on an intinerary is usually not good news.
All in all, it was an incredibly fun trip, with a lot of bad luck, and I felt completely unfulfilled when I came back. Why unfulfilled? Well, I intended to circle the entire island, but only managed to make my way to Taichung. There was SO MUCH of Taiwan left for me to see! I HAD TO GO BACK. I HAD TO CIRCLE TAIWAN ON A SCOOTER. For every naysayer, cynic, killjoy and pessimist, I'll have you know that yes, a scooter CAN go long-distance. And as much as you don't want to believe it, it isn't about the bike. It's about the rider.
And thus began my mission to make this project happen. For one, I wanted to document my travel, to make something that will help me never forget this adventure. Secondly, I wanted to share it with everyone. So, I found an old friend, Sam, who is also the director, and brought this idea up to him.
At that point of time, I was bringing the idea up to many people. But ideas being ideas, and people being people, no one quite took my proposals seriously.
Sam, however, jumped at it with so much enthusiasm that I, myself, was surprised. He believed this could work, and was willing to give me his fullest support. So I took off, my heart renewed, and a hope that this project was possibly one step closer to reality.
Director, check. Film crew, check.
Now, I needed someone to help me with getting the word of this project out, and get the support this project required. There was no one else I would've turned to but Alvin, now the executive producer of Heels2Wheels. He had worked closely with me on various projects, and was equipped with a wide network, experience and most of all, belief in whatever little talent I had.
He, too, agreed to help me out, and together, with our forces united, we had a team.
So, all the prep work started. We began by writing in to various companies, of which we had no reply. Then, I decided, if the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain. Armed with the kickass presentation that Alvin had prepared, we headed down to potential sponsors' offices, and asked for just a few minutes of their time. If this blogpost were a video, at this point of time, you will see the montage of hand shaking, door knocking, door slamming in faces, and fast, pacy music.