Faith – An Opportunity to Grow


As a child and as a classically trained violinist, I learned early on that the best way to be successful is to rely on myself and only myself. If I put in dedication, with my smarts, I always succeeded. As I became an adult, I learned that the population norm has lower expectations than I do. Fiercely independent, I have faith in myself that I will always be “all right” under any circumstances. I don’t easily buckle; I am antifragile and can appear to be amorphous from a traditional perspective.

Yet, I did not know the opportunity cost of being fiercely independent is that I don’t faith in others- people, things or religion. I am a pragmatist with a heart that desires to be an idealist. Having faith – or having blind faith is what has eluded me.

As I closed out the year at work last Friday, inevitably I did an internal evaluation. I looked back at my professional life in 2016 and saw how much I did this year… CMS implementation, site redesign, media spend attribution model, team reorganization, big data migration, and setting up infrastructure for the digital emerging technology. I realized that I must have had some faith. I pushed hard on my team and my colleagues and raised the bar on everyone. I must have believed and they delivered. Isn’t that faith?

I also looked back at my personal life and realized that it is fuller than it had been in the past ten years. I now have a bigger circle of friends who care and love me. Through hardship in the past two years, I saw who were there for me when things were in the dumps and said goodbye to those who weren’t. Years of relationships with people often means nothing in the time of war. This journey to trusting people other than myself is buried in landmines. My glass was half empty.

As I depart tonight flying to my mecca to begin some soul searching and reconnecting to Taiwan, my heart is full, filling with emotions that I cannot describe. I toggle between two worlds; one with faith and one without. I recently remarked that my glass is now sometimes half full and got yelled back, “THE GLASS IS FULL!” Lovingly, I want to remember the lesson in 2016 and teach myself that I, too, can have faith.

Cheers to a new year and to having blind faith in life. LOVE To ALL.

Wanderlust Grand Cayman- Rum Point Wreck Bar & Grill in Rum Point Beach

Having had multiple mediocre meals in Grand Cayman, I finally landed on something very delicious, at Rum Point Wreck Bar & Grill. Rum Point beach is a local favorite; it is serene, clear blue water and sky with bewitching sun and music. It took me out of NY; took me out of being me; took me to a point in time where everything was perfect. This was serenity.

SPICY RED CONCH CHOWDER, garnished with chives. Hot, hot, hot but simply just right. Yum. BLACKENED FISH SANDWICH: lettuce, tomato, onion & mango mayo. Delicious. Fresh. So much better than the blackened fish at the Lobster Pot at less than half the price.EL CUBANO: roasted pork, smoked ham, swiss cheese, dill pickle & mustard. Best Cubano sandwich I have ever had. The mustard and the pork made it perfect.

Loved Rum Point in Grand Cayman. Loved my Cubano!

Rum Point Wreck Bar & Grill
Rum Point, Cayman Islands
Phone:+1 345-947-9412

Wanderlust Grand Cayman – Rum Point Beach and the Stunning Visuals

Rum Point beach where sea creatures crawled up my arms and played with meCan you feel the sun and the breeze?  Let’s hold hands and walk down to the end of the world
Can you see the coral beneath the aqua green water?  Dead coral on land My first pina colada  Water sportsBananas!  This is a fruit, shelled and used for cooking.

Rum Point is one of the main reasons to come to Grand Cayman.

Wanderlust Grand Cayman – Lobster Pot Restaurant and Wine Bar in Georgetown

Do you know that cabs in Grand Cayman are often old beat-up minivans that are driven by an elderly couple who will talk your ears off? I think their names are Leslie and Neil. Not only are they cab drivers, they double as sightseeing guides and food critics. Because of Leslie and Neil’s welcoming and embracing attitudes toward the tourists, we jumped off at the closest restaurant, Lobster Pot in downtown Georgetown. In fact, I escaped the cab and left my friend in the cab to pay. I waited at the curb for at least three minutes before Leslie and Neil let my friend out.Marinated Queen Conch: Lobster Pot’s traditional Cayman style recipe. Kind of not a fan of the traditional recipe. Too sweet and the conch too chewy.Daily Fresh Ceviche: Finely diced fresh catch of the day tossed in limes and spices with crisp bell peppers, cilantro and red onion. Acceptable.Captain’s Catch of the Day: Grouper(?) served blackened Cayman style with chef’s vegetables and golden fried plantains. The blackened fish was acceptable but too black peppery spicy. The plantains were soft and ripe.    I was stupid. I asked for the daily catch to be grilled. It was tasteless even after I salted. I don’t understand how freshly grilled fish can fail but they did. Poor fish – they sacrificed for no reason.

Leslie and Neil, originally from the UK, are long time residents of Grand Cayman. They drove us around downtown Georgetown which was a disappointment – it looked desolate and gaudy, reminded me of Virginia Beach. They also highly recommended the Lobster Pot which was another disappointment. Lobster Pot was set up right by the water. We sat on the deck overlooking the deep water in the dark with a huge yacht in the distance. There were musicians playing guitars and singing for the guests. The air was warm. The breeze caressed my face.

The Caribbean does not agree with me- Leslie and Neil were blasting heat in the 78 degree weather.

Lobster Pot Restaurant and Wine Bar
245 N Church St,
George Town KY1-1107
Cayman Islands
Phone:+1 345-949-2736

Wanderlust Grand Cayman: Anchor & Den of The Marriott Beach Resort on the Seven Mile Beach

I really should be more grateful.

Earlier this year, I was at the Grand Cayman enjoying the radiant sun, wearing sandals when New York was freezing and gray. I ended up at the Anchor & Den  having a late afternoon snack. The wait staff composed of people from around the world: Germany, The Philippines, Scotland, Mexico, and the other Caribbean Islands. It was a beautiful resort: open, airy, sunlight filling all the windows, white sand beach, gourmet chocolate bar, artisan cocktails, impressive artwork on the wall, and many many well-dressed and smiling tourists.Jamon Iberico on garlic bread. Delicious Jamon. The garlic bread was too garlicky – not suitable after the first piece.Tartines: Black mission fig and bell peppers, nicoise olives, curry herb paste on homemade grilled sourdough. Fantastic. Sweet and soft with a tangy and salty aftertaste.

I really should be more grateful but I was not. Why? Because it felt all too perfect and too made up. I may be naive but I do know the world does not look like this.

Anchor & Den
Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort
389 West Bay Road Box 30371
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Phone:+1 345-949-0088

The Best Wanderlust of Them All: Peilin Corbanese- Coming Soon this Fall

I had an interesting text conversation with three friends this morning. I asked the question, “I think I want a new last name. What should it be?”

A quick background: I have got three distinct identities, two passports, and one divorce coming up shortly. I was born Taiwanese and 1/3 of time I feel like Taiwanese or more precisely I feel like Tsai Peilin, 蔡沛伶. I am also a Corbanese, a name I have used since the beginning of my career and has given me both the French and the Italian cultures and motherhood. I feel like a Corbanese 1/3 of the time. The last 1/3 is the person I am putting together that will integrate the first two and carry me forward.

One of my friends is a Taiwanese American married to a Taiwanese American, living in Jersey. She wants me to revert back to my maiden name, 蔡Tsai, which no one can properly pronounce in the US. Plus “Peilin Tsai” is really not who I am anymore and gives out the wrong impression.  I am only 蔡沛伶 Tsai Peilin when I return to Taiwan. But my friend insists that I am always 蔡沛伶Tsai Peilin, no matter what I think or feel.

The other friend is also a Taiwanese American married to a German-Indian, living in Dallas. She wants me to pick my favorite movie star’s last name (imaginary husband, she says) or a character I can identify with from a book. It’s a big no no on the imaginary husband – Oy! I have come too far to take someone else’s last name. Then I put Caulfield after Peilin and that did not sound right. She then suggested a heroine – yep, we are doing better. Then “Clinton” came up! OMG, that’s also a husband’s last name! What are we doing, girls?  Why do so many strong independent women take on their husband’s last name?

My third friend, another Taiwanese but not an American. She is married to a Swiss-German or German-Swiss (Sorry, Amay, I don’t remember.) living in Holland. She suggests that I create a new word using my Taiwanese last name. She also suggests that it does not have to be “English-Made.” All three of them feel that I need to merge my identities instead of keeping them separate.

Being a marketer, I can totally see myself blogging and advertising,

“You may think you know her but you don’t. Peilin Corbanese- Coming soon this Fall, Peilin ??????”

Just like a movie preview with a soundtrack of a racing car vroom vroom vrooming. This is the best wanderlust of them all. #WanderlustPeilin Corbanese

A Digression from Food – Lessons from My First 10K Race

Ran my first 10k race at the FDR Park today. This was the St. Patrick’s Day Race, hosted by the Taconic Road Runners. Ran 11.06 min per mile on average with a total time of 1:08:49.3. Not terrible for someone who did not train and just showed up today. But it was also not great since my first mile was a 9 min mile.
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Lessons learned:

  • Train well in advance of a race- run 3 to 4 days a week. Run more than 3-4 miles each time
  • Eat less and run more – I burned less than 200 calories with the 10k. Run to eat!
  • Need a drill sergeant or a SoulCycle instructor to yell at me while I run

When I was in mile 5, there were two much older gentlemen running on the opposite side.  One asked me, “What part is hurting now?” It took me a little bit to understand the question because nothing was hurting! The other one asked me, “Are you in the race?  Do you know you only have less than a mile to go?”

I was meandering… with music in my ears. The two gentlemen properly kicked me into gear and I took off for the last mile. I was endorphin-filled for the rest of the afternoon.

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE TO ALL.