This is Enjiao, aka Ernie for those who are not good with Chinese names.
Fundamentally, I am driven by a sense of curiosity and wonder about the world. I travel because I am addicted to the joy of being alive, write as an attempt at sense-making, and take photos to keep a visual diary of my life. My preferred way of travel is to hitchhike, take hard seater rides that last more than a day, eat canned food – do whatever that keeps me on the road for as long as possible (given my ever-present budgetary constraints) really – but indulge in experiences and the stories of the people that I meet.
See photographs from the 13833.4km and 39 days I had traveled on less than 4000 rmb in China, 2013.
Below is an attempt at a bio (writing about myself in the third person, heh):
Chen Enjiao (Ernie) graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a major in economics and a minor in entrepreneurship. Her final year research refining professor Ng Yew-Kwang’s ERHNI (Environmentally Responsible Happy Nation Index) had cemented her belief that economics can help us lead better lives.
Prior to that, she had conceptualised and organised a series of TEDx-lightning style talks on “What I Wished I Had Known When I Was 22” in 2010; as well as a conference with the theme of “Living the Good Life in a Capitalist Economy” in UnEconomics 2011. In 2012/2013, she served as President of NTU Korean Cultural Society.
She is a proud recipent of Yonsei President’s Scholarship 2011, NTU International Summer School Scholarship 2012 as well as Ng Bok Eng Travel Award 2013. She had enjoyed her times studying in Tianjin University and Tsinghua University as well as attending Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations 2011 and Warwick Economics Summit 2014, wherein she was able to gain a global perspective of matters pertaining to trade, China’s place in the world, Asia’s rise and so on.
To read some of her previous academic writings, please click here.
Some intellectual journeys I’ve undertaken / am going through over the years (in need of urgent update as of 29/7/2014):
- I think about why we leave and home a lot – puzzled by how and why we travel and encounter the Other so much. What’s in it for us? Do we absolutely *have* to leave home in order to better understand ourselves? Then I came to realise that we travel because there may be bits of ourselves that are not congruent with the immediate environment, maybe we espouse values not upheld by the nearest population. And I’ve come to think that home is where my feet are.
- Went from working my own ass off on the hedonic treadmill to thinking that we need an economics that is good for human happiness and the planet. We need an economics of enough. The question that continues to bug me is thus: Where would the jobs and growth then come from?
- Went from clueless to borne-again Christian to militant atheist to atheist who recognises that terrible need for religion (just not the panacea of my choice still).
- Went from an obsession with permanence to accepting that nothing lasts forever that this too shall pass… But still trying to hold onto meaning despite it all.
- Becoming better at being a more time-consistent person (I hope).
Supposedly, this is the ENTP’s (self-reported) personality:
Last updated: 04 March 2009 | View my full Personality Profile
A quote that I love:
A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way – an honorable way – in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, “The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory….” — Man’s Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl
突然间，一个思潮使我呆住了。我生平首遭领悟到偌多诗人所歌颂过、偌多思想家所宣扬过的一个大真理：爱，是人类一切渴望的终极。我又体悟到人间一切诗歌、思想、信念所揭示的一大奥秘：“人类的救赎，是经由爱而成于爱。”我更领悟到：一个孓然一身、别无余物的人，只要沉醉在想念心上人的思维里，仍可享受到无上的喜悦─即使只是倏忽的一瞬间。人在身陷绝境、无计可施时，唯一能做的，也许就只是以正当的方式（即光荣的方式）忍受痛苦了。当其时，他可以借着凝视爱侣留在他心版上的影像，来度过凄苦的难关。生平首遭，我总算了解到下列这句话的真义：“天使睇视那无限的荣耀，竟至于浑然忘我。” —— 活出意义来，维克多·弗兰克
This I believe:
- Love is our only salvation on this lonely planet.
- God is Love.
- Knowledge reshapes destiny.
- Happiness is only real when shared.
- We are super social by nature.