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  • Rebecca Stirm X Illona Smiling

Leaving home, to follow my heart.


”You must go on adventures

to find out where you truly belong.” -Sue Fitzmaurice Continuing our "adventure" series,

we're onto our second gal -- Ilona.

Hi! I'm Ilona Smiling, artist by night and Curator for the Museum of BELIZE by day.

The most adventurous thing I've ever done? Moving to Taiwan to study Art.

After searching for almost two years I finally came across a FULL scholarship to study my Masters in art.....but the scholarship included moving all the way to Taiwan.

I wasn't excited at first about the idea of moving so far away from home, or of being alone in a foreign country, but after taking some great advice, I decided to do it! With no family or friends to rely on if things went wrong, I decided to leave Belize and follow my heart.

When I told my mom one day "Guess who's going to Taiwan in a couple weeks!" Her face was filled with excitement, shock and confusion all at once... so off I went to learn a new language, new culture, and eat new food! Living in Taiwan for 2 years was one of the best experiences in my life. I both lost and found myself there, and it slowly became a second home for me.​

[ + Watch our short-film, summing up the shoot!]

Concept + Styling + Photography : Rebecca Stirm

Lighing + shoot assistant : Ronelli Requena

Model/Story Feature : Ilona Smiling

Handbag + Top : TWIG & PEARL

#belize #taiwan #adventure #ilona

Copyright 2019 TWIG & PEARL