Name :Jane Zhou
Currently living in : Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Describe yourself shortly:
1. First thing a person says when he or she sees me: “You are so tall!”
2. Haven’t changed since primary school: I’m extrovert, lively and active.
3. I suck at math.
If you have one sentence to remind yourself of something, what would that sentence be?
What about SurfAce do you like the most?
The brand represents to me the feeling of sunshine, health, and environmental protection, all together with bikini designs that never fall off! This is super important to me because I move a lot (diving, free diving, outdoor adventures). I love how the bikinis feel and look!
You have a fuller bust and wear a bigger size -which SurfAce Bikini do you prefer?
I like the “Fixed Cup” Bikini Tops because they help me to hold my boobs together! They tend to naturally point outwards, so I love that designs because it brings them together and makes me feel great!
Can you tell us more about your personal background and your story?
Originally I am from Taichung. I’ve never left Taichung until I graduated from College. First I moved to the north of Taiwan to work, and later on when I met my boyfriend I moved to the South to be with him. Now I live in Kaohsiung for three years already. I’m a mechanical engineer and my job is quite challenging every day!
Can you share with us an important experience you had in life?
My mother used to tell me: Why go travel abroad if you haven’t even finished exploring Taiwan?
I can say that I have experienced a lot of different adventures in my life already, and a large part of that comes from the things I’ve done in an early age. My family has a lot of kids, and since our budget was limited since childhood, we could only go to the places that you can reach by train, car or boat.
So far I have seen all the different islands in Taiwan, including the outlying islands Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, Green Island, Orchid Island and even Guishan Island. I am only missing the Dongsha Islands, but I’ll travel there too one day.
I’m proud to have been to all these places, because many Taiwanese never go there in their entire lifetime. I’m very grateful for what my mother taught me, if it wouldn’t have been for her, I would’ve never seen the endless beauty of Taiwan and experience our own rich culture. Taiwan is really beautiful as an island, as well as a country.
What was the biggest setback in your life, and how did you handle it?
One of my biggest frustrations was the time I failed a really hard programming class during college. Because I transferred from a different department, I had to take even more corses, so my computer software course didn’t go as well. The professor was also very strict and never showed sympathy. The lectures where taught way too fast and not much time was given to practice, so all I could do was use my free time (usually in the middle of the night in an empty class room at school). But there were to many details to remember, and when I failed mid-term and final exams, I noticed that two third of my classmates also failed. I showed up every damn day in class but the teacher didn’t care and gave me the worst semester score I ever had: 32 of 100. I was so frustrated… But I let go of my emotions and moved on. I studied harder than ever and successfully graduated and completed a certificate.
And guess what? The job I have now, requires me to use this engineering program every day.
Sometimes you just gotta learn the things you hate the most, and they will turn out to be your best teacher.
What do you think is the luckiest thing in life? What are you most grateful for?
The luckiest thing to me is that I have three younger brothers and sisters, without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Because when we were kids, I always had to be polite and play the role model for my siblings. It was a lot of pressure, but now that we’re all adults, we have a strong bond. We meet up to discuss and solve problems together. Whenever there are happy or unhappy things in live, we are here to share it with each-other. We all learned to be tolerant and attentive. The people I want to thank the most are my three siblings!
We see that your boyfriend Kyle and you have a common Instagram account, could you tell us about its origin?
The reason behind it is because Kyle used to post a lot of photos of me on his own account, but ended up having guys texting him to ask if they could get to know me, invite me for a coffee etc… haha… Kyle found it funny, and it also gave him the idea to open a common account. He loves photography and hopes to share more of our adventures through our common Instagram!
Which country do you like the most? Why?
Each country has its own characteristics. We like the Philippines. We went abroad for the first time three years ago. In addition to food, the sea in the Philippines is very clean and green, and marine conservation is important.
I really appreciate that most dive shops there tell the tourists to not feed or touch marine life, to not use toxic sunscreen before entering the water and to keep distance and respect the marine life..
Which country would you like to visit again?
There are too many islands in the Philippines and Indonesia we’d like to visit. The last time we went to Bali we hadn’t started free diving yet, so it’d be great to go back with the practice and knowledge we have now.
Tell us about something that left you a deep impression while traveling?
When we were in Cebu, we passed a very skinny boy, he was about five years old, lying on the side of a building. When he saw us passing by, he immediately got up from his cardboard and reached out to beg for money. It was the first time I got in touch so close with an environment that poor, and it made me realize how lucky we are in Taiwan.
What kind of opportunity made you go to climb to the Notre Dame Camp?
In fact, it all started from Kyle. He and his friends went to watch the movie Everest in 2015 and got inspired, but nobody took action. Four years later, Kyle and his friends had this idea again, and they started planning it. I was just lucky enough to join them. But when Kyle took out a ring on top of the mountain and asked me to marry him, I was completely surprised! I was clueless of what was coming and I was very happy!
Can you give our SurfAce babes some tips about climbing?
I’m actually also still an amateur in mountaineering. But I have learned my lesson when it comes to clothing and equipment!
I will never forget how I climbed Baiyue Mountain in Taiwan before in May. It was warm and I didn’t take much cloth with me, but by the time we arrived on the peak it was 6 degrees Celsious and I was freezing the entire night! My friends were kind enough to borrow me clothes, but since then I never forgot to go well prepared.
So the last time we went to climb the Notre Dame Base Camp it was winter, I therefor took it even more serious. Here is what I was wearing:
1. For the first layer I was wearing SurfAce’s sports top, tank top and high waist pants.
2. Second layer, depending on the temperature, could be similar like the first one or something with bristles. The key is to have ventilation, sun protection and warmth.
3. The middle layer consisted of a light down jacket to keep myself warm.
4. Then a waterproof windbreaker (everyone who climbs knows cold wind is painful)
5. On top a thick down jacket (this in not necessarily needed in Taiwan, most mountains are not that high)
6. As outer pants I wear functional trousers, windproof, sweat-proof, quick-drying, wear-resistant.
7. Socks must be functional too, best is wool to keep you warm, quick dry, and odor-proof.
There’s a lot of equipment to prepare for climbing mountains besides clothing too!
We know that you also love diving. Do you have a country you want to visit for diving?
We haven’t been to a country where we can dive since we did our free-dive certificates, so of course there are many places I want to go! Tonga to watch whales, Bali to see the devil's badger, Hawaii to see dolphins, etc. Many, I can't really answer this question, haha!
What other hobbies do you have besides the ones already mentioned?
I love to explore waterfalls and mountains, play frisbee, basketball, park running and do aerobics with youtube videos at home.
This year is going to be a special year, you’re going to get married! Anything you want to share with us?
This is a bit difficult to answer, because it’s only been a couple month since the Kyle proposed. We’ve been living together for three years already, so not much has changed. I’d say that the main difference I feel is, that we’re planning more for a common future instead of making individual plans!
Where are you planning to for honey moon?
We’re going to travel for a couple months, so there’s no specific destination!
Can you share a secret about yourself, something that not much people know?
I hate cucumbers…! Since primary school I just can’t stand the smell and taste. I tried to swallow it before, and ended up puking out all my breakfast. That’s how much I hate cucumbers!
Have you have anything planned in the upcoming year? Any goals you’d like to share?
There are currently many exciting events planned for the wedding next year, including travels. But for this crazy and disastrous year 2020 I just hope everyone is healthy and safe!
Anything else you’d like to share with our SurfAce Babes?
I think girls must have self-confidence. Everyone has their own characteristics. Self-confidence can make you stand out. Don’t ever be afraid. Be brave to do what you want to do. Don’t limit yourself because you are a girl. There are too many things to experience in your life. Do it, and go forward when you encounter difficulties. There will be a day when things resolve and your dreams come true, because your goals were clear from the beginning.