There is a place where you can sleep in until noon, work part time, eat out three meals a day, live in a sleek studio, party until 4am and save up enough to travel on the weekends. There, you can easily learn a very useful new language, discover and develop hobbies, enjoy the outdoors every day, and make life-long friends that will become your family. There are endless natural wonders to explore from enchanting mountain villages, hidden hot springs, to dreamy islands off the coast. There, strangers will help you with directions and the cost of living is low, yet the quality is superb. You don’t need a car, or even a scooter. You don’t need to come with much more than a suitcase, a degree of any sort, a couple hundred bucks and an open, adventurous mind. Taipei is a gem, and for years travelers have been streaming in to see if the rumors were true and end up staying because, well, they are. I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t fall in love with Taiwan. If you’re even consider it, stop it and just go.
My experience living in Taipei is difficult to put into words. Three years, three glorious, unforgettable years, flew by as I spent my early 20’s there. It’s just another one of those things where you have to experience it to understand what it's like. When I got on the bus to leave Taiwan in September of 2013, I bawled uncontrollably throughout the whole 40-minute ride to the airport. I’m surprised the driver didn’t stop and ask me if I had just lost a family member. I’ve never even cried that hard over a boy before!
I didn’t think I would be coming back for a long time, and I feared that when I did, everything would be different. I thought I was losing a part of my world I would never be able to return to. It was time for me to close that chapter and move on, grow up, establish myself somewhere, and get a ‘real’ office job. Well, we all know how that turned out.
This ‘real’ job gave me a pretty generous holiday break, and although I heavily considered Mexico at first, I couldn’t say no when my parents offered to meet me up in Taipei. I see them like, once a year if that, and if I were to pick somewhere to go ‘home’ for the holidays, Taipei with my friends and family would be it. So that’s how I ended back for a week. It was the best week I’ve spent in 2015 so far!
I didn’t do or go anywhere new, but I loved moment because every place held so many memories...the familiarity was exciting. Also, got so much quality time in with my forever friends and family. Here are some highlights of my trip:
WULAI: Wulai is an aboriginal village in the mountains, famous for hot springs and wild boar sausages. The buildings are bit run down, but the scenery as a whole is breathtaking. A river runs through the town, and you need to cross the bridge to make your way up the ‘Lover’s Path’ to see a waterfall! I went with my parents on their first day meeting me up, and they were sooooo slow due to holding hands the whole time. More on them later.
Actually, every day and everyone I met up with was a highlight, and if I go on I’ll never be able to be a travel blogger cause I’ll just be gushing about my friends and things I love and no one will ever take me seriously. I honestly don’t know who reads these posts, but apparently more people than I thought, and it’s so humbling! Especially the touch rugby guys ie. Ting, Spencer, Doug, what a nice surprise ;) Thank you, thank you for spending your precious time reading whatever spillage my mind randomly has. I’m always flattered at first, then I get really nervous and hope I haven't written anything embarrassing. EOM. (Finally found out that means End Of Message, duh.)EOM!!!
PS. I also ate a lot of food:
PS. I also ate a lot of food: