Everyone told me I was crazy. In my mind, I thought I’d be crazy not to!
About a month ago I packed up all my belongings, sold my beautiful white Pontiac G5, sold all my furniture and moved to Taiwan for an adventure of a lifetime. I’m here working for Hess, an international program for native English speakers to teach English, and so far the misty skies and mountain tops haven’t failed me yet. When I heard about Hess I almost didn’t apply. You see, I’ve had my heart set on South America ever since I went backpacking through Nicaragua and Costa Rica and was desperately seeking a way to make my way down south. However, my friend who was already living in Taiwan informed me about all the wonderful things that the country had to offer i.e. beautiful mountains, the ocean and lots of surf spots, cities, nice people, a good way to save money, etc. She had me over the roof thinking about what my life would be like there. So I made a deal with myself – I would apply and if I got accepted, I would leave for Taiwan and start a new life.
And so… here I am! In Keelung, Taiwan in a quaint little cafe writing about my story. Thus far Taiwan has been pretty great to me. There are many many stories that I will share like getting lost in Qidu, eating Stinky Tofu, KTV aka Asian karaoke, my ALMOST breakdown trying to communicate with the locals and so much more! But first, what’s my life been like the first month living in a foreign country? Well… HA! Let me tell you.
1. At first it was very fast-paced, but things are finally slowing down. My first couple weeks in Taiwan I was running around trying to see everything there was to see in Taipei and started my 9 day intensive training for Hess. Now that I’m at my branch and have my work schedule, transportation and ways to get food all figured out, things are slowing down and I’m starting to become more relaxed and comfortable.
2. Everyone in Taiwan is very nice and extremely helpful. I really haven’t had any problems finding anything I’ve needed. Another plus is everyone wants to be your friend. Literally! When you walk down an alley to buy fruit, the locals will come out and greet you with big smiles and open arms. They all want to know where you’re from, why you’re in Taiwan, if you like Taiwan and when you say you like it, they are so pleased and say thank you over and over and over again.
3. Everything is extremely cheap here. I came here on a strict budget and know that I can stay and save a lot if I try. For instance, I can eat two eggs, ham, a small salad, toast and have a cup of coffee all for $4 USD. There are times that you will have to spend the same amount that you do back home, but that’s only with Coke, Cheetos, Doritos and any big name product that’s made in the USA or another country.
5. Traveling and going on adventures is extremely easy and affordable. I’ve been to Beitou (hot springs), Taipei (the city), Wai’ao (beach town) all for under $6 round trip. They’re all near Keelung, but each place gives you new things to do and see. Next stop, the northern coast of Taiwan!
There are so many things you can do throughout the country and I have merely begun to explore my area. I’m more than excited to begin my adventure through Taiwan and share it with all of my readers!
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