My Time in Taiwan

When I took my first trip overseas alone, I got lost in the jungle, got attacked by a bat while caving, had to get rabies shots, and came back with an intestinal illness that put me in the hospital for three days. My mother said to me “I bet you’ll never want to travel again.” I told her I couldn’t wait to get back on the road. Despite everything that happened, I loved Costa Rica and fell in love with traveling.

That experience also describes my time in Taiwan. A lot of bad things have happened. I got dumped by a girl I really liked. It’s always raining. The visa situation here has been very complex and time consuming. The kids at my school are wild and don’t listen. The food is less than stellar, and I got dumped by a girl I really liked. (Did I mention that already? Oh yeah, I did. Well, I just wanted to emphasize how much it sucks! It’s probably karma for my last breakup…but anyways…)

I’ve decided to leave Taiwan when my current visa expires. Getting a resident visa here has proven very complex and expensive. It’s not worth the time or money for a job I’m not going to stay long with anyways. And given the other recent events, it’s time to move on. I have nothing left to really keep me here.

But it wasn’t all bad. I met some really great people who I’ll stay in touch with. I got to experience a place I’d never been to, and I found that there are places in the world crazy enough to offer people all-you-can-drink alcohol. I’ve had a lot of fun here—more than I thought I would. Taipei has pleasantly surprised me, and I’d recommend visiting it to everyone.

Leaving early means I won’t get to explore the island like I’d hoped, and I have serious catching up to do with my sightseeing so I can get it all in before I leave. I’m going to join my friend in Bali at the end of the month before heading back to Thailand. I have some serious web and SEO work to do so I can afford traveling Europe this summer.

Eventually, I’ll spit out some interesting posts about seeing stuff in Taipei, but for now, my life moves on.

  1. funny that you will come back to thailand. somehow it seems to have some pretty good parameters for a long time stay. all these little hassles are really not worth to mention. enjoy your time in bali, and maybe see you in thailand.

  2. I find sometimes the worst travel experiences make for the best memories. Who wants a perfect vacation with no adventure and no stories to tell?
    Sorry to hear you got dumped. At least unlike most people you can leave the city, or even country, to get away from her!

  3. I’m sorry about the bad experiences, but completely understand how you can love traveling in spite of (maybe even because of) those experiences.

    I hope there’s some fun in the rest of your time in Taiwan. :)

  4. Dude, don’t let that chick get you down, she’s not worth it. Even though you’re saying it’s been a good, learning experience, I can tell you’re beat up about it.

    There’s more fish in the sea especially when you travel as much as you do.

  5. NomadicMatt

    @jan: probably we will!

    @1002things: ….no reason to stay….

    @camels and chocolate: ya know, I’ve never been to san fran. I think that’s a challenge to find out.

    @Robin: no pain, no gain

    @derek: beat up? a wee bit.

  6. “When I took my first trip overseas alone, I came back with a intestinal illness that put me in the hospital for three days, I got lost in the jungle, and I got attacked by a bat while caving and had to get rabies shots.”

    And you have the audacity to give me crap about not traveling lately? Ha.

  7. Also? I was just looking at your list in the sidebar to see if a) I’ve done anything you haven’t done (dinner at NOBU!) and b) to see if I have any of the same things on my list (many- Machu Picchu, India, ice hotel).

  8. I had a short holiday in Taiwan. It was ok, but not great. More civilised than mainland China, but kind of lacks the rawness that makes the PRC so interesting.

    I suggest spending some time in Indonesia (outside of Bali). It really is worth exploring.

  9. Wonderwilm

    All you can drink alcohol really? good job for my liver i’m a long way away.

    Bali and Thailand sound tempting. Gonna be real hot and sweaty in Thailand in a couple of months so get there soon.

  10. NomadicMatt

    @erica: it is a great plan

    @wilm: I know! All you can drink? who does that!

    @tanya: you are right!

    @mike: I am only going to bali this time. I do plan on coming back later in the year to see other parts of the country.

  11. I can’t believe you were attached by a bat, was it horrifying? Could you even see it because you were in a cave?

    It sounds like you had a great time in Taiwan despite the difficulties and at least you get to go to a new place.

    That sucks about the girl :(

    Random- how many languages do you know?

  12. Enjoyed reading this post! Similar parallels for me in that initial “spark” to see the world — Thailand, then Costa Rica, and now my wife and I are living in Taiwan. We love it here. It’s the good with the bad, though, I agree – and it seems that spark never dies!

  13. ava apollo

    Didn’t know you used to live in Taiwan. I had the same EXACT situation happen to me. My visa expired and it is such a long, drawn out, expensive-ass procedure to try to get another one. I just gave up. I really miss the warm people and the amazing food, though. Have you been back since writing this?

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