I’m going to Taiwan! Taiwan is an island nation off the coast of China, it has a really interesting history (aka complicated history), but the upshot is that it’s a Chinese country. So I’m going to be speaking Chinese with Chinese people! I’m really excited about it, but obviously nervous at the same time. I’ve been taking Chinese classes for about a year now and so I’m really excited to finally get a chance to “use it”. I don’t know how well I’ll do though. It could be that I’ll be able to have basic conversations with people on the street, but it could also be that I’m not even being able to get out of the airport.
Taiwan itself is pretty much the perfect vacation location for me, I think. It seems to have everything I love – both big cities and dramatic nature, options for relaxing and also for adventure, and food om nom nom! I’m going with my friend, and we’ll be starting in the north in Taipei. It’s home of nearly 3 million people, the best collection of classic Chinese cultural artifacts in the world, and tons of restaurants. Later we’ll head down the east coast to Hualian and Taroko gorge, an really awesome looking marble canyon with tons of hiking options.
This is only the second time I’ve been out the US, and the first time didn’t exactly go smoothly (I will keep a death grip on my passport, fingers crossed). Taiwan will obviously be very different from anywhere I’ve been to before. My biggest worries are focused around how long it will take to get used to how different everything there is, keeping my spirits up when I’m tired and sore and lost, and the size of the language barrier. On the other hand this trip has the opportunity to be by far the most exciting adventure I’ve been on yet! Here’s hoping I come back in two weeks with tons of stories, pictures, and the determination to keep being adventurous.