Then, she began to breathe, and live, and every moment took her to a place where goodbyes were hard to come by. She was in love, but not in love with someone or something, she was in love with her life. And for the first time, in a long time, everything was inspiring.
– R.M Drake, self-published writer
I’m never one to refuse in taking part of creating memories
Photo Exhibition at Songshan Cultural Park
Workers at the Addiction Aquatic Development Centre hastily restock the popular array of fresh seafood for the constant flow of hungry customers
Indian HOLI Festival 2015
A Children’s Art Exhibition in Ximen
Danshui’s unique buildings
Finding cosy places to study are one of those constant life activities now
A small representation of cycling students at my university NTU
Thank you for the memories =)
At the local markets
A pharmacy and traditional Chinese medicine shop coexisting side by side
Herbs, roots, fungus and more, you will find all these along Dihua St in Dadaocheng
Urban trekking around Zhongxiao Dunhua
The best convenience stores are in Taiwan
The beautiful Wellspring Market in Gongguan
Strolling around the backstreets of Xinyi
A Military Veteran’s village reinvented to a marketplace space, a damn good cafe and a gallery for the keen urban trekker
Good Cho’s miso chicken bagel. Not one to be missed!
Drying tea in Maokong
Tung blossoms line the hiking trails around Maokong during May
Observing the natural hotsprings of Wulai
Bamboo rice for dinner in Wulai
Squid diminishing into even smaller squid in the bright southern sun
Cigu Salt Fields, Tainan.
At the oldest Confucius temple
I witnessed a few local religious customs during a trip around Tainan
The way to Narrow Door Cafe, Tainan.
This cafe stores journals from over 10 years ago. I hope to be back here someday to give an update
In Sanxia for some tye-dyeing fun!
Throwing moon rocks..a way to ask the heavens for advice
A temple built during the Qing Dynasty standing firm in Sanxia
So much fun to be had when you’re at a baseball game in Taiwan!. GO GO LAMIGO!
Getting into some Dragon Boat festivities by standing up our eggs. In successfully doing so, you could expect a prosperous and blessed year ahead!
Making my own zongzi during for the Dragon Boat Festival
Inebriations in a quiet Korean restaurant with a good friend is better than any loud and claustraphobic bar
One of the best meals I have eaten in Taiwan!
Kasuma Yayoi’s gallery and cafe in Huashan Cultural Park
Jazz in the Park 2015
To the lovely ladies I’ve had the pleasure to be friends with
Walking the streets of Gongguan after dinner with one of my sweetpeas
Keelung Harbour from Zhongzheng Park
Walking the alleyways in Keelung
My camera couldn’t do the blue moon justice
Yangmingshan’s take on Taipei’s nightview
Despite the food poisoning incident, I came back to the same cafe which poisoned me
Riding along Xindian River
Jingmei Night Market has decent Vietnamese representation!
The best milk tea you will ever have, made with love
Going around the neighbourhood after Typhoon Soudelor hit.
After 6 months it’s finally time to get those touristy photos of 101 out of the way
At an urban design exhibition in Songshan Cultural Park
At the Pinkoi Markets outside Songshan
The ceiling of a gift store in Huashan Cultural Park
My favourite shot of the year so far! I couldn’t stop laughing after I captured that exact moment they looked at each of other.
Witnessing the changing of the bin bags
One of my new favourite things to do in Taiwan is riding around on a scooter with this good friend !
The 3 infamous characters you should learn to appreciate: Chou Dou Fu
Another night view, this time in Neihu
My vice. Handmade QQ Eggs
I can eat 50 of these!
Life here in Taipei is coming along swimmingly.
It took about a year of planning for me to get here. From when I applied for the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, quitting my job after my application was successful, to making the big move… I’ve made a few changes to my life to fulfil my wish to speak Chinese fluently. So I have made studying a priority and have been actively searching for ways in which I could learn more swiftly.
But what followed with it has really taken me by surprise. Through a whirlwind of random encounters, Meetup activities and basically staying true to the ‘Make It Happen’ mentality, I have already realised my goal of living the good life. It hasn’t been without some tribulations, goodbyes and heartache, but it has all been for something very worthwhile. I am constantly challenging myself, surrounded by kind and generous people, and taking part in the local adventures.
I’ve experienced my first real earthquake in the most inappropriate of times (fresh out of the shower and naked as the day I was born); stood by my balcony watching Typhoon Soudelor hit Taipei, only to witness my own flyscreen get ripped off its hinges; I am now excellent at avoiding crazy taxi drivers whilst zipping around the city on a U-bike, and have even learnt to love stinky tofu.
The past six months have seen me making new friendships, discovering urban backstreets, keeping my belly happy (despite the food poisoning incident), and taking on more activities than I’d initially intended to do…like learning how to ride a scooter in Yangmingshan after dark, or multiple throwbacks to ten years ago when dancing to the wee hours of the morning wouldn’t have rendered me so haggard.
But fear of a scooter accident and severe sleep deprivation aside, it has been a wonderful journey that I never want to end!
In the grand scheme of things, I haven’t been here that long, but it has been such a pleasure for me to adjust to life here that I often don’t yearn for my hometown. I’m not just getting used to a change of lifestyle anymore. I don’t feel as though I’m trying to fit into a new country. Somehow Taiwan has moulded my life into something better than I expected…as though I’ve been here all along. It’s liberating, and the contentment I feel – well, I really can’t explain it! If you are or were an expat as well, I’m sure you will understand what it’s like to be drawn to a place and build your life in that very place you love. I can’t put my finger on why exactly, but I feel right at home here in Taipei and I am seeing different sides of Taiwan that makes me fall in love with this little island more and more.
I am excited by the prospect of another fulfilling six months, and hopefully I’ll be able to speak Chinese fluently by the end of my time here. As long as I could help it though, that day will be pushed back further and further away!