“I’ll be back before you know it.” That’s what I told my friends and family just before I left Canada for Taiwan. That was back in 2011. I never intended to lie to everyone.
I really did expect to be home within a year. Two at the most. My original plan, albeit largely improvised, was to work in Taiwan to pay off my large student debt while seeing a little-known part of the world. Once I had enough of the country I would return to Canada and put away with my expat past. The thing is, I never did grow tired of Taiwan. Despite struggling with cultural confusion, language barriers, bouts of homesickness, monetary concerns, and re-evaluating life goals, I have discovered and rediscovered a country, its cultures, and its people that continue to somehow make this “alien-resident” feel at home. I have been here now for over two and a half years. I have lived and worked in three different Taiwanese cities. I have made friends from one tip of Taiwan to the other. Most importantly, I have met an amazing man who makes me know I’m at home no matter where we are in the world.
My friends and family may never forgive Taiwan for being so captivating. The best that I can do is share my experiences and joys with them as well as whoever else cares to read about my life in this amazing country. From its densely populated urban centres and convenient development, to its green forest-blanketed mountains and coral beaches, Taiwan continues to provide unexpected surprises, and now many familiar comforts, that make me proud to call Taiwan home. My hope is that others will come to understand why I have chosen to stay on this largely misunderstood yet beautiful island nation through my photos and writing.