Our last week in Taiwan has arrived. The last week of an incredible four year adventure in which we have learned and grown so much. Four years in which we have learned about Taiwan and the culture that comes with this country. Four years in which we have had to deal with emotions that we never experienced before. But also four years in which we have created a unique family bond and in which we have grown so close as a family. No one can take this incredibly beautiful experience away from us. Before we step on the plane, we want to look back on this adventure and say thank you to Taiwan.
Family is so important in Taiwan’s Culture
Thank you Taiwan for teaching us all about your impressive culture. What we find most special is how you put the extended family at the center of all your cultural activities. You value hard work, patience, humility, friendliness and respect for others. We love how you are all patience with foreigners and how you take time to explain to us how everything works in your country.
Subtropical Climate with cold wintersThank you Taiwan for the subtropical climate that we have been able to enjoy during these 4 years. No year has been the same when it comes to the weather so if people ask, what is the best time to travel to Taiwan, I wouldn’t be able to answer it with a single sentence. Every season has advantages and disadvantages and forecasting the weather in Taiwan is not easy. You even surprised us with real winters. We never expected to experience the cold and wear winter coats in a subtropical country but it can get really cold in Taiwan because of its strong wind and the high humidity.
The safest country we’ve been so farThank you Taiwan for your safety. It’s great to be able to walk around and not have to worry about your bag, wallet and phone. Our teenagers were able to hang out with friends in the shopping malls from the very first moment. We never had to worry.
No crossing without seeing a scooterThank you Taiwan for surprising us with the traffic. We have never seen so many scooters together. We’ve learned to take it easy here and if you’re wrongly pre-sorted, turn on your turn signal and you’ll be fine. Rules are open for interpretation and not followed by the book. What we didn’t like is that every citizen can take pictures from your mistakes and that this ends up with a fine.
Convenience stores at every cornerThank you Taiwan for your convenient life. With your convenience stores at every corner of the streets and your shops that are even open on Sundays and until late in the evening. When we suddenly felt like something sweet in the evening, we ran downstairs and got something at a seven eleven on the corner. These are also the places where you pay your bills and are open 24 hours a day. They also provided us with cold drinks, a quick lunch and many coffees for on the road. We will definitely miss these convenience stores.
Breathtaking mountain viewsThank you Taiwan for your beautiful mountain scenery. As a family that grew up in a country without mountains, you have often surprised us. So rugged, so huge and so breathtaking. We enjoyed many lovely walks and quite a bit of exhaustion on the way to the top but were always rewarded with breathtaking views. We have made our most favorite walks in Taroko National Park. I’ve even been a guest on a podcast where I shared our experiences about the visits to Taroko National Park.
Great memories at the BeachThank you Taiwan for the wonderful memories we have of Fulong Beach. This beach is where we spent many weeks of summer vacations with friends. Where we went during Chinese new year and other long weekends. Lots of great memories with the best company. This is also the place where we were introduced to the centipedes, sand cockroach and hummercrab and let’s not forget the snake that crawled out of its hiding place in broad daylight. This was also part of life in Taiwan.
This Island even has beautiful offshore IslandsThank you Taiwan for your amazing offshore islands. We were introduced to life on some of these islands. All with their own story and details. We will certainly never forget tough crossings by boat and those to Green Island with more than half of all passengers who got sick.
HIS – Hsinchu International School – by Lotte and PepijnThank you Hsinchu International School for giving my brother and I a wonderful time over the past 4 years. You taught us so much and made us stronger as a person. We are thankful for all the friends we have made there, you guys made our for years most awesome. It is the absolute best to have so many friends from all over the world! They secretly teach you so much! Thank you HIS for all you’ve done!!!
Traveling and exploringThank you Taiwan for making traveling so easy with your trains, busses, boats and wide choice of Hotels everywhere on the island. We were lucky to be able to explore your country even better during the last 1,5 year when international travel wasn’t possible.
Bike rides – by BertThank you Taiwan for the amazing rides and stunning scenery. I had a lot of great rides across the island and was blessed to share these rides with nice people and friends. Riding the bike will never be the same outside Taiwan and will definitely miss the rough nature, steep hills and the convenience of a 7/11 on every corner even if you ride in the middle of nowhere.
Taiwan and the PandemicThank you Taiwan for responding so well and quickly to everything related to the Pandemic. You have ensured that we have been able to enjoy a very normal life during these last 1.5 years by keeping the country virtually covid free. It is a pity that we still had to be in a lockdown these last weeks, but that does not outweigh all those months without domestic cases.
Friends become our new family
Thank you to all the dear friends and everyone who have been a part of our lives over the past four years. It was nice to share our experiences together and support each other where necessary. It feels so good to be able to talk to people who experience the same and have overcome the same obstacles. We often shared the same frustrations and moments of happiness. And we were there for each other when we went through rough times. Your friendship helped enormously with the loss of family. You are our new family and will always have a special place in our hearts.