Taichung and new beginnings. One month complete in Taiwan.

Time flies.

In August I decided to set off on a new challenge, heading out to Tawain to work as a foreign teacher. Before starting my new role I had two weeks of fun in the capital, Taipei. This was a truly incredible and eye opening experience to see how people from another culture lived their day to day lives. I had some great experiences from my stay there and I couldn’t wait to head down to Taichung, the third largest city in the country and continue to learn more about this fantastic country.

I booked myself into a half decent hotel for a couple of days so that I could explore my new surroundings. It was safe to say that this was definitely a more traditional environment than Taipei. The capital is modernised and growing at a huge rate and the rest of the country is slowly starting to catch up. I stayed in what I now know is old downtown, where the older parts of Taichung are mashed in between building and demolition sites.

There are a wealth of shopping malls in the newer parts of the city some of which have incredible designs. One in particular, Tokoro Mall, a tall, slender building on a street corner, is over 14 floors high! I couldn’t make it past the 4th floor! The glass windows showcased the scale of the building and had kicked my fear of heights into overdrive!

After this terrifying ordeal, I was looking for a place to stop for lunch. As I continued to walk further into downtown I stumbled across the beautiful Taichung Park, a scenic green area with lakes, fish ponds and wild turtles.

This was an amazingly tranquil place to sit and reflect on my journey so far, two and a half weeks had passed since I had arrived in the country and I was looking forward to the next stage, heading to the local township in Taichung where I would be living and working, Qingshui.

Having now worked at the school as a foreign teacher for the last 3 weeks I can say that my decision to come out here for this new career and life challenge has been fully vindicated. I have met some great people, colleagues and locals alike. The children I have been working with are some of the most adorable and switched on little kids I have come across. It is an extremely rewarding job knowing you are making a small difference to their futures and building connections throughout the school setup.

I am eager to continue building on this experience and hope to gain even more fulfilment over the course of time I’m here. I urge you all who are reading this, not to let chances slip away. If you have opportunities come your way that may initially seem unrealistic, figure them out and make them a reality. Life is about opportunity and fulfilment, don’t look back on what could have been if you had taken that leap, be brave and make the leap. You will always be happier knowing you tried something that excited you rather than let it go by.

Until next time.

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