Taipei: Two Months Later


How time flies! I can’t believe I’ve been here for nearly ten weeks. It feels like just a couple days ago I was checking into the Eight Elephants Hostel ready to embark on a new adventure. When I came here back in November, I was planning on staying for three school terms with the hope of getting my Mandarin to working-level proficiency. Since then, I’ve had an ongoing internal debate whether to stay the course and be here through August, or change my plans and return early.

I finalized my decision during the CNY break. I decided not to enroll for the spring term. Several reasons prompted my decision to end my stay earlier than expected. I came to Taiwan for two main reasons: for the experience of living abroad and to increase my fluency.

After considering the costs/benefits of staying here for another term, I realized that staying here would not be worth the money. I’ve already gotten the experience of living in Taiwan. Although I wish I could be more fluent, I don’t think time spent here can justify the opportunity cost of not working. Not to mention I still have a ton of student loans that I still need to pay down, and that I’ve spent much more than budgeted for Taiwan. I plan to hire a tutor to provide discipline around my studying efforts once back in the States.

Instead of using the tuition + housing money for another term in Taiwan, after the current term ends, I’ll be heading down to Singapore to embark on a visit around Southeast Asia. I’ve already booked my tickets to Singapore, but am currently in the process of figuring out where to visit. Any trip suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

A part of me feels guilty for traveling even more considering I still have loans to payoff, but I figure I’ve already spent a lot chasing my language fluency goals, might as well spend time traveling before returning. I’m really excited about what SE Asia has to offer, but truthfully I am a bit terrified of backpacking around a region alone. I can only think of the interesting experiences that’ll happen.

Here’s to hoping everything works out!