Everybody who has spent time in a different country knows that expat life is not quite like anything else in the world. The confusion of the first few days and weeks, the slow, but steady process of acclimation, the little peculiarities and quirks that might strike you about your new surroundings: almost any situation you encounter can make for a great story. If you are so inclined and want to blog about it, of course!
Our InterNations recommended blog section features talented expat bloggers from around the world. Their offerings to the blogosphere have been selected for their great entries and high quality, whether they may be funny, informative, interesting, deeply personal or a combination of all of the above.
Let’s hear from our featured bloggers in Taiwan:
There are countless differences between Taiwan and Australia, but I feel that it’s not too difficult to adjust as long as you can keep an open mind and not be afraid about trying new things – particularly new types of food! The language barrier was a big challenge at first but Chinese is a lot easier to learn than many people would think – three months of classes and you’ll find yourself learning quite a lot.
I have been on the road every month since I was a little girl and I did my first trip on my own when I was merely 15. What is back home? For me "back home" is now back in Taichung, Taiwan. Wherever I go there are some things that are different, other things that are just like I expect it. It is when I return to places I have been to before that I experience culture shock – I change and the places change, but we change in different ways and make new experiences.
From a western perspective Taiwan is one of the most alien societies in the developed world. Strangely, it is also one of the most convenient and forgiving. Daily needs are easily taken care of and Taiwanese people are very friendly and helpful to newcomers.
We experienced quite a bit of culture shock due to our lack of Chinese proficiency. On the other hand we found out that Taiwanese are so nice and friendly that even with our limited Chinese, they still patiently wait and attend to us.
I was ready for Taiwan mentally. I had just finished my MA and the end of a relationship. I needed a fresh start and anywhere that wasn’t Texas would have worked. Physically, I booked my flight at 4 AM and two weeks later, landed in Asia. I could’ve been more prepared, but when moving abroad, you can only prepare so much.