I’m Haitian. You know, this little island in the Caribbean that I always end up putting in every conversation that I have. Yes, I’m from Haiti, and I’m pretty sure to have shared before my passion for my hometown. But I also love traveling. I love discovering new culture, new people, new family. I love making memories with people that I never thought I would meet one day in my life. Traveling has been a journey for me. It has opened my eyes about what is going on around me and made me realize so many things about the world and myself that it would actually take me a whole day to talk about. However, through my travels I ended up falling in love with another country. Another island that I consider right now as a second home. I can’t explain what is this thing that I have for islands. But whatever it is, I feel grateful that it actually took me to Taiwan. Yes Taiwan. This little island in the southeast of Mainland China that some people Call “Republic of China” or “Formosa”. You won’t probably understand the love between me in this country but since it is a big part of my world, “Wendelle’s world” let me introduce it to you by sharing 7 reasons why you should comeat least once to visit Taiwan:
1. Taiwanese cuisine
When I came to Taiwan, I didn’t think that this would be a valuable reason for me to visit this country. I had a lot of stereotypes about the asian cuisine. Well You know: the fact that they eat dogs, or other kind of meats. I was also very excited by the fact that they eat a lot of seafoods and was actually expecting for my mind to be blown. But instead I got really disappointed. Most Taiwanese food was actually made out of pork. Which for me, was kinda disappointing. But, the experience with food evolved over the years. And I got to know myself better. Eating vegetarian food is as easy as eating any kind of other food. But on top of that it’s cheap. When I talk to my friends, they never want to believe me, but eating in taiwan is actually so cheap that you would save more by eating outside than cooking at home when you’re living alone.
I wouldn’t finish this part without talking about how easy it is to find food. Food is available all day and all night long. You can directly go to the night markets or to a stand where you can find fruits, or bubble tea which I love, especially in the summer.
2. Taiwanese people
Taiwanese people are adorable. I had the chance to meet a few people there and even though they don’t speak english they will always find a reason to come to you and talk to you. Well to be honest, it can be a little bit annoying. Specially when you’re in a hurry. People will take pictures of you without asking or stare at you for days. I might say that it’s pretty easy to find some racist people over there as well. But hey! Who am I to judge? I’m just going to point out the good part which is when you find some taiwanese who like you, you make a friend for life. One of the best stories that I have, happened when I first moved there. I was living in an old apartment. There was an elder woman who was living in the first floor. One day while I was coming home, I found her waiting for me in front of the elevator. She didn’t speak a word of english and I didn’t understand mandarin. But it happened that she liked me. She gave me a basket of fruits. And ever since then she would wait for me everyday to give me fruits. I never knew why she liked me but until now I can never forget about her.
3. The culture
A lot of foreigners think China equals Taiwan. But Taiwan has its own story, and its own history. It’s a history of self identity and self love. I won’t minimize the influence of Mainland China. I’m just saying that with time, Taiwan has become a unique mixture of the heritage of Mainland China, of Japan, of the aboriginals, with its territory and a more open minded attitude. Taiwan can definitely take your need of exoticism to another level.
4. The landscapes
Taiwan has a variety of landscapes. It has beautiful beaches, where you can scuba dive. It has beautiful mountain where you can go hiking, and on top of that you can find snow in some places. I have to admit that the last part is a little bit harder to find, but it’s still there. Taiwan is just a little bit of the Caribbean, a little bit of Europe in Asia. I’ll let your imagination do the rest.
5. The Taroko Gorge
Well I could say any of the amazing sites that you could visit in Taiwan. I could talk about the “green island”, The “Sun Moon Lake”, etc. But I just happen to have a particular love for the Taroko gorge. The mountains, the river, the immense beauty of the nature that can make you feel so lonely but yet so peaceful. I just love it and it is definitely one of the places to visit in Taiwan.
I love Taipei. I think this city has a good vibe. To have lived there for like 3 years, I can say that this place is somehow mysterious. There are plenty of things to do: visit the Taipei 101, go to the night markets, and go to the hot spring. The night life is awesome (I’m saying that because I know a lot of young travelers were waiting on that part). The transportation is easy and very convenient even for those who don’t speak Chinese. It’s CLEAN! I needed to put an emphasis on that part. Taipei is just special in its own way.
7. And everything else
Life in Taiwan isn’t expensive. Unless you want to rent an apartment in Taipei. But otherwise it’s affordable. It’s a perfect place to learn mandarin and to make friends. I met Some of the most incredible persons in my life while in Taipei. It’s a melting pot where being a foreigner is enough to bring people closer no matter where you’re from. Also, if you’re into spirituality, as in most of the places in Asia, being in Taiwan can help you be more conscious about the world you live in. The medical system is pretty cool, even if you don’t speak mandarin.
But the last not least is the 7eleven and the Family-mart. They are just what you need to see Taiwan as the perfect place.