Before You Travel: Taipei

I am so excited to be writing again. There was a crazy week, after our holiday, that required me to focus solely on teaching and my kiddos. Now I am able to start my series on my trip to Taipei.

Lessons We Learned: A Brief Summary Of Our Trip

We rode in a Hello Kitty plane! Probably a highlight of our life....and I don't even like Hello Kitty.
We rode in a Hello Kitty plane! Probably a highlight of our life….and I don’t even like Hello Kitty.

 

It was an exciting trip filled with a lot of struggles, exciting times and just enjoying the moment. Before the trip my friend and I were unable to truly plan. We just came up with the idea and went with it. So my first advice is to plan a little more in advance. My friend and I went over Korean Chuseok (Like Thanksgiving). If we had planned better we would have known that many Koreans travel to Taiwan during this time and that Taiwan has a moon festival during the same time. Therefore, if you go during this time period (usually towards the end of September) then a lot of the local places will be closed. Also, the tickets might be more expensive….The things you live and learn while traveling. Feel free to laugh at our mistakes and poor preplanning, cause we definitely did. 🙂

EVA/Asiana gives you so much leg room!
EVA/Asiana gives you so much leg room!

In Korea we have the luxury  of having phones with data and wifi everywhere…I mean everywhere. In Taipei we were unaware that in order to use the cities free  wifi you needed to register at the airport or buy data wifi cards. We only figured this out at the end of our second day. By then we just decided to save the money and put up with just using our hotel’s wifi when we were there. This led to us getting lost, Having to be old school and use a paper map (I KNOW!) and having to ask sooo many people for directions with a language barrier. Though, at times this became frustrating and we did end up going to places we thought were one things only to find it was another, it made every day an adventure. I haven’t been removed from a wifi/data connection in awhile. It was a great learning experience. I discover that I am addicted to being “connected” and I often use my wifi/data on my phone as a crutch.

Photo from our hotel room.
Photo from our hotel room.

Even before I ever set foot on Korean soil, I watched Korean dramas (k-dramas). From watching the shows I was actually able to pick up on some Korean. Over this past summer I learned to read Hangul (Korean alphabet). While in Taipei, I learned that I know absolutely no Taiwanese or Mandarin. I also learned that I know way more Korean than I thought! Which was a fun revelation. Whenever, I travel to a country and I do not know the language I always feel so blessed that I grew up with English as a first language. Traveling to a country that does not speak your first language and not knowing English has to be such a challenge.

Taipei
Taipei

The trip to Taipei was so much fun but it was challenging for sure. We had a hotel room in a great location and people in Taipei we very friendly. If it wasn’t for being flexible and just dealing with the circumstances that we put our selves in (lack of planning) I think it could have been a terrible trip. The thing that saved it was that we both just wanted to immerse ourselves in the culture. We purposefully agreed to just have a list of places we would like to go see and try to get to those places.

Stay tune for more detailed accounts of our trip. 
Coming soon: 
Our awesome hotel and how we got it
Transportation how to get around Taipei 
Sightseeing: What we did and what I recommend. 
Surviving a typhoon (Yep…you read that correctly) 

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