Having a one month escape from reality and everyday life in one of the most fascinating countries can only mean one thing: a life changing and mind opening experience. Coming to Taiwan, I had no idea what to expect; my only exposure to the country came fourteen years prior so I didn't have a concept of the beauty and immense culture my homeland possessed. Stepping out of the airport, I was left breathless. Unsurprisingly, this was because of the hot and humid air. Throughout the month, however, I had my breath taken away myriad times because of Taiwan's hold on me.
Taipei acted as my home base, our group's home for the bulk of the trip: where we stayed, went sightseeing, studied, and explored the nightlife. It also was home to one of my close friends and family friends. This city is a hub of activity from the bustling night markets to the efficient MRT system to the nightclubs that put Los Angeles to shame to Karaoke clubs galore. Most of all though, Taipei is a city surrounded by cultural havens and serene scenic beauty.
Our latter portion of the trip had our study tour travel around the island, visiting everything from an amusement park, outdoor adventure site, mountains, rocky points, and more. We experienced sights, both tropical and mountainous, that I wasn't aware even existed in Taiwan. To be quite frank, I wasn't even really too aware of my culture to begin with. Even living in Taiwan for a month, I realize that there is so much I still need to see. Consequently, I hope to come home again as soon as it is feasible for me and fall back in love over and over again.
My brief time living in Taiwan allowed me to meet some wonderful people, rejuvenate my Mandarin speaking skills, and get a taste of what my homeland is all about. I have loved my summer of breaking out of my bubble, laughing and smiling the whole way through.