Simply put, Taiwan was remarkable. It filled our hearts, opened our eyes, and it amazed us! The small island country is 1/5 the size of the state of SD, but the population is roughly 23 million. Yes, you read that correctly. One of the most fascinating scenes of the island is the variety of landscapes within such a small mass of land. In a short 45 minute commute, we went from bustling city of Taipei, to quiet tea farms in the countryside, to ancient mining towns nestled in a mountain village, to oceanfront views, and lakes. The tropical climate creates a lush overgrowth (and crazy humidity) that covers the mountain ranges. If you look closely you can spot ornate Buddhist temples and cascading waterfalls.
We thrive on experiencing different cultures and being out of our element. In our day-to-day lives everything seems so comfortable, controlled, and almost predictable. It’s SO much fun to be completely taken out of that. Taiwan was perfect for this, as we speak practically no Chinese. We were lucky to have my mom there to translate. Thanks, mom! J
Our top 2 favs-
2.) Eating—eating always tops our list in some shape or form. We officially found people who eat more than we do. One morning, we arrived at a dumpling house for breakfast where we spent 2 solid hours being fed all sorts of delicious dishes; Dumplings, tea, pancakes, dessert. We politely rolled ourselves out of the restaurant, walked about 6 blocks, and hopped a bus that drove us directly to our next stop…lunch. We then proceeded to eat a fancy vegetarian buffet for another 2 hours. This was the story of our week. Dumplings and night markets with street food = success!
1.) Meeting + Spending time with our large family—10 aunts and uncles, too many cousins to count, godmothers, and an Apo (grandma) and grandpa to visit. We truly can’t explain in words just how genuinely kind and giving our family is. We arrived to open arms, tears, laughter, smiles, and graciousness. It was happily overwhelming in a way that makes us wish we didn’t live a world apart. We will be back to visit soon!
We could literally go on for hours about our trip, the people, the food, the culture, the daytrips, what we saw, etc. but who actually reads this much? We’ll spare you. We highly recommend getting out of your comfort zone and booking a trip to Taiwan. You won’t regret it! J
Val + Jeff