Living the Ex-Pat Life in Asia

Where is Home

It's hard to say.  It used to be Australia. Then it was Thailand. Now it's Taiwan.  I have spent almost 30 years of my life living abroad. Three of my four children were born in Thailand. I have travelled to the most amazingly beautiful countries during my sojourn in this part of the land including Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Myamar when it was still called Burma, India, Bangladesh, Jordan and Israel.  I have also viisted Mexico and the US. 

My dream in life is to travel to Antarctica. There's something about the stark beauty of that place, the aloneness and the huge white mountains of icebergs that both frightens me and awes me.  Not everyone shares my passion for Antarctica though.

Having said all of that, I have to admit that home is where my husband, children and friends are.  It doesn't matter where I'm physically located as long as I am surrounded by people I love and admire, and have the security of family and friends.

I have learned that every country has its own peculiar beauty. There's good and bad in all of us, and it's the same in every country I have visited. There are things I love and dislike about every place I've lived. In Thailand I loved the cheap beer and good food, and I hated the hot, humid hot-season.  Taiwan has beautiful, rugged mountains and gorgeous scenery and hot springs but the food is not the greatest.  Burma was beautiful, the people were deep and sincere but their plight saddens me.  Cambodia, well...it was dirty and hot and full of beggars and maimed children but the old temples were awesome.  I could go on, but you get the picture, right?

As I have lived a rich life, full of triumph and victory, and peril and plain boredom sometimes, I thought I could share parts of that life with you via these hubs.  Enjoy, relax and be entertained!

Taiwan Scenery

A bridge near our Hotel in Nantaou province
A bridge near our Hotel in Nantaou province
Pebble beach on the east coast of Taiwan, with the Pacific Ocean pounding down on it.
Pebble beach on the east coast of Taiwan, with the Pacific Ocean pounding down on it.
View from a sheepfarm in the mountains of Taiwan. It is hazy in the distance because the day was hazy (no, it's not my photography.)
View from a sheepfarm in the mountains of Taiwan. It is hazy in the distance because the day was hazy (no, it's not my photography.)
Sunset when coming down from the Alishan mountain range, Taiwan
Sunset when coming down from the Alishan mountain range, Taiwan

What is Taiwan Like?

One thing I have realized, since moving to Taiwan, is that few people outside of Taiwan realize how incredibly beautiful this island is, nor do they have any idea of the rich culture of the country. 

Many people tend to think of it as either an extension of China or like Hong Kong or Singapore--a city build on an island.  Neither is correct.

Taiwan is an island, once called Formosa, with the Taiwan Strait on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. Although it has a large population, there are parts of Taiwan that appear to be almost unpopulated.  It has beautiful high mountains that reach up to 3,500 meters, awesome gorges, there are fantastic holiday spots on the islands surrounding the main island.  It has a rich aborigine culture.  Natural hot springs abound, both communal and Japanese style.

The National museum houses national treasures from mainland China dating back 5,000 years. 

Being an island it's reknowned for its seafood, and many people travel from China to Taiwan just to sample it.

The people are friendly and generally honest with integrity.  I don't worry about my bag getting snatched, or about getting robbed and assaulted. Crime does exist, of course, but it's not rampant here like it is in some other South East Asian countries. 

It is a very much overlooked, under-rated tourist location. If you're coming out this way, it is well worth a visit.

Comments 12 comments

mayhmong profile image

mayhmong 7 years ago from North Carolina

Wowsers! You're so lucky to be able to travel across the globe!? I haven't been out of the U.S yet?! Lemme know how Antactica is?


SusanWesty profile image

SusanWesty 7 years ago from Australia Author

Will do!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

You have some lovely pictures and descriptions there! Yes, Asia has its good side and its bad - it really is up to you what you want to take out of it!


SusanWesty profile image

SusanWesty 7 years ago from Australia Author

I love living in Asia though. Such rich and diverse cultures and history.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

It shows SusanWesty! Look forward to more of your hubs from around the world :)


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

Great Hub! Now you can do one on Thailand as well!


SusanWesty profile image

SusanWesty 7 years ago from Australia Author

Coming next!


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand

Hey the Antarctic is one of my dream destinations too! And I must admit I hadnt thought much about Taiwan until I had to research it for a freelance writing gig - and yes its on the list now too! I will be over for a visit!


SusanWesty profile image

SusanWesty 7 years ago from Australia Author

Wonderful Lissie! Would love to show you around Taiwan.


Kathryn 6 years ago

I enjoyed this post. Did you drink the bubble tea there? Taiwan is where boba tea originated according to many.


SusanWesty profile image

SusanWesty 6 years ago from Australia Author

I did, Kathryn. It was one of the first things I was encouraged to try when I arrived...I choked. I just can't stand little balls in my cuppa! Still don't like it, lol.


Helen 5 years ago

Very helpful advice you've given us here. Thanks for creating this hub and sharing your advice. Your advice is very similar to this great site I found the other day which contains dozens of articles on this subject: http://www.getbackwithyourextips.com

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