Taipei 101, as seen from a street below it. The branch of a tree seem to stretch towards it. There are warm fairy lights on the branch. At its north side, Taipei 101 is dressed by a giant LED screen which points towards us. The LEDs are lightened in rainbow colors.

Proud & Open

In a different timeline, I would be spending the next two months packing. Moving to Taiwan was an opportunity taken, not a decision made on a clean slate. I had no idea what to expect. We hence decided to first commit for three years to this place – until January 2024. Yet, having the option we decided to stay for another one-and-a-half years earlier this year.

Here and now, I am very happy with this decision. Staying here is the right thing for us for many reasons, and leaving here would be wrong for many others. The island itself is a great reason to stay – see yesterdays photo (or basically any photo of the last six months). There are many private reasons. And there is the Taiwanese society.

“The people are so great” is one of the first things any visitor or have-been-visitor tells me and I have to agree. Most Taiwanese show many virtues, hospitality, kindness, respect, openness – to name just a few. I learned to love Taiwanese society, too. Like any it has its edges of course, some of them shielded away by our living situation and my lack of speaking Mandarin properly. But there are many parts I deeply admire, its cultural stance between “West and East;” its cultural tolerance, curiosity, and liberalism; its openness towards technology and the future; its pride and humility.

More than traveling, living abroad teaches you a lot about not only other countries but especially your own. I feel very grateful to be offered these experiences.

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