About Me

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Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Asia's Best Kept Secret is Out

There's this stereotype in Taiwan of the expat who only comes here to exploit all the goodness this little country has to offer. I've worked with people like that. They're young, like to party and they're teaching children and wind up walking out on the job, etc. But by this recent expat survey, most expats in Taiwan are obviously well aware and highly appreciative of their good life here. Sure its not perfect, (driving + kids in the local education system), but its pretty dang close. (I doubt the expat couple who had to pay a 41,000 USD hospital bill for the birth of their twins would agree.)

InterNations the largest expat network, included Taiwan in their 2016 survey and the outcome was astounding. Well maybe not so much to me, but its confirmed why I've been here for  8 years.

Out of 191 countries/territories, 14,000 expats ranked Taiwan:
~ 1st in quality of life and personal finances
~ 1st  in friendly attitude towards families with children
~ 2nd in working abroad (only behind Spain)
~ 2nd for overall satisfaction of life abroad
~ 8th for "family life"
~ 10th for ease of settling in

Most expats in Taiwan are long term, like myself staying for 3 years (64%) or longer (36%). What is the primary reason for expats loving Taiwan? The people of course.Taiwanese generally are extremely friendly people. I'll give you an example:

My daughter and I just got back from our summer trip to Colorado a few days ago. The other night we were buying fruit at our local stand, NINE white dragon fruits for 100 NT(bumper crop) and a bushel of dragon eyes. As we were leaving, the vendor stuffed another bushel of dragon eyes into my shopping bag. This is common practice, both as a demonstration of appreciating my business , knowing I'll come back. But being away from this for even a month, my kid and I were still blown away, "It's great to be back in Taiwan!" My daughter remarked, " Giving gifts in Taiwan is like saying hello and goodbye." What a beautiful understanding.

 I was still so appreciative, that when I went to pay my late phone/cable bill immediately afterwards, I didn't demand the man who cut in line in front of me to let me go first.

So if you can get over the initial culture shocks, the hurdle of getting acclimated to the climate, the traffic, the food, it really is a comfortable life. Sure makes the ideal base for exploring the rest of Asia while making friendships that last.

Thank you Taiwan!

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