Taiwan, You Be Holdin It Down

Never in a million years would I have imagined when I was a youngin that I would live and work in Taiwan as a 22 year old manager for nearly seven years. I was supposed to be doing anything else but that. Literally anything. I’m most certainly not mad about it though, I’m glad.

When I first got to Taiwan I thought it was a set up. I had VERY affordable healthcare, a decent salary, lots of days off each year, and a few cuties smiling my way sometimes when I went out and hit the town. It was the definition of Lit ( I think ). At the beginning I was uncomfortable, I missed home, I missed Jordans, gas station nachos, and going to the casino and putting five dollars on black and using the other five to buy scratch offs to try and come up. 

Tamkang Senior High School, Tamsui, Taiwan

Tamkang Senior High School, Tamsui, Taiwan

Taiwan had something else in mind for me though. Real talk, I'm not sure if it was because of the mountain views found literally right outside my front door, the full and filling meals for less than a dollar, or the convenient and super clean public transportation system; but the beautiful island definitely had a hold on me. Again, it was Lit! But I was teaching though.

12th Grade Bilingual Graduating Class

12th Grade Bilingual Graduating Class

I lowkey didn’t like kids at the time, and I am an intense germaphobe. Getting junior high students to wash their hands is a struggle. But if these darn kids didn’t switch up the game on me and change my mind less than a month in, it was crazy. From day one in the classroom I loved teaching. It was Lit! (I think i got it) The students were funny, engaging, respectful, super lazy but I was able to connect with them and they damn sure did my work. They inspired me more than I inspired them. The energy and enthusiasm they brought into the classroom was a welcomed challenge and a great way to start your day. Hard be mad when you walk into a room filled with 30 or more eager and smiling faces on a daily basis.  I not only wanted to, but I actually looked forward to getting up for work everyday, because I enjoyed the work I was doing.  That was a big part of what kept me in Taiwan for nearly seven years. Wouldn’t trade that feeling for much in the world.

 

Tuk-Tuk Ride in Bangkok, Thailand

Tuk-Tuk Ride in Bangkok, Thailand

It didn’t stop there though. Taiwan was like, “you thought that was all bruh, chill son.” Taiwan introduced me to my passion. Traveling. Having something close to nine weeks each year available to travel, and a friend in Brad Hilbrich to put me on game and let me know how to do it cheaply, safely, and efficiently, I was moving through countries my first year in Taiwan. The very first country and one of my absolute favorites I visited was Thailand; evident by the several group travel trips we’ve planned and led over the past seven years, it was a life changing experience. From the delicious food, (pad thai be poppin) to the magnificent temples, and five dollar massages, it was love at first sight.

Taiwan has not only inspired and changed my professional career setting me on a path enabling me to pay it forward, but it paved the way for me to discover my passion. So I owe a lot to the beautiful island of Taiwan and its’ amazing people. I can now speak Chinese relatively well, I was able to hire brown people from all over the world to work in Asia while also traveling and seeing the world.  Suffice to say the beautiful island changed my life.

To be continued...