Back in 2015, I spent a semester in Chengdu, Sichuan, China studying Chinese for four months, so living Taipei isn’t my first time  studying abroad. But honestly, these two experiences could not be more different. In Chengdu, I lived in a dorm and spent most of my time with my fellow American classmates, whereas in Taiwan, I live in a hostel and spend most of my time with locals. I definitely think I did it right this time around! While preparing my move to Taipei,…Continue Reading “11 Reasons to Live at a Hostel While Studying Abroad”

When you think of a hostel, you usually think of backpackers or students looking for a place to socialize while they travel. What you don’t think of, however, are families. People tend to assume that hostels are not suitable for family trips – they cater too much to young partiers, they’re noisy, they’re unsafe, etc… the list goes on. While these issues can be true for some hostels, in reality, the world of hostels has been expanding so much recently that cheap, dirty, party hostels…Continue Reading “10 Reasons to Stay at a Hostel on Your Family Vacation”

When I’m not living in Taipei studying Chinese, I’m an ecologist, so being outside and otherwise surrounded by nature is kind of my thing. Whenever I move to a new city, my first goal is to find my favorite parks so that I know exactly where to go when I want to sit and relax, go on a run, or have a change of scenery while I’m doing my homework. While I haven’t visited all of Taipei’s green spaces (there are at least a hundred…Continue Reading “The Outdoor Enthusiast’s Guide to Taipei”

I’ve already said that the Riverside Park system is one of my favorite things about Taipei, but with a Riverside this extensive, it can be hard to decide which is the best portion to hit up if you only have a little bit of time. In this post, I’ll offer you 12 interesting suggestions of where to go and what to do along the Riverside. Starting from the south end of the Riverside… 1. Taipei Zoo and the Maokong Gondola Located at the southern terminus…Continue Reading “Raving About Taipei’s Riverside Part 2: Where to Go and What to Do”

Words cannot describe how in love I am with Taipei’s system of Riverside Parks. In the past two months that I’ve been living in Taipei, the Riverside system has become my favorite part of the city – and where I try to spend as much of my time as possible. Every time I hit the Riverside, I discover something new, and I am thoroughly convinced it’s the best way to be outdoors without having to go too far away from Taipei. Here are a few…Continue Reading “Raving About Taipei’s Riverside”

No visit to Taiwan is complete without a visit to a night market. The best nightlife in Taipei is found at food market. The country has a penchant for snacking and a desire to eat with friends all night long. Although night markets are traditionally a Chinese phenomenon, Taiwan’s scene has grown to be considered one of the best in the world. Taiwan’s night markets initially began as informal vendor meetings, where merchants would get together and sell their wares. These groupings eventually turned into more formal night markets. Now, visitors…Continue Reading “Taipei Night Market”

Vegetarian is not a new word for me. But being a vegetarian in Taiwan??? This is not a question I had ever thought about before. Taiwan is well-known as a food heaven, but most Taiwanese diets and dishes contain meat or at least some animal by-products. But apparently, I was wrong. I’ve been here in Homey for almost 3 months, where I met a German named Jasper, who has been a vegetarian for almost 10 years. Jasper has already been living in Taiwan for over…Continue Reading “Being Vegetarian In Taiwan”

  After starting the language event with Kelly, we saw our biggest turnout this time around.  We had about 20 people come through and join us. Wanting to challenge the participants a bit more this time around, I set the theme for “taking a stance.” We had a peaceful debate of sorts. Most of the participants were happy to have a space  to express how they felt about certain controversial topics.  Here it was good to see people challenging themselves by saying their  feelings directly….Continue Reading “Taiwan, Stand Up!”

One month in Taipei and I’ve learned a lot.  A lot about the city, Taiwanese people and myself. I hope to share a few of these lessons in today’s post.  In my most recent live show with Homey Hostel, I took a stroll around the block. Starting off at 50 Lan with a classic  milk tea bubble tea, owner, Kelly, and I began our journey. We passed by a few local restaurants where you can see the well-known cheap and affordable meals Taiwan is known for.  For…Continue Reading “Taiwan From Foreign Eyes”

Kindness is drought level worldwide. Except in Taiwan. It’s abundant here. Taiwanese people take it on themselves to show you, the foreigner,  their country as if they were official representatives.  While they’re probably more friendly with foreigners than fellow natives,  their kindness goes a long way. My latest experience with this high-level kindness was in a Taipei hair salon.  My head was massaged to a distant astral plane and my ears were cleaned  smooth as a baby’s butt-cheek. Beyond the actual service itself, the smiles …Continue Reading “Why is Taiwan #1? Hair Heaven! Traditional Taiwanese Hair Salon”