Goodbye, Taiwan

October 23, 2013 Tessa Bradford 2 comments

Goodbye, Taiwan

I said goodbye toTaiwan, after two amazing years.

Leaving a place that means something to you is a lot like saying goodbye to a loved one. It's never easy. But it was the right time.

We become so attached to the people, the places, and the phases in our lives. Fears can plague you when you consider moving on-- "Will I see them again?", "Will I come back?", "Will I ever be this happy again?"

Liang Shan 3rd waterfall
Liang Shan waterfall

But hanging on to those things can be dangerous. Comfort can be Experience's worst enemy. I want to do more with my life, see different things, try out other adventures, meet new people-- and as much as I love Taiwan, I can't stay there and continue to feel like I'm living up to Life's potential.

So Goodbye had to be said. And it was really hard. And I miss Taiwan and my beautiful life there.
But I can always go back; I won't be able to travel freely forever.

Before I close my Taiwan chapter, I want to take a moment to remember the many reasons why Taiwan is a place that I will always keep close.

You see, Taiwan was a life changer for me.

Taiwan was where I met my best friend and travel partner, who has made my adventures indescribably more fun.

Taiwan helped me to relax. To sleep in late and order cake for breakfast and share drinks with friends in the evening. To sit in the park and read by the lake. To spend hours just talking to people I love. To watch sunsets and sunrises.

The sunset over Alishan
The sunset over Alishan

Taiwan showed me that it's ok to take your time, to explore, to find the things that you really want and not just settle for what's convenient.

Taiwan gave me adventure! To test my boundaries, to see what's possible, to stop staring at the map and trying to plan every detail. To just go! To jump off waterfalls and swim beaches and climb mountains, to paraglide, to scooter, to ride motorcycles.

Paragliding, Taiwan
Learning to paraglide in Taiwan

Taiwan was filled with kindness. Locals at the ready to go out of their way to help the out-of-towner with a ride, or directions, or translations. To smile and take pictures and shout Hello's from across the road.

Taiwan was a place where I fell in love.

Taiwan taught me that it's ok that I'm headed on a non-traditional route, that I'm taking my time to settle down. That I'm figuring out what I want and the things that really make me happy before I pick Forever.

Taiwan was where I made some mistakes, learned a few hard lessons, and did some growing up.

Taiwan challenged me. To figure things out, whether they're in my language or not. To solve problems, to sometimes ask for help, and other times stand on my own.

Taiwan helped me to be happy again. To let go of some of my anger and unhappiness, to pick a life that was what I wanted, what I needed, what gave me peace.

Maura and I in Kenting
Maura and I in Kenting

For all of these reasons and more, I will always love and miss Taiwan. I cannot thank that beautiful and wonderful place enough to ever fully express my gratitude. It was time to say goodbye, but I'll keep it with me. Because of Taiwan I am a new person.

So, for now at least-- Goodbye, Taiwan.


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