I've been here about a month and it's a big change in lifestyle. I'm going to try to talk about what it's like here and why I moved here. I had been planning to move to Spain but I've put that on hold, probably until next year.
Two reasons stand out for the move.
For a long time I'd been in England living in a rat race of 9-5 and getting stressed. Despite making good money, I wasn't enjoying it. What's the point of all the money in the world if you don't get much chance to enjoy it?
I knew that to enjoy life more, I'd have to make a change.
I set my sights on Spain, had an interview, got a job offer in Madrid and went there to set up a new life. After 5 days there, I realized it was an option but not the only option. I discussed with my LTR about other options. Madrid was great for culture but is very busy and noisy. I suggested Alicante or another coastal region where life might be less frantic. I suppose, looking back at it now, that I worried my life in Madrid would be too similar to life in England.
We hit upon the idea of Taiwan and going there to see her family on an extended trip. So, I booked a flight to Asia and off we went within a week and a half of deciding. Sometimes big decisions just seem right.
Why Taiwan and what is it like?
Well, I've been before a couple of times to visit but never to live here longer term. I like the winters here. They are sunny and warm. Taiwanese winters are like British summers. And then some. The humidity used to kill me when I worked in nearby Hong Kong but it drops in the winter months and from November to March, the weather is perfect. When it is snowing and icy in Europe, I'll be sunbathing and working on my tan in Taiwan.
Another reason is we have a free place to stay. My LTR's family have a huge 5 story house and we have an entire floor with our own bathroom. I didn't know it when I first sarged her but she must be quite well off. Good.
I've joined a gym here and can swim, lift weights, do aerobic exercises, play squash and do loads of other classes for a very reasonable monthly fee. It's half the price of a similar quality gym in England. Nothing beats swimming underwater in the morning after breakfast, checking the time on my diver's watch as I glide along beneath the surface and thinking 'if i was in England now, I'd be just finishing another exhausting shift'. Getting into the jacuzzi after the sauna and steam room seals the deal for me every morning.
I have the chance to travel in Asia, too. I am flying to Hong Kong soon and planning a trip to Japan. I've seen most of Europe so it makes sense to see a new part of the world. It's uncharted territory for me.
I kid myself that I can learn Chinese while I am here but I know it's not an easy language for me. Still, I can learn some basics I hope.
For money, I have some savings and have earned some private income using my skills already. Not a lot of dough, but it's a start and making it is far less stressful than the rat race in England.
I'm not going to kid myself and say it's perfect here. There is a huge culture shock in negotiating the traffic, reading the people, communicating and figuring out how life works. I think a year would be enough for me, though I have met Westerners who have been here for years. There seem to be loads of Canadians for some reasons.
So, in all likelihood I'll be here for several months and recharge my batteries while enjoying the lifestyle and travelling. I'll be back to Europe next year and perhaps then Spain will be ready for me and I for it.