It’s been a long time since I’ve posted something but I really did not have anything interesting to type about. My main schedule consisted of; waking up, going to work, coming home, sleep and repeat. And if I had a day off it would consist of; waking up late, doing some chores, washing clothes, watching movies/shows on Netflix, sleep and repeat.
So really, you cannot blame me for not posting anything in a while. But boy, oh boy, do I have a story for you guys!!
Or actually, many stories in fact. But I am going to focus on only 1 story. Because it’s the only one that means the most to me right now. And the one that I am most stoked for!!!
I am going on my first real vacation this summer in August. It took me 9 months to save up for this vacation, without knowing at first what I was saving up for. Then it took me a few months to figure out when and where I was going. I’ve always wanted to visit Asia and Korea was right ontop of my list. However, things happenend and changed my mind completely.
Then there was the issue of me and my passport. I never had one before and my ID-card(which I can use for travelling through Europe) was expiring the 27th of May. Which meant, I either had to re-new my ID-card or get myself a passport. And since I really wanted to get out of Europe, I decided that a passport would be the smartest move for me.
So I arranged my passport, took a few days off from work to go to Cityhall and fix that for myself and eventually I had my passport. The weirdest thing was, before I actually HAD the passport I wasn’t sure if I was really going to go on a vacation outside of the EU this year. However, the moment I was holding the passport in my hands… I felt a sudden excitement and rush to go home and figure out where the heck I was going to go to. I really wanted to go see something of Asia and therefore a part of this World. Now I have been spending my days occasionally meeting penpals on Epenpal(an app) and though I met mostly Koreans who wanted me to visit Korea… I have had my share of bad luck with Koreans and meeting up over the past 3 months. To make a long story short: two guys who were interested in meeting up with me said they would visit me and both cancelled last minute, when I had already taken days off and whatnot.
So for me to go to Korea all alone, wasn’t an option. I wanted someone in that country, a local, to help me and be my guide. Which is also another reason why Epenpal exists. So that the people you meet on there, can help you when you do visit their country.
Needless to say, you can’t compare actual penpals with ‘guys who are interested in you’ but after all that drama I figured Korea just wasn’t going to happen. Not saying that all Koreans are like that(cancelling last minute) but I just didn’t feel so hyped to go anymore… Then one night I stumbled across a profile of a guy from Taiwan who liked my profile. Which is usually the first step into talking to someone on that app. Yes, he’s a hottie. An incredibly handsome looking young man… But sadly he was never interested in me that way. And since we grew closer towards eachother as ‘just friends’, I Figured I wouldn’t rock the boat and try and get my way with him. That sounds a lot worse than it really is… trust me.
We got very friendly with eachother and we skyped every day, as just friends… 😦
But he turned out to be a good friend and we talked hours and hours on end. About our countries, our traditions, our history, our culture, relationships, friendships, pretty much everything and nothing that two people can really talk about for hours on end. Eventually when I had my passport we had already discussed visiting eachother’s countries but as soon as I held my passport I messaged him asking if Taiwan with him as my local guide, would be a good idea. He was very stoked about this idea, and so was I. It didn’t take us more than an hour to decide that I was going to visit his city in this summer.
Both of us looked at flights, tickets, hotels and information about visiting while being on Skype with eachother and the first steps were taken towards actually planning my vacation.
Thanks to a coworker who forced me to go visit an actual travel agency, I went to one and got more and more information about a possible hotel for me (for two weeks, since that’s how long I would wanted to stay there) and the best flights for a reasonable price. I do have money but I can’t afford the most expensive flights and air companies just yet…
After that visit, I was certain! I told him straight away: when my salary comes in next week, I will book the flight and there will be no turning back. In the meantime I looked up what I needed to get done before booking the flight and I checked everything that needed to be checked. The list:
– Book a flight to Taichung in Taiwan.
– Figure out which Hotel I will be staying at that has Wifi, clean laundry, a bathroom and all the other basic things that I need.
– Figure out the currency of Taiwan and figure out if after converting euro’s to Taiwanese Dollars, I would still have enough money to last for two weeks.
– Get my passport(done!)
– Get some information about the flight, e.g.; how many Kg’s in my luggage and hand luggage, what can’t and what can I bring with me, etc. etc.
– Get a medical passport(for all my medication)
– Set my ATM card to “worldwide use” so I can use it in Taiwan.
– Get good sneakers to walk in (also socks).
– Get the basic medication that I don’t need a medical pass for.
– Figure out if I need a visa (don’t need it).
– Figure out if I need to take injections against diseases(don’t need those either!).
– Discuss everything with said friend/local guide from Taiwan.
– Pack everything and go!
Now it’s been a couple of weeks since me and my friend had this talk and now I only have to get good sneakers and socks. That is the only thing I still need to check off on my list. Maybe I forgot a few things, but the actual handwritten list, is downstairs and not with me at this moment. But I have everything I need on there.
I booked the flight last week, I will be going to Taiwan no matter WHAT, on the 23rd of August, and I will leave on the 7th of September. I will be arriving at Taipei airport at the 24th of August and I will be arriving back at home on the 8th of September. The entire flight will take 16-something hours and the plane will make one stop for about an hour and a half in Bangkok, Thailand. Then it will continue it’s flight to Taipei, where my friend will be waiting for me to come pick me up and bring me to Taichung(his city). He has a hotel in the same building he lives(he’s a student living in some sort of college dorm/hotel for tourists). My room will be much more expensive than his is. Obviously because he is a student and cannot afford a ‘expensive’ hotel room. In total my room will cost me 800 euro’s, but 300 euro’s will be a guarrantee fee. When I leave I will get my 300 back, if the room is still proper and clean, meaning not wrecked and everything is broken. So actually the hotel room for two weeks is only 500 euro’s.
It is a bit more pricey than the Hotel the travel agency reccommended for me, which was 280 euro’s total for two whole weeks with the same supplies. However, that hotel was on the other side of Taichung, which meant my friend would have to drive 40 minutes with his scooter everytime we wanted to go do something. Which would be everyday, because he’s the one I rely on. They do speak english there of course, but it’s always best to have a local help you out.
Now I can already hear y’all think: what if he doesn’t show up and you’re all on your own when you arrive at Taipei. Don’t worry guys! I have an adress and the taxi drivers there do speak English in the capital city of Taipei. I can always make my way to the hotel no matter what. And you gotta live a little, don’t you think? I always live so decent and without risks, I thought it would be a nice change, hahah.
Jokes jokes 😉
So now that that’s all taken care of there’s only the sneakers and socks left for me to buy and check off on my list of things ‘to-do’.
However, whatever I might see that will be convenient for me when going to Taiwan, I will buy of course! I already bought a neckpillow for the flight, earplugs for the takeoff and landing, some basic medication that you’ll need when visiting a different country, chewing gum(also for takeoff and landing) and I will still buy some mini products that we, at my store, sell. Like mini shampoo, mini toothpastes, mini shower gel(even though they have that at the hotel), mini deodorant. Because I know we westerners ‘smell’ more compared to the Asians.
I’ve had some help from my coworkers who have used planes before. For me, it will be my first EVER expierence. I have never gone to a country outside of Europe, I have never gone on a vacation on my own and I have never travelled by plane before.
So this will be a leap in the deep abyss. And hopefully I won’t pass out due to the stress and nerves. Going alone without my mother is definately a first and it will probably scare me a bit. Knowing I am a momma’s kid and a chaotic ball of nerves when doing something I am not used to doing at all. Knowng myself, I feel like I will definately freak out on the day of departure. Knowing I will be alone and going to the other side of the world. But despite all of that I am happy I am doing this. I might be all of that, but it will be a good lesson for me. And it will be an amazing expierence. It might not go down the way I plan it inside of my head, but nothing really ever does play out the way I plan things.
It will be a HUGE push outside of comfort zone and outside of my very own little safe bubble. But I feel like I will definately grow from this expierence. I will see an amazing and beautiful country(I have looked online and inside the travel agencies’ tourist guide book). I will meet up with a friend I met on the internet. I will learn about and see a totally different culture. I will make AWESOME memories and I will definately come home stronger than ever.
Because if I did THIS… I can literally do anything on my own.
But.. I still have to wait another three months. I will spend my birthday there as well and I will turn 20 when I am in Taiwan.
I promised my mother I would skype her every day, even if it’s at least for 3 minutes tops. Because she wants to know that I am doing fine as well.. It’s not just scary for me… it’s also scary for my mother.
I will try and update y’all on the matter, if anything goes down, and if I have the time and energy to type another long blog post then I obviously will(and of course if I don’t forget about it). But when I am back from Taiwan, with hopefully, a LOT of stories to tell, a lot of photo’s to share and a lot of self-confidence; then I will definately post about it no matter what. You have my word on this!