Moving to Taiwan?
Taiwan is becoming a hugely popular place for expats to call home. After spending two years on the small island myself, I completely understand why. When it comes to scenery, Taiwan has it all—majestic mountains, dramatic gorges, sparkling beaches, and expansive rice fields. If you’re looking for the cosmopolitan life, the capital city of Taipei boasts world-class shopping, museums, and restaurants.
Prefer a more exotic experience? Taiwan’s chaotic night markets and mystical temples will remind you just how far away from home you really are.
But while these descriptions make Taiwan sound great, they don’t do much to tell you what living there is really like—especially as a female expat. Before packing up all your belongings and heading across the Pacific, here are six important things to consider.
1. Taiwan Is Incredibly Safe
Taiwan is the safest place I’ve ever lived. I witnessed virtually no crime the two years I was there—and that’s coming from a girl who left her scooter keys in the ignition overnight on a regular basis. Of course, I’m not advocating you throw caution out the window; however, I can say I felt much safer living in Taiwan than even in my home country. Additionally, I had no trouble walking around at night or approaching locals for help, two important considerations for solo female travelers.
2. The People Are Fantastic…Seriously
Taiwanese are some of the most genuinely hospitable and friendly people around. During the countless times I found myself lost, there was always a local around that would come to my aid, insisting they not only give me directions but actually escort me to my final destination. That’s just one example of the generosity I experienced day in and day out. Of all Taiwan’s wonders, it’s the people that defined my time in Taiwan and left the most lasting impact.
3. A Large Expat Network
When living abroad, there are always times when you just don’t want to battle with the communication and cultural barriers. That’s when an expat community is absolutely crucial. As mentioned earlier, there’s a very large expat community in Taiwan, and it is continuing to grow. Not only will you find the support you need, but you are also likely meet awesome people from different backgrounds with similar interests to your own.
1. Moving to Taiwan = The Boy Problems (Or Lack Thereof)
If you’re hoping for a sexy fling abroad, Taiwan may not be the best place for you. It’s no secret that Asian women find Western men very attractive, and many foreign men move to Asia for the sole purpose of finding a girlfriend. Someone who might not have had many dating opportunities back home will often find themselves overwhelmed with options in Taiwan. For women, it can get a bit frustrating when every single male you know suddenly has a local girlfriend and you’re still ordering dinner for one.
2. It’s All About The Cute Factor
In Taiwan, it’s all about how cute you are. This includes but is not limited to pigtails, the color pink, Hello Kitty, and the name Candy. For some women it can be a bit difficult to live in a place where the cuter you are the more desirable you are. Plus, navigating those itty-bitty clothes decked out in sequins and cartoon characters does not always make for a rewarding shopping experience.
3. We’re All English Teachers
If the idea of teaching English abroad sounds attractive, then Taiwan is a great place to live comfortably for more than reasonable pay. However, if teaching isn’t your thing, you’ll find it difficult to secure other modes of employment. That’s not to say it is impossible, and there are other avenues to consider such as volunteering or studying abroad. But should you find yourself a non-teaching expat in Taiwan, it is most certain that the majority of other expats in your social network will in fact be teachers. And what do teachers talk about? A lot of the time, it’s teaching.
These are just six things to consider before making the big jump to Taiwan. If it sparked your interest, be sure to download a free copy of my eBook, 101 Tips to Living in Taiwan. It has everything you need to know about moving to Taiwan, getting settled, and exploring your new home. Did I mention it’s free?
Have you lived in Asia before? Considering moving to Taiwan? What were the pros and cons to your new life abroad?