Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Taiwan

I'll go ahead and copy some of the notes I jotted in my travel journal taken by writing them out the long way (seriously, who does that anymore) since many of you readers have asked to hear about travels in Taiwan. Be warned that they may not be coherent or even relevant.

7/25/2010

I'm on a train to Heulen, Taiwan from Taipei and I must say, traveling by train is definitely a superior way to see the world. I just saw some people working on fields with an endless chain of mountains in the background. This is really UNREAL. The vacation started out well. We stayed in Taipei last night at a hostel called the Chocolate Box Backpacker's Hostel. It was quite charming actually. Taiwan, outside of Taipei, is quite green and full of luscious vegetation. Surprises me because Taipei is such a dirty city.

*******20 minutes passes********

Now we've entered the ocean side portion of this train ride. It's seriously like something out of a movie. And every now and then we'll go through a tunnel and there's the ocean. There are no words here. It's just all too surreal. Pinch me. Am I really here? Really? I guess this is what I wanted when I wanted to travel.

*******A few hours and a bus ride later*******

Taroko Gorge, Eastern Taiwan.

Youth/Family hostel that is actually surprisingly swanky.
Explored the gorge today in 95% humidity.

Green rocks and spiders the size of my hand.
Really pretty butterflies.
And flowers.
Really steep cliffs, but that's a given.

It feels really great to not have any responsibilities or anywhere to be. Also feels great not to be tied down to a computer and the Internet.

Good company. Jeff, Hanna, and Amy make good travel companions just because they are so laid back. We can just chill and enjoy going to an aboriginal village tomorrow and then going to hang out on the beach the next day.

(A note from the future: The aboriginal village doesn't actually exist in Toroko Gorge, but we found out that there is a pretty trashy aboriginal TOURIST TRAP. It was a hilarious travel moment.)

7/27/2010
Taitung, Taiwan

*******After a few train rides and nauseating bus rides...********

Taiwanese people are really nice and almost selfless. I feel really comfortable here. Either that, or we got really lucky. We are watching CNN for the first time since entering Korea over two months ago. Where, might you add? We are in the upstairs of a B&B, which is no different than someone's house. When we entered, we passed the owner's two children sitting on the floor watching TV. They stared at us pretty intensely when we entered. We are waiting until the ferry to Orchid Island comes at 7:30 am tomorrow. By the time we got here, the last ferry had already left (the train ride took a little longer than we budgeted for) and getting this place was an act of God. I feel that we were watched over by a lot of people today.

It's also amazing how traveling like this with no idea where we are going to eat/stay the next night is not for people plagued with anxiety and depression like yours truly. All sorts of internal dialogue got brought up, and I am very proud of working through it the way I did. It taught me that things do work out for the best. I did have to spend a few hours in the B&B alone. I am better now. Oy.

I have one more day's worth of journal entries to post, and I will do that tomorrow or the next day. I hope you enjoy my random ramblings and commentary. I really did enjoy my vacation and wish I were still there. I am back at work this week thinking of our wonderful friends we made and scenery we left behind there. I will be back...to somewhere even more exotic sometime soon! I'm off to plan my next adventure!
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