Now that I’ve mentioned that I used to live in Taiwan a couple of times since starting this blog, I feel like it’s time to give you some sort of explanation…
Hi, my name is Hillory and I lived in Taiwan for a year after I graduated from university.
I wasn’t running away, fleeing the law, or moving to Asia for any reason that would be deemed cool. I basically had no idea what I wanted to do after my undergrad. I had a fairly general degree (that Honors Language and Literature and Creative Writing degree that I’m very proud of) which equivocated to basically nothing without any real-world experience. So, instead of joining the unemployed ranks of the majority of people in my graduating year (okay, I can’t really speak to that, but I hope that they had something lined up that didn’t involve scooping ice cream at Marble Slab), I decided to teach English for a year while I figured my life out.
Now, I’m not sure how other people deal with moving abroad (as I didn’t know that many people who randomly choose to live in another country), but I started preparing myself in relatively strange ways.
I became distracted with super mundane tasks. I had become obsessed with tiny carry-on items that I could bring with me on the plane. I even watched a crazy amount of YouTube videos that would prepare me for packing all of my things into two medium-sized suitcases. The strangest part of it all was that even though I spent most of my summer saying goodbye to my friends and loved ones (and shoving everything I owned into literally two suitcases and my carry-on), I never really felt like I was actually leaving.
I guess watching all of these videos and collecting tips was my way of coping with the fact that what I was doing was pretty major. Sure, I also tried to learn simple phrases in Mandarin (okay, maybe I only learned how to say, “Hi” and figured I’d pick up a couple of other phrases), but I felt that gathering these items and ideas kept me preoccupied from the intimidating truth of an international move.
It wasn’t until I was already on the plane that I sort-of checked into reality. It was one of the scariest moments in my entire life, but it was also really… freeing. Even though I had always been impulsive, I was never drop-my-whole-life-and-move-away-from-everything-familiar impulsive. I never thought that I would be making a major life change like this. Yet here I was, on a plane heading towards a country I had never visited before, with no real plan other than teaching English to kindergarteners… and making a life plan of my own. Sure I was nervous, but I was also so excited about the future.
Now that I’m getting to this part of my adventure, I’m realizing that it’s a much larger story to tell. So I guess, this is the where I say, “stay tuned…”