I always thought about it. To travel alone somewhere very far away from home. Eventually, this October the perfect occasion finally came to me. My boyfriend was invited to a mont-long training to Taiwan, and I decided to visit him. As he had classes almost every day and lived outside of Taipei, I was basically on my own. And that was incredible!
My biggest motivation to fly to Taipei was to meet up with my love of course. But as he arrived in Taiwan it turned out that his schedule is far more intense than he expected. The thought about cancelling my trip came to my mind, but as my tickets proved to be non-refundable (despite the notice on the website), I decided to go.
The flight was the longest I ever had before, so I was pretty horrified before the departure. I was afraid if I was stuck somewhere in China (without a visa), how am I going to make it through the 11-hour journey blah blah blah. It turned out to be just fine I was chatting with a girl from Amsterdam almost 5 hours in the plane, so time flew very fast! I had to wait 20 hours at the airports in total during both trips, but it turned out to be a very productive time! I have planned my goals for the next weeks, arranged files on my laptop and wrote some articles for my blog. Leaving the airport in Taipei, I was so proud of myself. I made it! But the fun part was just about to begin.
I was worried what I would do alone in this vast city, where everybody looks at me curiously and speaks a weird language. I was afraid I was going to spend the whole week in my tiny little room because I will be too afraid to walk alone. Never happened. The very first day I entered the street I totally fell in love with this feeling: I can do WHATEVER I want! Usually when you travel with somebody whether it’s your friend, boyfriend or a group of friends it’s all about compromise. You have to make a plan that suits you all even if you’re not totally excited about it. But there I was alone in Taiwan, and the city was just waiting to be discovered.
I started with finding something to eat. I entered a little bakery, and I froze.
There were so many delicious things with a ridiculously low price! O.K. I’m not gonna starve here, that’s for sure! With a lovely-smelling bagel with cheese and bacon, I proceed on my journey. At the end of the street, I saw something green. A park! And there I was in a green Taiwanese wonderland. The park was pretty huge with little ponds, Chinese-looking buildings and lots of people who were smiling friendly at me. I loved it! This park became one of my favourite lunch spots as it was located just 5 minutes from my hostel.
I left the park and decided to see what else my neighbourhood has to offer. Walking down the street, I heard someone speaking English: lot’s of lovely street food here, huh? That’s how I met KC – my Taiwanese friend. Later this day I was riding the street of Taipei on his scooter. You may find it a little bit risky to ride a scooter with a random guy, but I usually don’t trust people at all, especially the one I don’t know but this time I acted totally against my instincts, and it was worth it!
KC showed me two great places where I would never get on my own – a spot outside an airport from which it was possible to see departing planes from a really short distance – I always wanted to do this! Then we went to a hill where I could see a breathtaking view of whole of Taipei. I felt so lucky sitting on a back seat of his scooter admiring the city. A little bit afraid at first as my friend was driving pretty fast but as minutes past I had only one thought: let’s go faster!
I have spent seven incredible days in Taipei. Having visited, an Elephant Mountain, the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, the Longshan Temple and of course the Taipei 101. I thought it would be sad for me to visit all those places by myself and not to be able to share my impressions with anyone but I was enjoying it a lot. Taiwan is an ideal location to visit alone as Taiwanese people are super friendly and helpful. They were smiling at me and greeting with a nod of a head and it was soo cute. I felt safe and welcome.
So why every girl should travel alone at least once in her life? Because it’s empowering. It gives you the feeling that you can do anything and nothing is too hard for you to achieve! Making you feel strong and confident. It brings you faith in people. You know that most of them are friendly and wishes you well. You know that even if you don’t know something you can always ask and there will be someone willing to help you. Sometimes you don’t even have to ask. So, girl, you have to do it. You’re Worth it. And I can guarantee you’ll be satisfied :).