The funny thing is Taiwan was never on my places-to-go list. I had nothing against the country; it was just that I knew too little about it to even think of a visit. And I have realized I’m not the only one. “Why?” has been the unanimous question since I told my family, friends and colleagues about my trip.
So why Taiwan?
The answer goes back to my Europe trip at the beginning of this year because if it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t be going now. The vast majority of you guys come from developed countries so you guys don’t have this problem and thus might not know that as a holder of a third-world passport, I have to jump through hoops whenever I want to visit countries like the US, UK, EU or Japan. (I only have my fellow countrymen to blame, since many really harbor the evil intention of coming and never leaving.) Luckily, of all the countries that require us to apply for visit visas, some are more lenient than others. For example, if we have a valid visa from one of the first-world countries, we can visit Taiwan and stay for a month whenever we want. Earlier this year when I applied for my Schengen visa, the French embassy was so freaking generous and granted me a long-term, multiple-entry tourist visa. Which was absolutely unexpected because I didn’t (dare to) ask for it in my application. My trip was long over, but my visa is not. Taiwan becomes feasible as a result. French embassy, je t’aime and french kiss to you. LOL.