Although it’s been more than a month since I picked up my 2-year-old roots and left Taipei, I can’t help but reminisce the rare beautiful days in the city when it wasn’t raining, too hot or too cold. On those days, it’s like the normally gloomy city turns into utopia, where everyone suddenly starts riding bikes without hurry, strolling on sidewalks, and spending time at parks. It seemed impossible to be unhappy on the rare perfect days like those.
During my last week in Taipei, these perfect days were strangely frequent. It was like the perfect farewell to the city I had made into a home and built everlasting bridges. As I’ve begun checking off my bucket list, the past month has already felt like a year. I’ve hiked beautiful trails, experienced Taiwan’s most extreme tropical party, volunteered on a farm in Japan, shamelessly fed my fetish for abandoned buildings, got my PADI and scuba dived in the best seas of the country, revisited and discovered amazing spots on this island. I can’t imagine what else there is in store — with plans to soon go on a road trip, visit Europe, Thailand, and more.
But as sit here on my first “day off” from my new adventure, I’m taken back to who I was on those sunny, perfect Taipei days. I’m taken back to picnicking at Daan Park with my friends as we drank wine and snacked. I go back to hiking the Elephant Mountain before work, because it was just that easy and fast to get to. I think about hearing my downstairs neighbors playing guitar in the morning, and waking up to that old neighbor hacking up his phlegm. I’m taken back to when I peered off our patio in our old apartment, seeing the lazy neighborhood cats sleeping on hoods by the park.
It’s always bittersweet to leave a city and start new. Leaving your comfort zone is the best way to realize what you want, and to know for sure what you don’t want to do in life. As my journey continues, I am blessed that I have the resources, my family’s support, and my savings to embark on a seed that’s been itching inside of me from the moment I stabilized.
Thank you, Taipei, for being such a safe and wonderful city, and for being the launching pad for a woman who can’t keep her feet on the ground for too long.