Taiwan

It’s finally here!!!

Tomorrow Nick and I will be flying back to America, back to home!!!  You know the old saying, Parting is such sweet sorrow?  Well I totally understand that now.  Going home is such a bittersweet thing for us.  We’re so excited, because “home” will always be home, no matter how far we travel, but we will be leaving a part of our hearts here in Taiwan.  The whole two years we’ve been living in Taiwan, we’ve been missing friends and family back in the US, but now, going back, we’ll have all of our new friends in Taiwan to miss.  I guess nothing is ever perfect.

We have enjoyed are time here immensely and our lives will forever be changed because of the two years we lived here.  We have gotten to experience new food, new people, new cultures, new languages, and a new way of life, and that can never be taken away. 🙂

On another note…no one ever tells you how much stuff you can acquire over two years.  We tried not to buy things, but it’s inevitable.  So, for the last few days we’ve been going through everything trying to decide what to keep and what to toss because it won’t all fit!!  Where’s a Mary Poppin’s bag when you need one?

Well, I guess it’s farewell for now.  Our next post will be brought to you from the United States of America!!

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Categories: Family, Friendship, Taiwan, Travel | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

It’s the Final Countdown!

*Cue Music*

In four weeks, Nick and I will leave Taiwan forever.

That’s a little dramatic.  We hope to return some day for some travels, or maybe even some more teaching.  Who knows?!

But no matter, we are excited to move back home.  Taiwan has been a great place for us these last two years and will always, always hold a special place in our hearts, but it’s time for the next chapter in the wonderful book God is writing for us called Our Lives.

Isn’t it great to know that God always has a plan for us?  Even in this in-between time when we’re not sure where we’ll be working or living this Fall, there is comfort in knowing that God has a plan and He will take care of us.  He has most definitely taken care of us these last two years as we made our way into the unknown, and He will continue to take care of us and guide us for the rest of our days!

As we pack up our house, our dog, and our lives, we take comfort, joy, and excitement in the future that God has written for us!

Categories: Faith, Fun Stuff, Taiwan, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

LASIK in Taiwan

Recently, Nick and I decided that we have been plagued by glasses for long enough, so we decided it was time to get LASIK!!!  The problem is that LASIK is just so dang expensive!!!  I like my eyes, but I don’t want to pay $3,000-$4,000 to get new peepers (figuratively speaking of course).  So, what’s a poor couple to do?  Get LASIK in Taiwan of course!!!

Since we live  in Taiwan where the medical industry is much cheaper than in America (and just as reliable), we decided to do some research and see how much it would be to get LASIK done here, and boy oh boy were we surprised!!!  We talked to our friends and co-workers, and one of them recommend we go to Kaoshsuing, Taiwan to get LASIK done at Dr. Yang’s Eye Alliance.  So, that’s what we did!

The doctor and his associates were very nice and friendly, and we were given a personal associate who took care of all of our pre-op tests (he spoke English, of course).  The doctor was friendly, spoke perfect English, and walked us through exactly what would happen during the procedure.  It all went smoothly and we couldn’t beat the price!!!  Nick’s was 35,000 NT and mine was 38,000 NT which translates to about $1,100 and $1,200 USD!!!!!  What a savings!!!  In fact, we decided that if you really wanted LASIK, you could travel to Taiwan, get LASIK, have a nice vacation (glasses-free, I might add), and go back home for CHEAPER than getting LASIK done in the US!!!  So, if you’ve been thinking about getting LASIK done, and international travel is something you love (like us), then think about coming to Taiwan!!!

BONUS!!!  We even got the opportunity to write a review on Dr. Yang’s website!!!

Read them here –> Olivia,  Nick

NOTE:  I was not reimbursed for this testimony, it was just something I thought the world should know more about!

 

 

Categories: FYI, Taiwan, Travel | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Penghu’s Night Market

Night markets are a big deal in Taiwan.  All the major cities have them every night and they are packed with people!  They’re filled with food and clothing, jewelry, electronics, pretty much anything you could want, you can get at a night market for pretty cheap.  If you ever go to Taiwan, night markets are a must do!

Penghu usually doesn’t have a night market, but for about one month each year, we get one!  It’s not huge like the ones in Taipei or Kaohsiung, but there is food and games, and it’s pretty fun.  We went on Saturday night and got some yummy food!  French Fries, curry wraps, and crickets!

Yep, you read that correctly, crickets.  There was one stand selling crickets and we decided that we had to try them!  They didn’t taste bad, but it was still kind of weird to be eating a bug (especially feeling their legs inside your mouth).  Anyways it was fun and a little crazy, just what you would expect from eating an exotic food, right?

 

Categories: Friendship, Fun Stuff, Taiwan | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Weekend Shenanigans

Hello folks!!

Summer is officially here (at least in my mind), and that means more beach time!!!  Yay!!!  This weekend we kicked off our summer with a trip to our favorite snorkeling spot, Shili Beach, and boy was it a sight for sore eyes.  Other than the water being ridiculously cold, we had a great time snorkeling with some teachers Nick met while teaching on the island of Cimei.  We saw some clown fish, zebra fish, and I saw two eels!  We even brought the pup along  He didn’t appreciate being left on the beach while we went for a swim, but he had fun digging in the sand and playing ball.  It was a great day, that’s soon to be repeated!

Categories: Friendship, Fun Stuff, Nature, Taiwan, The Beach | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Rising Stars

Over the two years that we’ve lived in Taiwan we’ve mentioned the perks of being some of the few white people in an Asian world, but I think being asked to be in movies tops them all.  That’s right, I said movies, plural.  In the last three weeks, we’ve been asked to be in 2 movies!  (Granted, we’ll probably be extras in the back ground, but these opportunities don’t come around everyday people.)  We of course said yes, because that’s what you say when someone asks if you want to be in their movie, right?!

obviously

Unfortunately, we quickly learned there’s a reason we’re teachers and not actors, the reason you ask?  We. Can’t. Act.  After agreeing to be in the first movie, we met up with some of the movie people for what we thought was a “we’re gonna film on this day and you need to wear this and act like you’re talking in the background” meeting turned out to be an audition.  We were as astonished as you because like I said before, we can’t act.  They wanted us to act out a short scene where we were riding our bikes and I fall off mine and Nick has to check on me, then stop a passing car to take me to the hospital.  They gave us a few minutes to think about it and practice, and then things got hilarious.

oh boy

Picture this- we have no props, we’re standing in plain view of all the passersby, and we have no idea how to make this look real, but we do it anyways, because we’re dedicated.  So they say go, or action or whatever the movie term is, and Nick and I start our pathetic attempt at acting.  I fall down off my invisible bike and do some whimpering and crying for help.  Nick rushes over and sees that I’m okay, then tries to stop cars.  At this point we think we’re done, but they say “No, keep going,” so we keep going.  Thankfully I’m supposed be the injured, so no one can see my embarrassed smile because my body is blocking my face.  Nick stops invisible cars  like a pro, and eventually I hobble over to the “car” and they rush me off to the hospital.  End of scene.  We of course apologized to the people about our horrible acting skills, and they reassure us that it’s okay, but now they have to send it to the director to see if he likes it.  We haven’t heard from them yet, so, we’re not getting our hopes up, but there’s always our second movie.  That could be our big break!

flash photography

Categories: Fun Stuff, Humor, Taiwan | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Survive Winter in Penghu

During winter, Penghu is one of the windiest places on the planet.  Move over Chicago, there’s a New Windy City in town (or the world in our case).  From around November to March, we are constantly bombarded with gale force winds.  (To be honest, idk what gale force winds actually are, but I have a feeling they’re really strong winds).  The windows rattle, scooters get blown over, trees grow sideways, and nobody wants to go outside.  In fact, in order to go outside for any length of time, one must bundle up like an Eskimo lest the winds blow right through your clothes and chill you to your core.  On top of the wind, there are no heaters built into the buildings, so even when you’re inside, your poor little nose, fingers and toes are constantly cold. ALWAYS.  So, without further ado- how to survive winter in Penghu.

  1. Wear thick socks.  Your tootsies will thank you for it.
  2. Get a dog.  One that likes to cuddle.  They’re always warm!
  3. Invest in a thick coat, and use it always, even inside if you must.
  4. Wear scarves, gloves, hats and face masks in order to expose as little skin as possible to the Wind.
  5. Make sure everything you need for the whole night is nearby so that you can avoid getting up and disturbing the warm nest of blankets you’ve made.
  6. Watch lots of movies.  I mean, LOTS!
  7. Get a space heater and put is as close as possible so as to stave off some of the cold.
  8. Send your husband to bed first so he can warm it up.  🙂
  9. Drink lots of hot tea, hot chocolate, and coffee. Not only does it warm the soul; it also warms up your poor little phalanges.
  10. Complain as often as possible.  It really does help (by circulating extra hot air around you). 😛
This is a great example of survival tip #2.

This is a great example of survival tip #2.

Categories: Fun Stuff, FYI, Taiwan | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

A New Year, A New Adventure

Happy_New_Year_Charlie_Brown1

While Nick and I kicked off our New Year by throwing on our Christmas jammies and staying in all night, this year is going to bring us lots of adventures!!! (That’s the plan anyways).

Some of the adventures we hope to take are:

1. Go scuba diving in the Philippines.  Sharks and ship wrecks and a volcano are going to make an appearance.

2. Explore more of Taiwan- this country has so much culture and history!

3. Say goodbye to Taiwan and move back to the Lone Star State. White dog in tow. 🙂

4. Buy a car.

5. Get new jobs.

6. Buy a house (if all goes according to plan).

7. Eat a full Thanksgiving dinner.

8. Celebrate Christmas with our families for the first time in two years.

As you can see, this is going to be a big year of change for us!!!  We would most definitely appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement as we go through the rest of this year.  We hope that you have a very blessed year and that God’s love and joy is abundant in your lives!!

Philippians 4:6-7 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Categories: Bucket List, Friendship, New Year's, Taiwan, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

A Birthday Extravaganza!!!

December 19th was my 24th birthday!!!  I’m getting old! 😛  To celebrate, Nick took me to Kaohsiung, the second biggest city in Taiwan and boy did we party!!! By party, I mean we went to bed by 11pm each night.  We’re crazy, I know!!!! (Like I said, I’m getting old).

Despite our old people sleeping habits, we had a great time!!!  We kicked off our weekend adventure with a small night market near our hotel.  They had some really interesting food choices.  Huge octopus tentacles and oysters were just a few (and they say everything’s bigger in Texas).  In addition to all the food, we also saw lots of dog clothing shops.  The people here love their dogs, and, in my humble opinion,  love dressing them up even more!  I think there’s something in the water, because Nick and I stopped at every shop to look for something for Bai.  What’s happening to us?!!!!  Fortunately, they were all too small for him.

The next day, we went to the Pier 2 outdoor art gallery.  As we were leaving the MRT station, we started seeing people dressed oddly and with weird looking hair, and thought, “hmm, that’s odd.”  As we got closer, we started seeing more and more of these odd looking people, then it hit us, we had walked right into the middle of an Anime Festival!  There were people EVERYWHERE dressed up as Japanese comic characters complete with blue hair, huge swords, and crazy outfits.  We spent the afternoon walking around and trying not to gawk too much at the costumed people.  It was…interesting.

The last big hooray of our trip was spending Sunday at Eda Amusement Park.  Amusement parks in Taiwan are very small, so there were only about 5 big rides, but the lines were short, and the rides were fun, so we’re not complaining.  It was comical to watch a group of teenage boys in line in front of us (all with the same haircut mind you) feel each other’s racing hearts right before boarding one of the roller coasters.

We had lots of fun and managed to squeeze in the second Taiwanese county to fulfill our New Year’s resolution we made in January!!!

Categories: Bucket List, Fun Stuff, Taiwan, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Merry Christmas y’all!

Christmas is my favorite time of year!  Everything about it puts me in a good mood.  The songs, the decorations, the cookies, the hot cocoa, the movies, but most importantly, the birth of our Savior!  It’s the most wonderful time of year!

Christmas in Taiwan isn’t the same as it is back home in Texas, but maybe that’s for the better.  Sometimes we can get a little caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping and decorating and entertaining and lose sight of what’s really important.  Love, joy, peace, family, Christ.  Those are the important things!  Being in Taiwan has reminded us of those things, and while we’re a long way from our family and friends, Christ’s love it with us every where we go!  He will never leave us, or forsake us.  His love is forever and can reach forever as well.  This Christmas, let’s all take the time to remember the important things, and thank God for everything He has given us.

christmas card new

Categories: Family, Friendship, Taiwan | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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