I’ve decided to go to Taiwan for my birthday. How I came to that decision was that:
- I wanted to do something special
- I’ve never done a solo international trip before
- I wanted to go to Asia
- I wanted to go to an Asian country I had never been to before
I originally thought I’d go to a domestic city like Chicago. However, the hotels there seemed expensive, and since I’m not familiar with the different areas, I felt unsure of where I would stay. Iceland crossed my mind, but again: hella pricey.
Then my brain wandered to Tokyo. It’s been more than 10 years since the last time I went. The advantage of that is I’d stay in the same ryokan from last time, which looked like had barely raised their prices. Plus I have a high school friend there. The flights also weren’t bad — less than a grand. Tokyo it was then! I booked the tickets.
Later though, the idea of Taiwan crept into my mind. It’s a place I’ve been wanting to go to, and although my parents grew up there and many of my friends have been there, I still had yet to go. Out of curiosity, I checked the flights: they were really cheap. Like less than $800 cheap. Like the same price as my flight to L.A. over Christmas. Plus it was on EVA Airlines, which I’ve heard is good. That sold it for me. I canceled my Tokyo tickets and booked a round trip to Taipei.
Then I looked at hotels and saw several for under $80 a night (about the same as the one in Tokyo). I booked this one, which got rated “wonderful,” for $72 a night. Downside is that it’s a little bit outside of Taipei. However, the metro is right downstairs and in the same building, which is a mall.
When I told my parents about my plans, they were surprised and delighted. They’re always nervous when I go to Europe because they think I’ll get pick-pocketed or caught in a terrorist attack (as though it doesn’t happen in the U.S. regularly). They think of Taiwan as safe and, because they grew up there, a second home.
Taiwan here I come!