Taiwan 2017

It’s been a year since I went to Taiwan. The draft of this entry has been patiently sitting in my laptop for more than half a year, and it’s finally out.

After ten months of trying to be a responsible adult, my arrival in Taiwan was nothing short of exciting. The month leading up to my trip was hectic, and aside from my transportation and accommodation, I had nothing prepared. For the first time since I began traveling, I did not have my usual ammunition of maps, itineraries, and laid-out plans. Being so unprepared and disoriented, it goes without saying that my four days in Taiwan were spent getting lost in train stations, bus stops, neighboring towns, and night markets.

Here’s the long and short of my rather laidback adventure-y trip.

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Merry Cactmus!

One of the things I have equated to nesting is having a plant to call my own. It’s a nice exercise in patience, learning, and being responsible for a life that isn’t yours.

Tis the season, once again, to be jolly. Christmas has always been my favorite season, but last year’s came too fast for my swamped-with-work self. Now that there’s a little more time to breathe, my thoughts once again drifted to the year (2015?) when the craze over succulents and cacti was at an all-time high but I couldn’t get one because I was barely home. After many months of wanting to have a plant, I realized that right now is finally the right time.

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A word of advice

To my teenager self –

You didn’t have an inkling how life would turn out after you left CNU. The world suddenly seemed a tad too big, and it made you realize how small of a speck you really were. Your first taste of independence was getting yourself pre-enrolled without anybody else. You went to school by yourself, made new friends, juggled a schedule that was different from your batch mates (just because you didn’t want to take Comm 1, and you never did), and tried not to be the kind of student who would don any shirt and be fine with it (you ended up doing that anyway).

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Still alive.

Employed for fourteen months today. Still alive. Still in/sanely wack. Brava, Monica.

I’ve been living on my own for 8 months now. And I’ve transferred thrice. But perhaps I’ll be staying longer in this new place. I got cooking appliances from the house, stocked up on herbs and pasta sauces, bought furniture, acquired more books, and started washing clothes myself (and let me tell you – that’s a huge thing).

For almost a year, the walls around me have been too bare. Tonight, I mounted photographs, postcards, and magnets on my door. Once I accomplish the feat of getting all my dirty clothes laundered, I’m going to get a succulent. Then maybe flowers. A vegetable garden sounds lovely.

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Coming to Taiwan

Even now that I am currently in the country, it still dumbfounds me that I made it to Taiwan. Unlike my previous trips, the only concrete plans I had for this trip were my flight details and my accommodation. I had no itinerary, no budget plan, and no time to even think everything through. For the first time in my life, I was quite spontaneous (around 75%). I had no printed Google Maps directions to my hostel, I got lost a couple of times, my GPS wasn’t accurate underground, and I was at a loss over where to go and what to do. I even brought my laundry with me.  Continue reading “Coming to Taiwan”