By Joshua Dent
The view from the 13th floor of my apartment is immaculate. The city looks picturesque and surreal on a Saturday afternoon. The mountains to the east remind me what a beautiful island this is. A brief glance in the opposite direction also tells me that the sea is less than a 30 minute beautiful scooter ride away.
The visual clues lead you to think I am referring to one of the world’s top tourist attractions. This scene actually takes place from my apartment in Chungli, Taiwan. The island life here is cheap, convenient, and picturesque.
#1 Everything is CHEAP
Products and services in Taiwan come at extremely reasonable prices. In the USA, slaving away at a desk for 40 hours per week would just barely cover the costs of my rent, and utilities. As an English teacher in Taiwan, I seldom work 40 hours in an entire month. I still have money to travel at my leisure.
A typical breakdown of expenses:
Rent- $150/month (fully furnished)
Utilities- incl. (water, gas, electric) – $35 USD/ month
Internet- $35 USD/ month
Transportation Costs- $15 USD/ month
Food- $200 USD/ month
The listed total expenses comes to about $500 USD per month. That did not even get my rent paid at home. Considering English teachers here make about $20 USD/hr, you can see this affords me a luxury lifestyle.
#2 World-Class Scenery
Think of all of the beautiful places in the world. It is hard for me to imagine Taiwan comes first to mind for too many people. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of outdoor adventure opportunities that exist here.
Taiwanese are nature enthusiasts at its finest. They adore going to the mountains on the weekend to hike, take pictures, and a multitude of other hobbies. Taiwan is also highly populated with absolutely beautiful parks.
If you like outdoor activities, this is the place to be with the added benefit of still being little-known.
You got a bill to pay? No worries. Just go to 7-11!
You want to meet friends on a Friday night to socialize? 7-11 it is.
7-11’s are densely located throughout this island. You can pay bills, hang out, use free wi-fi, use a fax machine, make copies, have packages delivered, and an extensive list of many more pesky tasks of daily life that are made extremely easy for you.
#4 Plenty of WORK Available
Having a college degree, and English as your first language alone put you in a very unique situation in Taiwan. The job market in America currently is saturated with over-qualified candidates. This makes it very tough to get a job.
The island is filled with what they call “cram schools.” This is where students of all ages, including adults, attend classes to catch them up on their English conversation skills.
You can easily come here with no experience and expect to make a great living for yourself!
How does working 20 hours a week and traveling through an exotic island sound to you?