Oh hi! It's been just over a week since I left Bangkok and arrived in Taipei and I'm loving it here. It's amazing how a change in both pace and climate have reenergised me and reignited my passion for exploring. Whilst I loved the time I spent in SE Asia this past year, 8 fun-packed months in total, I've definitely learnt that hot weather is just not for me in the long term. Good to know! Relentless heat seems to sap my energy in a way that even the darkest winter days don't manage to do and there's only so much exploring I can get done in the heat before I just want to curl up and hide in an air conditioned room or, when I reach breaking point, in another country with much milder weather. This weekend's cold snap aside January in Taipei is very similar to March or April in the south of England, drizzly and around 17°. I find it so much easier to explore a new city wrapped in a few layers and with an umbrella to hand than I do when the mercury is hitting 30° plus every day.
I'm going to be spending a month in Taipei and this marks the start of a slightly different style of travel for me. Over the next 6 months I'll be spending longer in each place I visit, a month here, a month in Tokyo, a couple of months volunteering at a cat sanctuary, some travel in-between and an open month in South Korea at the end... maybe by then I'll want to be moving constantly again? For now though I've definitely been missing some of the great things that come with being settled somewhere more long term - making friends, cooking breakfast at home, having the occasional chilled day, getting to know somewhere properly, actually unpacking my backpack. And on top of all of that Air B&B style accommodation is cheaper if you stop somewhere for a month or more.
This is my new street, I love it! I'm definitely still in that stage of being somewhere new where literally every single sign and doorway and shop front is fascinating. I love that feeling!
It's sometimes hard to know where to base yourself when you've never been somewhere before so a good bet is to pick something within walking distance of a couple of different MRT / metro / tube stations, that way you can get almost anywhere in your new city easily.