If You Had Told Us Two Years Ago…

This post was last updated on August 6th, 2014

Our time in Taiwan is dwindling to an end. We have exactly one month and one day until we say goodbye to the place we’ve called home for two years. That’s only 32 days. 32 days to explore the pockets of the island that have remained too elusive to us up to this point; 32 days to play and laugh and hug our students, some of whom we’ve taught since the beginning; 32 days to pack up our first home as husband and wife, selling or shipping away the majority of our belongings.

Call us sentimental, but as excited as we are for the next chapter of our lives, we’re a bit sad to leave this one behind.

As our time in Taiwan closes, we have been taking a few additional moments to reflect upon the things Taiwan has taught us—not only about Taiwanese culture or the Eastern world, but also about ourselves. In the past two years we have learned and changed a great deal. There are many things we now do on a daily basis that we never could have imagined would become a part of our routine lives, countless events and accomplishments we didn’t expect to come our way.  They are habits we have picked up, interests we have developed, all of which are compliments of our time spent in Taiwan.

This is a compilation of those things, and how we would have responded if you had told us about them two years ago.


If you had told us two years ago…


1. …we would drive a scooter or motorcycle everyday, using it for our primary mode of transportation, successfully learning to shuttle four loads of laundry, an oven and a tree….

A Cruising Couple Scooter

…Casey would have reminded you that she has little to no experience driving a car in regular traffic conditions. A scooter in Taiwan is most certainly off-limits.


2. …we would run 26.2 miles in the Tapei International Marathon (without walking, might we add)…

 Taipei Marathon

…we both would have questioned the circumstances to which we were being so heartlessly threatened via cruel and unusual punishment.


3. …we would write an E-book…

ebook-coming soon

…Dan would have asked you to take a look at his previous writing experiences to remind you of his writing style. Really? A book?


4. …we would fail at learning Chinese…

Learning Chinese

…we would have affirmed that we did in fact take Chinese 101. Doesn’t that set us up for success?


5. …we would purposefully listen to the erhu…


… “Um, excuse me, what the heck is an erhu?”


6. …we would try stinky tofu on multiple occasions…

 A Cruising Couple Stinky Tofu

…we would have agreed one of our travel mottos is ‘taste everything once’ before reminding you that the word once is in there for a reason.


7. …we would consider a poncho a mandatory element to our wardrobe…

 A Cruising Couple Ponchos

…Dan would have held his ground when Casey forcefully removed his poncho from the suitcase on the stipulations ‘nobody wears garbage bags to protect themselves from the rain’.


8. …we would crave beef noodles on a regular basis…

 Beef Noodles

…Casey would have incredulously asked how seemingly bland noodles and fatty beef could become a staple of her diet. She would also want to know how her pants still zip.


9. …we would celebrate our two-year wedding anniversary in Asia…

 A Cruising Couple 2 Year Anniversary

…well, we would have been quite excited about that one! Although we probably would have forewarned our friends and family we were committing to two years in Taiwan.


10. …Dan would experience an earthquake whilst taking a dump on the toilet…

 Earthquake on the Toilet

…Dan would have had his ‘it scared the shit out of me’ joke planned long in advance.


11. …we would play ‘Paper, Scissors, Stone’ at least 10 times a day…
 A Cruising Couple Paper Scissors Stone
…we would have insisted the name of the game is most definitely ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’. After that clarification, we would have inquired as to what conditions that could possibly be necessary.


12. …we would be gearing up for life as digital nomads…

A Cruising Couple Digital Nomads

…we would have been on Wiki searching for the term ‘digital nomad’ right after we had that whole erhu situation under control.


It goes without saying that we are extremely grateful for all that Taiwan has taught us, the incredible experiences we have had, and the changes along the way. In addition to the list above, we have discovered new passions, learned what makes us tick, and decided what we want out of future careers. Just a few more reminders, in travel and in life, always expect the unexpected!


What have you done while traveling that you never would have expected of yourself? We would love to hear all the weird, the wacky, and the wonderful in the comments below!


    • Thanks Bernadette, that means a lot, and we appreciate you taking the time to send us the positive feedback! I bet you really experienced all a scooter can do in Thailand! :-) It was a really fun post to write-glad someone else could relate!

  1. Wow, can’t believe you guys have done 2 years already! Good luck on your ‘digitally nomadic’ journey and all the best for wherever your travels take you. We’ll hold the fort in Taiwan!

    • Thanks Brynn! We can’t believe it has been 2 years already either! Glad you guys are still enjoying Taiwan! How is Taipei treating you?

  2. I nearly spit out my tea laughing when I got to number 10! You guys are a hoot. We’ve been in Shanghai for almost two years now and have exactly two months left, to the day. It’s amazing to reflect back on all the experiences we’ve had, although I can’t count eating stinky tofu among them. I still gag every time I smell it!
    Heather recently posted…Snapshot: Laundry Day in ShanghaiMy Profile

    • Haha thanks Heather! It took a bit of convincing Dan before he would allow me to publish that photo! :-P We still gag every time we smell stinky tofu as well-not so sure how we’ve managed to eat it so many times! We’re always amazed at how quickly time goes by here!

  3. Sometimes I look back on our 3 weeks in Taiwan and am sad that the one thing we didn’t try, though said we would, was stinky tofu. But the smell! So bad! And every time we mentioned it to locals, they were like, “Oh, it’s really good! But you can try it some other time…” and then would usher us elsewhere, which made us think that they didn’t really like it either. We’ve heard rumors that it tastes much better than it smells, to which all I can say is: I hope so!

    Congrats on 2 years in Taiwan and it will be very interesting to see what the coming years bring as you break free and explore the rest of Asia!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted…Discovering the Quirky Side of TaipeiMy Profile

    • Thanks Steph! It’s so true-the smell really is almost intolerable. And it certainly finds you before you find it! I’m not sure if I would say it tastes much better than it smells…haha! Basically the smellier it is, the more potent. The only times we can tolerate it is if we aren’t gagging over the fumes! A lot of our Taiwanese friends love it, but a lot hate it too, so it is very likely your friends were in fact trying to avoid it :-) You didn’t miss out on too much though! And it’s always good to have reasons to return!

  4. This is soooo awesome you guys! I love this post.
    We can relate to so many of these from living in China.

    The poncho is a must have for sure; stinky tofu is a one time try kinda food; we also failed at learning Chinese…and we did experience an earthquake, but not while on the toilet! That photo is hilarious.

    Even though it’s sad to say goodbye to somewhere you’ve called home for 2 years, I’m sure there will be many amazing memories to be had in your future. Can’t wait to hear all about your trip!

    Cheers guys

    • It definitely took a bit of bribing before Dan would allow me to post that photo! Also, I’m glad we aren’t the only ones who couldn’t quite get a handle on Chinese! I wish we could have had the opportunity to visit China for more of an understanding of the similarities. Thanks for the encouragement!


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