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UHD students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences traveled to Taipei and Tainan, Taiwan from Dec. 29, 2012 through Jan. 9, 2013. Read about their adventures as they explore night markets, temples, monuments, museums and karaoke bars, writing about it all as they go. Experience their joy as they gather among hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese to welcome in the New Year with fireworks under a full moon in the amazing city of Taipei. Follow them day by day as they travel the country, meeting students from the National University of Tainan, sharing with them and with others the pleasure of cultural exchange.
From Sandra Rojas’ “Cycle of Travel Writing”
There are no words to explain how incredible I am feeling to have accomplished such travel. The cost paid for the trip now doesn’t matter neither my hard work in my two jobs. I visit the most incredible place in the world. I haven’t travel to much, but Asia was my dream to visit and I love it. My colleagues and professors were great and the people I met wonderful. The Taiwanese people treated me like a queen and I will always remember that. You are so beautiful! I would here these everyday from them and I would respond with a thank you so much. It was crazy how in occasions people in the streets would stop me to ask me questions or to take a picture with me. I was famous in Taiwan! I love how these people treated me they were super awesome. I have to admit that Taiwan gave me a warm welcome to their country and made me want to return back this year. I really hope I get the opportunity to return back because I did really good friends in Taiwan. One of my favorite places to visit was Kaushoung the streets of temples. It was amazing! I went by myself without any fears or to get lost in the streets by myself. I remember how nice people treated me there as well. They would show me in my map other popular places to visit. They even offer to take me in their mopeds. I could still feel the fresh air and sunny day when I was there. I miss Taiwan!
From Adrianna Martinez’s “On the Other Side of the World Where a Little Piece of My Heart Stayed, Taiwan”
None of us can be the same after this experience. I came back a different person. I embraced a completely different culture, a different world. I cannot say how much of a wonderful experience it has been. I do not regret one bit taking this opportunity and visiting a part of the world. Asia it is not what we think; it is much better. I was amazed by the temples, the culture; the people are so proper, so kind. People would go out of the way to help you, and direct you. Language was a bit of a challenge, but considering only knowing two words like “Thank you” and “Hello”, I got myself around the country pretty good. I still cannot believe that I was over there, if it would not been for the pictures and memories I have, I would still doubt it. It is a dream come true. There is so much to see, to learn, to experience, to encounter in life that words cannot describe what I feel. It is a different side of the world, but yet so similar to us. They have so much respect for people, the have a really kind and warm heart. The adventures we had over there would stay with me forever like jumping around making cho-choo sounds to explain to a cab driver to take us to the train station, walking for many blocks and pointing at pictures to get something to eat, writing on calculators to tell the owner of a store how much for a souvenir, using Google translate on my cell phone and showing it to people for them to understand where I needed to go, squatting to use the restroom when there was a regular toilet in the restrooms but since so use to use the ones on the floor did not care for a toilet, and bargaining with signs to get a better price at the night markets. Celebrating New Year’s a day before all my family in the U.S, experiencing that when on one side of the world it is morning, literally on the other side they are still sleeping. It is crazy how it works. There are so many stories to tell, so many friendships that would last a lifetime, and so many stories that would stay with me forever. I am so blessed without a doubt. Taiwan has changed my life, my perspective, my world.
From Anthony Mindioloa’s travel journal, “A Taste of Asia for a Very Brief Time in My Life”
It is blessing for me to be able to travel and explore the unknown, to challenge my five senses in a way they have never been before and to know that just because things are different does not mean they are wrong. To step out of my comfort zone and be at easy. As a young boy growing up in the south, I learned stereotypes and placed different races and cultures in separate boxes. But observing the resourcefulness of people of Taiwan and mingling with them has helped me to see those boxes more clearly. This will be one of the most lasting impressions of my trip. I can say that I have walked in the temples and smelled incents that were intended to reach the nostrils of the Taiwanese Gods. I have eaten food from street vendors that has fed a people for centuries. I brought back a small piece of stone from the pacific coast to remind me of the enormous creation on the other side of the world. What I will mostly remember is the hospitality of the people. Pictures cannot replace the sites I have seen. Who knows what the future holds about my returning for another taste of Taiwan, but I will forever remember the experience of being part of another culture and calling it home for a very brief time in my life.
Heidy Orellana - Travelers
Partners in Crime.
We travel together from Taipei to Tainan,
Because I feel safer with her. A lasting friendship forming.
A friendship that will spill over into the States.
I take your picture at Lotus pond,
You take my picture at Taipei 101.
She likes to travel alone,
Because she says that she can do more when no one is around her.
She is Brave.
She travels to Kaohsiung City unaccompanied.
She is very friendly,
So she mixes well with the natives.
She loves to shop,
So she stays out late in Shilin Night Market.
His first time out of the country.
He takes it all in.
Everyday for him in Taiwan if better than the last.
He loves the outdoors,
So he plays basketball and loves to hike in the mountains of Wulai.
He is very different from the locals so he gets a lot of attention.
The people of Taiwan want to get to know him.
Traveling for him is like a tattoo,
Now that he has seen one country he is ready to see another.
He gets along with everyone and,
His energy allows him to stay out late drinking Sake and,
Wake up early to see Taroko Gorge.
Traveling with your love.
She is so happy to be in Taiwan,
Because she gets to reunite with her family.
He is ecstatic about being in Taiwan because
He is the reason everyone is here.
They know their way around Taiwan,
So they know what restaurants to eat and,
how to bargain prices with the local vendors.
They speak the language.
They can read what others cannot.
That allows them to move quicker than the rest.
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Last updated or reviewed on 4/18/13