Today, during some down time at school, a friend and I were talking about life as a working expat.
And we both kinda felt like some things needed to be said.
A lot of people imagine that we are off on this grand adventure and every day is exciting and like a vacation because we're in Taiwan rather than America.
And there is no doubt that we certainly are on an epic adventure, some days.
But honestly, Monday through Friday, my life could take place in any country or in any city around the world.
It matters not one lick that it happens in Taiwan.
My life as a working expat is remarkably like my life was as a worker in America.
I wake up at 6am, eat breakfast + get dressed, go to work from 7:20 until 4:10, go home + sit on the couch for a bit to recover (teaching can be very exhausting), then make dinner, do the dishes, go for a jog and then maybe grade or watch a movie, and then collapse into bed and do it all again the next day.
That sounds pretty exotic, right?
But that's the truth.
I know some non-working expats both in real life and from the blogging world who have a lot more freedom to fill their day however they please and maybe they do feel like they are on a grand adventure most of the time.
But that is not my reality.
Part of our decision to move to Taiwan was the belief that it would be a wise economic investment. And it has been. But that implies that I kinda, sorta have to go to this thing called work, which kinda, sorta eats up most of my time and therefore a lot of my life as well.
Some days, I am fine with that.
Other days, I struggle with the feeling that I am missing out on something because I have to carefully plan and schedule my adventures in Taiwan in order to make them happen at all.
Otherwise, I could easily live and work here and miss out on most of it.
I would love it if every day I could wake up whenever I wanted and do whatever I wanted.
Then, I imagine I would have done a lot more on my Taiwan To Do List.
But for me, as I think is the case for many working expats, I have to consider it good enough to get through the workweek and then, maybe, have some adventures over the weekend, you know, in between the grocery shopping and Skype chats with family and loads of laundry and spending time with friends, to go experience Taiwan.
Some days and weekends, the best that I can do to appreciate + experience my host country is admire the little ornate temple crammed in between two ugly apartment buildings near where I live.