Taipei, Part 2: Days 14 to 19

I celebrated the New Year by watching fireworks shooting off Taipei 101 tower near the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. It was a windy night and I was accompanied by a date named La-La. We got a long well, but due to the long distance between Taiwan and the US we decided to not continue seeing each other. Such is the downside of dating with traveling.

For my first meal of the year, I went to my favorite Japanese chain restaurant, Sukiya, and had a beef and eel rice bowl. For the next two days, I didn't do much and was feeling a bit pressured to figure out where I should go next after Taipei. Elshu, a female African American solo traveler who was also staying in the dorm apartment with me, suggested a route that she traveled where she went from the Philippines to Singapore, then up north to Malaysia and Thailand, then Laos and Cambodia. I ended up booking a flight to go back to Manila on January 23 then another flight to Singapore on February 21. After that, I will reassess and see if I want to continue north to Malaysia and Thailand or go to Bali then Australia and New Zealand. I'm just not sure where I want go given the low energy that I have right now.

Whether I'm traveling or just staying put, I'm grateful for the opportunity I have now. It was the result of living below my means. I saved somewhere between 50% and 60% of my after-tax pay when I was working. I didn't increase my lifestyle by buying a house or a new car or other fancy things that I didn't care for. I made the right decisions for myself to attain my goal of traveling long term. And I was lucky that I came across the financial movement known as FIRE (financially independent, retire early). I don't want to retire early, but I like the the freedom of being financially independent, even though I'm not completely there yet. I see this traveling experience more as a mid-life, mini-retirement rather than a short-term vacation or a permanent retirement.

The day before yesterday, I walked westward to Wanhua district from where I'm staying. It was a long walk in Zhongzheng Riverside Park before I took the subway back. It was just the walk I needed since the temperature was a bit warmer, around 70 F, and the air felt fresh. My mood was lifted.

Yesterday, I met Cath from the dating app CoffeeMeetsBagel. At 33 years old, Cath is financially independent, but still works as a travel consultant because she likes what she does. I really enjoyed talking to her about finance and personal development. Cath was an early investor in crypto and cashed out in 2020 when crypto hit an all time high. She now has an investment property and travels often. She recommended the book The Almanack of Naval Ravikant, which you can get as a free PDF here: I've heard of that book before and it's on my to-read list. Last night, when I came back to the dorm, I read 99 pages of it in one sitting. It's a good book with a lot of wisdom. I highly recommend picking up the PDF from the link above.

Today, I'm not sure what to do. I should take a walk since it's a nice day out. Maybe I'll do that soon.

Taipei Main Station at New Years Eve

Taipei 101 tower on New Years Eve

Happy 2024!

First meal of the new year: beef and eel rice bowl in Sukiya

Kishu An Forest of Literature

Inside Kishu An is a Japanese style room

Walking around in Wanhua district

Also rested at the Botanical Garden

A Taipei manhole reminds of the sewage caps in Japanese cities.


  1. I often wonder how the people you meet finance their trips. It seems some are just working abroad but like a few you met (and yourself) are living on savings. When I traveled for 8 months in 1985, I relied on my savings but things were really cheap then so I travelled from southern Africa through Asia on only $2500 (excluding air fare). I met travelers then also but not as many as you do these days. I guess Instagram and YouTube have encouraged a lot more people to try.

    1. Wow! Africa to Asia. That's something else! Yes, I think the influencers have influenced a lot of people, especially the younger generation, to travel. As for me, I wish I was financially free and traveling with the returns from my investments, but I'm not there.

      Recently, I started to edit my photos and making a photography website so I can sell my photos. I hope to complete that in the next week or so and launch it. Marketing is something new to me and I have to learn how to do that, especially using social media.

      I would love to bicycle around the world. Are you still thinking about cycling across Canada? Let me know if you are, and if there's a room for a cycling partner. LOL!


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