Hello! I’m sorry I haven’t blogged for quite a while (even though it is the holidays hehe). For those who know, I’ve recently been on a 9D8N trip to Taiwan (2/12/14-9/12/14). But this time, unlike all the other times I’ve been to Taiwan, I went with my friend! (no parents) Although we went with a tour group, which makes transportation and accommodation a heck load easier, it was still a very different trip altogether. It is my second time traveling alone, the first being a bus trip to Malaysia for 2 nights when I graduated from Primary school. It is however, my first time going on an airplane without my parents and the first time going on an actual holiday without my parents! (Riding a bus to Malaysia does not count)
Traveling without my parents meant I had to take care of a lot of things, many of which had been overlooked when I travel with my family. Nonetheless, it was an amazing trip overall and I discovered so many new things about Taiwan that I previously had no clue about. Here are some aspects of the trip that made it different from family holidays:
1. Taking care of your friend (in this case, Joanne)
Joanne fell sick from Day 1 to Day 9 (fabulous), given the drastic weather changes and the heaty food we ate on a daily basis. Being on a trip without your parents meant we had to take care of each other (although in this case it’s a bit one-sided) so that meant having to remind her to eat her medicine, drink water, at the same time ensure that you yourself don’t fall ill because who wants to be sick while on holiday. Regardless of ill or not, we still had to keep a lookout for each other, look out for traffic when crossing roads, look out for dangerous things in crowded places, all of which was done by parents when we went on family holidays.
2. Water supply
This sounds very stupid but we had to manage our water supply and constantly buy bottles of water from 7-11 because there wasn’t water on the tour bus. This also meant lugging bottles of water from hotels to buses and then to hotels again. Previously when I went on family holidays, I never had to count how much water I had left with me.
3. Financial crisis
EVERYTHING IN TAIWAN IS SO CHEAP!!! Which means we have to have self control and not loot the whole night market and count how much money we had left every night. We also had to be careful and not leave our bags unzipped (*cough cough*) and make sure we don’t leave our wallets in unknown places (*cough cough*)
4. The horrors of luggage
We changed hotels EVERY SINGLE NIGHT (oh the horrors) so we had to dry our laundry every night, then wake up 10-15mins before morning call to pack our luggage. The first few days wasn’t so bad, but once you start buying things, your luggage just seems to pile on like nobody’s business. And it also gets very sickening to have to wake up at 6.30 to pack our luggage, which leads me to my other point.
5. 6.30 Morning calls (?!)
On family holidays, my mom usually picks up the morning call while I catch a few more minutes of sleep. But in this case, I set my phone alarm 10-15 mins before the morning call so that I have time to wash up and pack my luggage. Joanne always sleep through the alarms so I have to wake up to turn off my alarm, her phone alarm and pick up the morning call, then wake her sleepy butt up. (God bless me) This gets so sickening after a few days especially when it’s cold outside and all I want to do is lie in my cosy cocoon of pillows.
Of course not everything about traveling alone is shitty, in fact the pros outweigh the cons. It is really very fun to have the financial power to walk into places and buy whatever you want, without your parents restricting what you want to purchase (or until you run out of money). I think I spent half of all that I spent in 7-11 because the 7-11 in Taiwan is food paradise omg they even have cup noodles with real beef and soft serve ice cream in winter!?
7. Sleep anytime you want
There were nights where I slept at 12 or 1am because I spent all my time watching the Suite Life of Zack and Cody in Chinese (very weird) simply because nobody told me to go to bed HAHHA self discipline at it’s best.
All in all, it was a very different trip, nonetheless still very amazing and I will definitely miss the beautiful scenery and those crazy nights with Chu.