Life lessons from my Borneo boondoggle

Twenty-five days ago I left Taiwan in search of adventure in Malaysian Borneo.  There would be endless possibilities for excitement – Kota Kinabalu (the highest mountain in South East Asia), Sipadan (considered the best diving in the world), Survivor Island/Pulau Tiga (where the first season of Survivor was filmed), Orangutang Sanctuaries, Jungle Treks, Caves, and a stop into Brunei to add another country to this trip.

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Kaohsiung – Monkeys, Dogs, and Concrete

I should have seen this coming from a mile away, but I didn’t.  It’s my last day in Taiwan and there’s a typhoon on the eastern coast casting rain showers in my general direction.  This is the fifth typhoon to come through in the two months I’ve been here – fortunately none have been more than a nuisance.  Typhoon aside – my final week in Taiwan was a huge success.  I jumped into a bus and rode south to Kaohsiung – the second most populated city in Taiwan – and had a pretty great time.

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Closing the chapter on Taipei

It’s Sunday night and yet again I’m at a coffee shop.  A few feet away at the tables to my left, right, and the one directly behind me, are groups of people studying the pages of their bibles.  In front of me are two tables of people having conversations with each other over lattes and frappuccinos.  Over in the corner, there’s a girl sitting below two large panes of glass that let the red and white lights of the city train illuminate the darkness in the background as her boyfriend snaps another picture with his camera.  The two girls on my right now have their heads down in prayer while one reads from a devotional book.  Taipei may technically be a part of the Far East, but at times it’s as Western as any other city I’ve visited on this trip.

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Life, Travel, and the Pursuit of Perpetual Motion

(I wrote the following post a week ago.  It wasn’t supposed to still describe my current situation…and yet here I am.)

I’m not really sure when it happened, but I’ve recently started living in Taiwan.  I’m not talking about arriving here by airplane on August 6th; I’m talking about an unconscious transition between backpacking around a country and living there.  Gradually I’ve started to fall into routines, get comfortable, carry my laptop around more than my camera, and (as much as I hate to admit it) washing my own laundry in a washing machine.  This has to stop…

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6 Months Later: Unexpected Stories From 186 Days of Travel

Half a year.  Six months.  186 days.  Regardless of how you want to define it, this trip has now gone on longer than I ever expected it to.  Along the way there have been a number of ridiculous (and potentially previously unmentioned) stories.  Today seems like a great day to make a summary of the last 186 days and share some details of the stories that have previously remained secret.  Perhaps “summary” isn’t the best way to describe this – there are a lot of pictures, some old stories, some new stories, and then more pictures.

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Taiwan: In case of accidental sunshine – break glass

My time in Taiwan hasn’t been constant doom and gloom; there may have even been a three day period where  it didn’t rain at all.  That said, even when it’s not raining in Taiwan there is moisture in the air – at least in late summer.  The average high temperature in August is 91F (34C) and the average low is 80F (27C), but that’s only half the story; in actuality that’s 91 degrees with a 50% chance of thunderstorm and a 100% chance of ungodly humidity.  So, in case of an emergency and the sun does come out – what’s a guy to do?

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