2020: the year of the Corona pandemic. Half the world is in lockdown and while writing this, 1.85 million people have died of CoViD’19 globally. While the pandemic unfolded at the beginning of the year, and while everybody else scrambled to get back home, my employer asked me whether I was willing to take a temporary post in Taipei for as long as travel restrictions would be in place. Back then I guess we all figured that the whole situation wouldn’t last that long. By now 9 months have passed and travel restrictions are stricter than ever 🙂
It took 3 months to get the required resident certificate that was necessary to enter Taiwan. After that it was a an empty flight, followed by two weeks of quarantine in a depressing hotel room with limited daylight, causing my jet-lag to last for the full two weeks. It was well worth it though, because Taiwan has imposed strict measures at the start of the crisis, meaning that they have been able to keep Corona away from the Island very well. So in short: there is no Corona here, and life continues almost as normal!
Of course I brought my bike 🙂 with the intention of making many daytrips and riding around the island. I ended up doing this in two stages. During the first stage I took three days during a long weekend to ride around the northern bit of the Island. During the 2nd stage I took 14 days and did the rest. So while people were growing fat due to a lack of exercise and excessive eating and drinking, I got to explore this beautiful tropical Island, constantly remembering myself how fortunate I actually am!