This was one part of my trip I both looked forward to and was worried about. I have always spent Christmas with family and New Year’s with close friends; I hoped that being in a totally new country with a new group of friends wasn’t going to make me too homesick!
Christmas in the Park
My Christmas day started with many phone calls back home to family and friends- so yes, I got a bit homesick! Before the day’s festivities began, there was a university presentation to finish off too. Sadly, in Taiwan, there aren’t any days off for Christmas, so it wasn’t the best Christmas morning I’ve had. However, my spirits were soon lifted with the preparation for Christmas lunch!
The sun was out, and the air was warm- even though it was the middle of winter, the warm weather bought a New Zealand Christmas vibe to the day. Everyone bought some food to share, and walking through Tainan park, we saw families and friends doing the same. The festive colors, singing, dancing, and laughing seen and heard around the park put everyone in a good mood. While feasting on some delicious snacks and food, we opened our Secret Santa gifts and put on some music- getting a few of us up and dancing.
The evening bought a bit more of a nippy wind, but it didn’t stop my language buddy from taking me out to see some Christmas lights around the city. Even though we may not have gotten a big break from university for Christmas, it was still a very festive day, shared with some pretty cool people:)
My last day of 2022
What better way to spend the last day of the year than by screaming our lungs out on multiple amusement park rides? Janfusun Fancyworld is a famous amusement park in Yunlin county (North of Tainan)- located in beautiful mountain terrain. It was quite a trip to Yunlin county, and our taxi driver scammed us into paying a little extra, which wasn’t the nicest thing to do, but we weren’t going to let that ruin our day!
The park had similar rides to Auckland’s iconic Rainbow’s End. However, due to its location in the mountains, there was a larger area for rides, food stalls, and stores. Sadly, due to a fireworks show happening in the evening, the Ferris wheel was closed:( It didn’t stop us from going on rollercoasters and other hectic rides multiple times.
The most embarrassing thing happened on one of the smaller rollercoasters. I forgot to take my hat off, which fell off during the ride. The kind worker got it for me, but it meant the ride had to stop for a bit- Big oops. Another big oops was not bringing my power bank on the trip. My phone died on the train ride back to Tainan, so I missed the NYE countdown in NZ. I was looking forward to being active during the NZ countdown, so I was sad about that. However, when I finally got home to a charger, I could luckily catch some of them before they went to bed.
Our NYE in Taiwan consisted of a free concert. Only a few of us went, but it was such a cute vibe! Artists from Taiwan, China, Japan, and Korea were performing! They were all so talented, and I especially enjoyed the dancing. I wasn’t expecting the incredible fireworks at the countdown either, and it made me so happy and excited for 2023. The massive crowds buzzed with the same excitement we had, adding to the overall joyful atmosphere
Overall, my Christmas and New Year’s in Taiwan were full of love and joy, thanks to the amazing friends I was surrounded by!
It was a different experience being away from family and my usual friends. Still, it was okay! Trying new things is a part of living life to the fullest, and I could not recommend going out of your comfort zone more. You may find yourself having a lot of fun:)
Hope you all had a great 2022 and wish you an even better 2023!