Don’t forget to place your vote for Team Formosa Adventurers! The voting period ends on August 31st, 2009.
The dust has settled and life has returned to normal for Formosa Adventurers – a young, intrepid group of men who were one of the teams to participate in Taiwan’s Best Trip Contest to promote tourism in Taiwan earlier this month.
The guys got together last weekend to talk about their favorite parts of the trip and were kind enough to include some photographs taken during their four-day adventure by teammate and professional photographer, Neil Wade.
Phil: I think that the highlight for me was all the interesting people that we met on the trip. The people on the East coast have a much more laid back way of life and are really friendly. We had some interesting conversations with a whole range of different people that normally we would never get a chance to talk to.
We were astonished all the way through the trip by how much people were willing to go out of their way to help us. The breakfast store owner who gave us a lift in his car… the taxi driver who stopped on every journey to allow us to stock up on supplies… the guide at the aborignal tribe that showed us around… and the paragliding team that drove us around and even cooked food for us!
Neil: Honestly, the whole weekend was the highlight for me. We go out and do things like this almost every weekend anyway, but the contest and making the video got us to do things a little differently. Having to make the video forced us to act a little sillier and talk to more people than we might have otherwise.
If you read our blogs, you’ll see that we’re big proponents of going outside and enjoying nature. Especially if you’re in Taiwan, all these fun things are an easy weekend trip… I can’t understand why so many people sit at home on weekends or stay in the cities. I can’t stress enough how much I think that everyone should plan a weekend like this with their friends. Even if they’re not into the outdoors, just plan a whole weekend with your friends and make a video… You’ll have the time of your life! (like we did!)
Hauling yourself up a rocky river, sitting on a rock in the middle of the cascades to wait for your friends and thinking, “this isn’t half bad”. Crashing over the rapids in a rubber boat, before getting a chance to look around you when you hit the calmer waters, and realising that having such a great time means you’re missing some of the stunning scenery. Strapping a bit of canvas to your back and then leaping off a cliff is awesome, but once the adrenaline rush dies down and you’re floating safely on the breeze, you get a chance to look around and really take in what’s going on, what you’re doing, and the incredible place you are doing it in.
There were many high points to our trip, and I surely hope to repeat all again some day, but there was undoubtedly more to it than just pushing ourselves physically. The open, unguarded and welcoming nature of the people we met, their willingness to put themselves out for nothing more than the satisfaction of helping out such obvious strangers in a foreign land, things which I rarely experience back home, made this much more than just an adventure trip.
Stu: The highlight for me was definitely paragliding. I’m a little bit afraid of heights and the thought of running off a cliff made me feel somewhat nervous, especially when one person from the group before us landed in the jungle after a freak gust of wind caught them!
However once we were airborne and sailing high above the rift valley my fears evaporated and I enjoyed every moment of it. The instructor even performed some acrobatics on the way down! I would highly recommend everyone tries it once in their lifetime.