The Secret Lives of Taipei Housekeepers

This guest blog is by Ava Apollo. When she’s not writing for MSW, she’s blogging about adventure travel at bemytravelmuse.com.  In the Xin Yi district of Taipei, home to the famous 101 skyscaper, immaculate residential mid-rises owned by the powerful and rich Taipei elite sit quietly amidst the buzz of one of the busiest intersections in the city. At any given time, one can catch a glimpse of young adult females in the windows of these flats and penthouses, cleaning Continue Reading →

Learning How to be a Citizen of the World

This guest blog is by Ava Apollo. When she’s not writing for MSW, she’s blogging about adventure travel at bemytravelmuse.com.  The term “citizen of the world,” or “global citizen,” gets thrown around often in the travel community.  It sometimes seems as though it is used as a rite of passage into the “club” populated by those who fancy themselves part of the jet-setter elite, from nomads who are constantly on the move, to casual travelers who get out once every year or Continue Reading →

The Shock of Reverse Culture Shock

This guest blog is by Ava Apollo. When she’s not writing for MSW, she’s blogging about adventure travel at bemytravelmuse.com.  I had full blown reverse culture shock when I moved home from Taipei.  I’m talking sleepless nights, forgetfulness as to how to operate a vehicle, the feeling that nobody cared I was back, the whole shebang.Yes, I just said “shebang”. The only thing is, I had no idea what reverse culture shock even was before returning home.  Why would it be odd Continue Reading →

Who are the Betel Nut Beauties?

This guest blog is by Ava Apollo. When she’s not writing for MSW, she’s blogging about adventure travel at bemytravelmuse.com.  Have you ever found yourself taking a drive down a roadside in Taiwan, when out of the corner of your eye you catch a scantily-clad la mei (“hot” girl) working behind glass walls? Whether you have or not, I bet now you’re intrigued. I was on a bus heading out of Taipei a few years ago, staring out the window as I Continue Reading →

Self Realizations from Living Abroad: When it Gets Tough

Self realization: Studying abroad brings more challenges forth than you ever think it will. Life will be changed, and there may be rough patches, but stick with me through the rest of the story. It was all worth it, in the end. I promise.

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Self Realizations From Living Abroad: I’m A Tourist

This guest blog is by Ava Apollo. When she’s not writing for MSW, she’s blogging about adventure travel at bemytravelmuse.com.  For the previous post in this series, click here. Winter was an exciting time in Taipei for a few reasons; it was nearly time for lunar new year, it was too cold for mosquitoes to keep tormenting me, and lastly, my family was coming to visit and take me on a little trip around Taiwan! To say I was beyond thrilled would Continue Reading →

Self Realizations from Living Abroad: Taipei is Beautiful

This guest blog is by Ava Apollo. When she’s not writing for MSW, she’s blogging about adventure travel at bemytravelmuse.com.  For the previous post in this series, click here. Opening tangent: I realize I’ve lagged tremendously on posting this installment.  I know it sounds odd, but every time I sit down to write, all kinds of emotions just swarm over me, overloading my brain and taking me back to Taipei in a very real and sobering way.  You see, in normal life, Continue Reading →

Self Realizations from Living Abroad: Chance Encounters

This guest blog is by Ava Apollo. When she’s not writing for MSW, she’s blogging about adventure travel at bemytravelmuse.com.  For the previous post in this series, please click here. Via a few texts back and forth (nobody in Asia actually talks on the phone, we just text, it’s just what we do over there. God forbid anyone ever leave me a voicemail. You think I know how to check it? ha!)  we had scheduled a meet-up.  I hopped in a cab, Continue Reading →

Self Realizations from Living Abroad: Meeting Fellow Expats

This guest blog is by Ava Apollo. When she’s not writing for MSW, she’s blogging about adventure travel at bemytravelmuse.com.  Click here for the previous post in this series. After the typhoon blew through Taipei, life returned to normal. Classes resumed, and I had spent a considerable amount of time working on my assignment: giving my classmates details of my hometown in Mandarin.  This was going to be an easy one for me.  I loved talking about LA.  Everyone knew where it Continue Reading →