Taipei Odyssey 2019 - DJ

 

General Description

Around late September of 2019, I was invited to participate in an international odyssey to Taipei, Taiwan. Initially, I refused to participate, but after a few days of thinking I ended up getting caught up in two minds. Eventually, at the very last minute, I decided to list my name among those participating on this trip. I actually did not know if I’d made the correct choice, but at the same time I was very excited.

The trip would last for only five days and I was wondering how we would manage to fit everything we wanted to do in those five days. We had a load of stuff on our itinerary. I was really expecting a lot of our activities and plans to be chalked off. Hopping on the airplane in the late afternoon of September 26, 2019 was a moment where I was very uneasy because if this trip had not gone well, I’d have essentially just wasted a load of my parents’ money. Little did I know, that this trip would be the best few days I’d have ever experienced.

What I Liked

Right from the moment we stepped out of the plane, there was a very promising aura that came from both the place itself, but also from the group of people. We were a total of 16 and what I was really amazed by was how excited and encouraged we all were. Not one of us felt negative. This togetherness between the group obviously added to the incredible experience that we all shared.

There were so many aspects of this trip which I really liked. Firstly, Taipei itself was incredibly incandescent and vibrant. The food was very colorful and flamboyant. There were even times where I was not completely sure what I was eating but it tasted really good. The culture was very interesting and riveting. And the general atmosphere of the city was welcoming to us.

I also really liked the fact that we were never idle during this whole trip. We were constantly on the move and this allowed us to constantly be learning about many things about Taipei and its culture. Up to today I’m still not sure how we managed to not only fit everything we wanted to do into five days, but in fact did it with a lot of time to spare, which we occupied by doing more activities which were not originally part of the itinerary. One moment we were in a Montessori conference, the next we were in a night market trying all sorts of food. That is not an expression too, we really went straight from a conference to a night market. We were always moving forward with a purpose. This is the proper way to travel, as I found out from this trip.

What did I learn from our trip?

I learned loads during this trip. Other than learning about Taipei’s history, people, architecture etc, I also learned loads about my peers. I learned that they are people who are intelligent, pragmatic, clever, and encouraging. I learned this through the many situations we had together. A lot of which were more demanding than the others. Through all those types of situations, I really got to see my peers for who they are, and I’m really happy with the fact that I shared this experience with them. I genuinely believe that I got closer to everyone who went on this trip, staff included.

Through this trip, I also learned a lot about myself. I learned about my condition through certain aspects such as responsibility, cognitive flexibility, will, abstraction and many other aspects. I saw myself through these aspects because I was constantly being tested on this trip. I also got to know myself better through my social abilities, since I was with a big group of people.

Overall the experiences gained from Taipei are ones that I’ll never forget. I’m very thankful for being able to go on this journey. I’d like to end by saying that a smile always goes on my face whenever looking back on this trip.