Digital nomads in Taiwan

My just-out article on what Taiwan offers digital nomads, and why not many have so far come here: … eview.html

Great blog. I’ve read about Taiwanese computer engineers who work for European companies that works at home and use the internet to solve problems over there in Europe. They get amazing pay, more than flexible work hours, and most of all, their works, however trivial they feel, get greatly appreciated.

I’ve been working on-off from Taipei for the last few years for an Australian tech company (that is unusually flexible).
The experience has been great so far (though due to my wife being a ROC citizen saves me from dealing with visa issues).

Some general thoughts:

  • I don’t try to blend in, as I never will being a random foreigner here. I don’t mind, am happy with where I am and have a decent sized social circle of mutual friends, old colleagues and old classmates from overseas who have since moved back here. I used to get annoyed when people would do things like talk at me through my wife etc. but now my care factor is near 0.
  • Property prices being what they are, am content with renting a place close enough to inlaws with a size we are used to back in AU. Still works out cheaper than rent I would be paying in Melbourne with a lot more convenience. Tianmu is a really nice area to live in with parks, date-grade restaurants, and general convenience you would expect in Taipei without tripping over parked scooters as soon as you walk outside.
  • Banking was an issue at first, but after the first year of regular cashflow CTCB seems content enough to not require me to go into the local branch with ID in hand to accept overseas transfers.
  • Driving here still scares me, particularly the scooter swarms during peak hour. Wish there were dedicated cycling lanes, but then I would probably be a complaining about pollution.
  • Getting older, and planning for a family am not sure whether Taipei is the right environment be in for anything longer than a family visit. Inlaws are getting on in years, and my partner wants to spend more time with them but on a flipside the general mode of life in Melbourne is a lot more relaxed for raising a child. Guess its a hanging question to be answered over the next couple of years.
  • Street food is great but not sustainable if you care about your health. Proper sized kitchens are near non-existent unless you up your rental budget.
  • Re: language, for me what seems to work best is 3 months on, 6 months off in classroom environment. This way, the content I cover in those 3 months has time to sink in and gives me time to utilise. Having no pressing need to achieve a given level of fluency definitely helps.
  • I tried doing the whole working from coop / shared spaces but found it pretty inefficient, expecially when my workday starts at 7am and I have to join regular Hangouts throughout the day. Ended up investing in a good home office setup ( incl. a standing desk), with plenty of natural light.