Finally feeling very settled in Taiwan -- We really love it here -- About time to leave?

I’m not entirely sure what the point of my post is, other than a late night ramble to this faceless community of fellow Anglo-Formosans. I don’t try to be anonymous on this site, but I don’t know 99% of you IRL so it gives me the pretense of a safe space to ramble.

Anyway, we love it here. Coming close to finishing up our second year living in Taipei now and things are overall really great from a quality of life standpoint. I think my kids have hit their stride in school and in social life…and my wife and I have little to complain about. Sure there’s some warts showing up now that we’ve passed the honeymoon phase of our expat life, but we love it and have made the conscious decision to stay in Taipei indefinitely…ie, we can tentatively plan for another 2-ish years and then reevaluate each year.

That being said, as happy as my wife is with life in Taiwan overall, she’s not having the professional fulfillment she desires. We’re super fortunate that we can survive without working to earn income, however she’s not the type to enjoy life if she doesn’t also strive for her purpose in life, which for her generally revolves around professional goals. I am a bit more neutral, but I get it too. I don’t mind wasting my days away being lazy, but I do also feel a little something missing when I do that too much.

So here we are with this strange juxtaposition: on one hand we discuss how much we like it here and how we’ve succeeded in designing the life we want here in Taipei. We’re good planning for two more years, but we could see those two years continuing on indefinitely. Then on the other hand my wife is interviewing for dream jobs that, if she lands, would require us to up and leave pretty quickly. I mean, on paper it totally makes sense to have two different desires (Life vs career) pulling you in different directions, but it’s just weird to be living it right now. It feels like a bit of limbo.

And I’m kinda doing the same. I have two distinct possibilities that I am pursuing and in either case, if I succeed then those opportunities would require us to leave Taiwan. However in my case, the time horizon is much longer (1-2 years) and we’d have plenty of time to plan and transition a bit more smoothly. The other thing is that, in my case, I’m also perfectly content pursuing my professional goals from here in Taiwan. I don’t require the perfect role in the perfect company to feel fulfilled.

Anyway, I don’t have a point to all of this. But it just feels weird to have found a place we love so much and yet here we are wondering if we’re gonna leave by choice!!


Just throwing it out there. Has she considered starting her own business?

It can be as every bit as fulfilling without having to relocate and re entering the corporate world.


I’ve been in the same position as your wife. I loved living in Taiwan but couldn’t see myself thriving professionally.

Although, my partner is Taiwanese and always wanted to move back to Australia. He also wasn’t thriving professionally but that didn’t bother him like it did me. He does have a bit of ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ attitude. So I didn’t take him as seriously as I probably should have.

We ended up moving back to Australia just over a year ago and we both can easily say it was the right decision for both of us and our relationship.

But the truth of how we both felt lies somewhere in the middle. I shouldn’t have wanted to stay in Taiwan as much, he shouldn’t have wanted to move back to Australia as much. Australian life is much busier and we have less free time. It’s also a lot less convenient and I’m not as close with my family as he is with his and he misses that a bit.

Overall we are both happier and for the first time my partner actually has professional goals and is excited about his future prospects and career for the first time in his life which is great to see.

It’s a hard choice because you don’t know how you will feel in the future about your current thoughts. You can just do what you think is best for your family and hope it works out. It usually does


It’s better than being forced to leave, I suppose. You seem to have had a great experience. Chances are you’ll go on to have another one!


I guess sometimes in life we just don’t know which way we should go.

For me I’d take the comfort and happiness over pursuing a career. However my situation is sort of unique in that I supply sports to clients. Their staff have to analyze the games for inplay live odds and sports betting and then write up match reports. I don’t watch the events unless its something I like such as UFC or Motogp.

So my day today. come into office at 5am, put on several events for 6am start, takes 5 minutes… then play chess listen to music do some posts… later on spend 10 mins get events on for 8am… play chess read some news chat with my son, 9am a few minutes setup some events for 10am.

Twiddle my thumbs play chess listen to music have a chat with @comfy123

My day is done. Will go home for a nap and later in afternoon take my dog out for an hours walk around some mountain roads where we get a nice breeze.


Dude, read a book once in a while. :laughing:


Just finished the Mote in Gods Eye… read it several times… will read Sympathy for the Devil again.

Seems far fetched.

Lots of novels are a good read of things that seem far fetched. Things that were considered far fetched in the past are reality nowadays.

I just read this story about a guy who felt like everyone in this internet forum he was on was an autistic literalist who couldn’t get nuance or humor or sarcasm. It was hellish for the guy who was all those things, so he stopped posting mostly and fucked off and raised chickens. :idunno:


Taiwan is where (many) careers go to die. It also offers a unique lifestyle that many come to love and value more than achieving professional goals. Along the way, some of us are able to create new goals, professional or otherwise, or find niches where we can flourish in Taiwan.

It seems to me that marriage must be a partnership. In business, a partnership will end if the partners do not share the same goals. Marriage is different of course but it is important to tend to the partnership side of things.

If your wife cannot enjoy life without striving for her purpose involving professional goals and you are neutra, then it seems clear to me that if she gets one of these dream jobs, you must be ready to go and start over.

Perhaps in the meantime she can try some things that might help her find new purpose(s) in life that do not involve professional goals. There are so many worthwhile things to do in Taiwan. Has she seriously studied Chinese? Knowing Chinese opens up many more interesting possibilities in Taiwan, professional and otherwise.

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You’d best see a doctor about them. :melting_face:


Yes, she/we have successfully run our own business in a different industry. However the dream job is not something she/we can easily launch ourselves. It requires a massive amount of funding. She’s actually tried to fundraise the capital to be able to do it herself but for one reason or another it didn’t work out. She just had an initial interview with a firm that has the exact same mission as hers, who has raised the funds, and is looking for someone to lead it. It’s a long shot but that’s the kind of situation she’s looking for.

Before we moved to Taiwan, my wife had her dream job, basically working at an upper managerial role for a firm like the one she just interviewed for. They were ok letting her continue from Taiwan. Then just before we moved, the firm had a major restructuring. They wanted to retain her but only if she stayed in the US. She also was offered a very exciting position at another company that she had often partnered with and knew well, but it also required us to stay in the US. She decided she wanted to proceed with the move.

Anyway, this might be why she’s torn. Cause she actually had a taste of complete and total professional fulfillment at one point in time.

Glad you all are happier and excited for the future! Yeah, I’m not really worried about things working out. We’re a super blessed family and this is definitely “first world” or maybe even “rich people” problems. Since we don’t have to worry about a roof over our heads or where our next meal will come from, we have to find something else to struggle with haha.

Yes, precisely!

Yeah, I’m with you. This could easily be me. But I did have some dreams that my much younger self had hoped to accomplish, and so now I’m chasing those dreams again. It might be a bit ego-driven, I dunno, but I do find that I’m very happy now that I’m back to pursuing them.

Sounds like a terrible book.

Yep. I’m normally totally fine with starting over. As a couple we’ve “started over” three times now and in each case the impetus was something related to her needs. Now there were always factors that were good for me as well, so it’s not like she dragged me around from place to place…but just saying that the initial push to make the move was for something for her.

But we did have a chat this morning and she expressed concern that a move back to the states would hurt my own pursuits. I told her that it wouldn’t. I could totally do what I want to do if we move back. But it does perhaps take away some of the momentum of the specific things I’m working on now. And it also would eliminate the specific opportunities I mentioned in my OP that I might have in the next year or two. So she’s a bit ambivalent now.

She’s already fluent in reading/writing/listening and very close to fluent in speaking.

I didn’t mean work financially. I meant if you will all be happy with whatever decision you make

I get it. I meant that because we have financial resources and every single one of us in the family is very laid back / chill, we basically have loved every place we’ve lived. As a family we’ve lived in 4 cities and liked them all very much. We also digital nomad-ed as a family for a year, so spent significant time in about a half dozen cities and never had an experience that wasn’t great. So it was a surprise to me when Taipei kinda surpassed all of those. I knew that we’d always be happy anywhere we end up, but Taipei was the first time I realized there was an even higher level of joy and contentment and belonging that you can get from a place that you live.

She’s already fluent in reading/writing/listening and very close to fluent in speaking.

That’s great. There must be something purposeful and fulfilling she can eventually find in Taiwan then. Maybe that will happen before one of her dream jobs come through and you will stay. Maybe it won’t. She sounds like a talented and driven person. These people usually eventually find new opportunities in Taiwan and thrive.

She’s been finding opportunities and staying busy with things that are indeed purposeful and fulfilling. It’s a matter of the ideal or most fulfilling which is the struggle. Ikigai, if you will. Yeah, like I said a very first world problem.

I feel silly saying all of this too. Cause no tears should be shed for us. But it’s just me releasing a bit of my I don’t know what. Anyway, I feel good now :smiley:

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That’s extremely important. The feeling is well summed up by the concept of fuqi (福氣). It’s much harder to find this then a good job. And it is easily lost (可遇不可求). Which is why wise older Tawanese are always telling us to xifu (惜福). Many people doesn’t realize that they are experiencing it when it happens. They become aware of it only after it is gone. You are ahead of the game!

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Several of us on Forumosa live outside of the cities. I tell people I live in the wilderness… it’s in the mountains. In the afternoons I can get this view from just near my office as it faces west. I live in a place my wife is from. When we decided to get married I asked her where she wanted to live and it was in the small village she was born. I’m like, OK let’s make a go of it. I did have my business in Taipei for several years but was able to move it to a property we bought. Our village on the right I took with my drone.

I struggle with the peace and quiet lol No traffic noise, no air pollution. I don’t do mind melds with nature but at times it’s really blissful. if you already have enough coin I would choose happiness. I run my own business and I do believe in Taiwan that is a major factor why I can enjoy life and relax.

My wife also runs a guest house and often customers would ask what I do. Then they ask if I have a lot of “pressure”

I tell them my daily pressure id deciding what to eat for lunch. My son tells me I am not driven anymore as I am too content lol.


Since we are all sharing good things I’m feeling very 福氣 from my lunch , burp.