Older USA man wants to live in Taiwan

I was born and have lived in the USA all of my life. I have come to the realization that I am a western white man who really should have been born a Taiwanese. A rather odd statement??? Perhaps. To be honest, I am fed up with American life as I know it know. It somehow does not seem to be the same friendly place I remember. Taiwan provides the cultural and societal environment I crave.

So now my dream is to obtain a job in Taiwan and migrate. Not sure that my excellent English skills and my strong computer, management and technology background is very marketable. I am struggling to learn Mandarin.

I’m 57 years old. Perhaps too old for such a bold move? Any comments and suggestions are welcome.

Yes. A bit odd. Why should you have been born a Taiwanese? Because you like Chinese food or oriental women?

Being born in Taiwan 57 years ago in 1946 or so would mean growing up in a very, very poor country just coming out of over 50 years of Japanese colonialism and going into some really tough times under the KMT. It wasn’t unitl the 1980’s that Taiwan’s economy took off. You were very lucky to born in the US just after WWII and to have a chance to be part of the boom years. If you didn’t make it then in those conditions you would have face real difficulty making it in Taiwan during the same time period.

So Rochester, New York may not win any awards for being the friendliness capital of the USA but why not just move to a friendlier place in the US? Try the midwest, the south, out west even. Hawaii is real friendly.

Why Asia? Are you a Vietnam era vet looking to come back to Asia? How about other places in Asia? Why Taiwan? What cultural and societal environment is it that you crave? Have you ever visited Taiwan?

Do you have retirement benefits and income from a previous career? If so, the income could help you if you really decide to move here. You can always teach English - you are not too old for that - but the income is not enough to build a big retirement nest egg.

I suggest you come here for a few months just to study Mandarin, look around and get a feel for this place before you make any big decisions .Taiwan may not be the fantasy island you are dreaming about. You will face tons of new frustrations and hassles here.

I think you will probably be able to find a job as technical writer here though you will need to be prepared to hunt for a while and accept a much lower salary than you would get for comparable work in North America.

I’m a bit more concerned about your idea that you “should have been born a Taiwanese.” In my experience, people who are “looking for something” in Taiwan (or Asia in general) are often deeply disappointed when they discover that the real Taiwan does not correspond to the Taiwan that they have constructed in their head. Also, living and working here is very different from visiting.

Are you a cheerful, outpoing person who is friendly with family, workmates, neighbors and strangers as you go about your everyday life? If so, I would imagine that your world will be a friendly place. If not, then wherever you go, you may find it unfriendly.

I have found that happy people are not that environment dependent as they can be happy living almost anywhere, while unhappy people will make themselves miserable even if they are living in paradise.

Do you actually want to come to Taiwan… else are you just trying to escape from NY and have focused on Taiwan as your place to escape to?

I think Wazai gave some good advice. Sounds like you’re suffering from a touch of “the grass is greener on the side” syndrome. We all know it’s really not greener. People are generally all the same no matter where you go. Come and visit, stay for a few months. I wouldn’t suggest pulling up stakes so quickly until you’ve thought about what you’re sacrificing.

Dear amcgall

I agree with the posters above that you should spend some time in Taiwan before committing your self.

Can you get 3 months leave from your job / away from committments at home? If so, you can sign up for a term at Chinese Culture University Mandarin Learning Centre (mlc.sce.pccu.edu.tw/). They have courses in central Taipei (near Da’an park) and are well equiped and the fees are reasonable (NTS 16 000 for 3 months). They have courses that start twice a month so scheduling is easy.

Another good thing about CCU is that most of the students are from Asian countries so that will encourage you to speak mandarin.

Also you could get a place to live in this area, it is very friendly and there are loads of students. You should be able to find some language exchange partners. Eat in the small cafes, shop in the local shops, generally hang out and meet people… only go to Starbuacks when it is all too much.

Unfortunately I can’t advise you about working Taiwan but the other forums on this site have pleanty of advice so I’d recommend you study them carefully.

Anyway give it a try first and if it doesn’t live up to your expectations you won’t have lost too much.

Good luck, I hope things work out for you


Please provide me with your mailing address. I’m going to get a jar, go outside to the eight-lane road near my house, then seal it and send it to you. If this is kind of stuff you want to breath, then you’re right - Taiwan’s for you. (I’ll also send you the dog poop I got on my shoe while walking to the road.)

Another suggestion: Read through a number of the threads in this Living In Taiwan forum.

Perhaps you could start with this one How Do You Long-term Foreigners Deal With Living Here? (skip page 2)

I don’t want to put you off coming here. But you need to realize that it isn’t going to be all peaches and cream.

Can anybody else suggest other Required Reading threads?

Read the Psycho Hsiaojie threads.

Come on now, fellers.
Taiwan has been good to you. Don’t scare the poor guy! I just saw this western gentleman last night, at least the same age as amcgall, with a woman I’d guess was 25-30 yrs his junior. How often do you see that in the US unless the man is rolling in it?

I can’t believe you guys are buying into Formosa’s shill.
Old guy wanting to go to Taiwan? HA! His first choice? HA!!!
Sure old man, but have you investigated Thailand? :unamused:

Don’t listen to wolf, amcgall. He’s just trying to protect his territory from more competition.


Ignore the ageist crap from some of this little forums less mature.

If you feel that Taiwan’s where you’ve got to be then why wait? But, as an earlier poster mentioned, don’t burn your bridges. Perhaps sniff the breeze, as Hakkasonic kind of suggested.

My father, a well travelled man I hasten to add, came here in his sixties and tried it but found it not to his taste. He had other options and took them.

As far as work options go, based on the skills you mention, tech writing, teaching or editing are all available and perhaps more. Pay is not likely to match that of the US though so be forewarned. Costs of living are variable depending on your habits and where you choose to live. Maintaining something like an American lifestyle is going to cost and if money is an issue then it may not be a wise move as you may just find yourself ticking over each month’s pay without putting much away.

Good luck.


Whatever. Reads like a troll to me. Over 200 nations and territories to pick from in the world and Taiwan is the place he was made for?
Please. I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck yesterday.
If he’s not a chain-yanker, I’d need to know more.
I am happy to give my insights to the time that I have been here, but only if I think its going to a real interest.

wolf, might be a troll, good eye, since he has not chimed in in a while, BUT please don’t call him my shill, if that is what you meant. I don’t rent out my shills to just anybody! i never met this dude.

but i do agree with the others, age is not important. funny, only older people understand this. hehe.

When I was 20, I thought 57 was death. Now I am almost 40 and shit, it’s getting closer. come on over, old man, fuck around with the rest of us…

Oh I really wouldn’t like to think someone was fucking with us wolf.
That’d be a very boring waste of energy. i must have missed this whole troll thang.

Mind you I was the guy that answered “really?” to “I heard they’ve taken the word gullble out of the Oxford English dictionary.”


Mind you I was the guy that answered “really?” to “I heard they’ve taken the word gullble out of the Oxford English dictionary.”

HG, LOL! thanks for a nice ending to my day! HA HA HA!

I checked, it’s still in mine…

[quote=“wolf_reinhold”]Old guy wanting to go to Taiwan? HA! His first choice? HA!!!
Sure old man, but have you investigated Thailand? :unamused:[/quote]
He didn’t say he wanted to be a sexpatriate, Wolf. Thailand has its points, such as lots of cheap hookers, but personally I’d rather avoid all that stuff. Maybe he does too. I can’t really think of any other reason to pick Thailand, unless he’s wanting to retire cheaply, and since he asked about jobs. . . .

The NTD still has a high enough exchange rate that people can make recognizable money, unlike the Thai baht. In Taiwan, the food is great, the weather is tolerable, and the people are friendly. Why stay if you don’t like it?