I know there’s loads of these kind of threads already but from what I’ve seen they are people returning to the US and then trying to find a job, but this is a bit different. I’m from the UK and have a job waiting for me when I get back, all of that is fine.
My question is if there are any Brits who have returned to the UK from Taiwan and either stayed there or come back to Taiwan after a short while, how you coped with the reverse culture shock of going back? Alcohol?? Seriously though, I was already struggling with the lack of optimism generally before I came to Taiwan.
I don’t want to return to my cave. I’m landing in Heathrow as well
Thank you - I’ve been here just six weeks on a career break from my job. I was supposed to spend four weeks here and then the rest in Tokyo but I left Tokyo early to come back to Taipei because I found it a bit miserable there.
As Andrew mentioned above, I moved back to the UK two years ago after living in Taiwan for four years. I’d say for the first year, I found the reverse-culture shock almost unbearable and missed Taiwan so much that I was actively looking for the right job to take me back. However, I’ve more or less now come to accept (partly by reading the bitter posts of Forumosans who have been in Taiwan for too long!) that staying in the UK is for the best at this point in my life, at least for the time being. The job satisfaction, career prospects, and quality of life I’ve become accustomed to back in London are leagues beyond anything I could dream of achieving in Taiwan. However, London is also a notoriously expensive city to live in. I work for a world-famous tech company and have it pretty good, but most people aren’t as fortunate. When I think that if I returned to Taiwan, I’d probably only earn a maximum of $75K a month (even that might be overly optimistic) and have to put in loads of overtime and receive very few holidays, it makes it easier for me to bare being away.
On your other point, the UK is indeed a very grim place right now, with very little room for optimism. But when I went on holiday to Taiwan about a year ago, I felt the mood in Taiwan was even more pessimistic. Everybody I spoke to seems to want to get out, to China or elsewhere, and nobody seems to have anything positive to say about the future of the country. The fact that the pay hasn’t improved since I first lived there (even longer, from what I hear) confirms that things are pretty grim, at least economically.
I don’t support Brexit or the Conservative Party (who I expect will win the election in December), but at least I can selfishly benefit from the lower house prices and lower high-rate taxes they will bring. These coping mechanisms help me get through each day, as I still miss Taiwan terribly. If I wasn’t on a good salary, then I’d probably still be planning my escape!
I’ve spent most of it in Taipei, visited Kaohsiung as well. I’m not a big “traveller”, as in I didn’t really want to be in a different place every couple of days, but I felt awful with certain aspects of my life in the UK, felt like i needed a break and asked for the time off work. Literally some random guy online I was speaking to while I couldn’t sleep was talking about how he wanted to go to Taiwan, so I booked an airbnb and the flights for a month with zero expectations and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself
Thanks for your input. The politics isn’t the reason I feel glum in the UK, it’s just the general attitude of the people, it’s very laid back here and I feel like you can live a simple life quite easily. I have a good job in the UK but it’s too complicated, difficult and the town is shit.
Additionally, here you have people having fun outdoors. Dancing in the MRT stations/in the street, people having a good time is visible and it’s social. In the UK no one does that, even the younger generation doesn’t go out any more cos they think they need to stay in and start saving for a house deposit, or paying off awful finance plans for BMWs so they can validate themselves to belong to some kind of social class. Live to work.
I liked living in Leicester actually, but that was because the (south) Asian culture there is absolutely fantastic.
Maybe its just me though. Sorry for the whinge at life!
Wow, really? A year ago, everyone was so bleak it made Britain look like a positive place. I wasn’t sure if it was always that bleak, but I just didn’t notice because I had it relatively good as an expat, or if things had gotten much worse in the year I’d been gone.
Not in Taiwan! Firstly, I think a degree is a precondition for a work visa (somebody can correct me if I’m wrong). But, secondly, Taiwanese people are obsessed with degrees. They think you’re stupid if you don’t have one.