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Are you happy in Taiwan?

Hello everyone!

According to the 2016 UN World Happiness Survey, Denmark, Switzerland and Iceland are the happiest countries on earth.

How about you? Are you happy in Taiwan? Do you feel happier today in your host country than before in your home country? What has contributed to the change?

In your opinion, are locals in Taiwan happy? How can you tell?

Please share your experience!

I've been living in Taiwan since October 28, 2010.  Soon I'll be celebrating my sixth anniversary of living in this fine country.

During these past 6 years, I have found Taiwan to be a friendly and safe place to live, the people friendly, albeit the weather somewhat inclement.

As an American and former resident of New York City, having so many familiar American stores and restaurants available is comforting and the sense of freedom of living here is very reminiscent of home.

I consider Taiwan to be my second home.

It's stale news that young Taiwanese in Taipei need to starve for a decade to buy a new condo. While there are refugee-like vendors in Taipei peddling used goods amid multi-million condo neighborhoods while BMWs, Bentleys, Porsches and Audis drive by. And blue-collar workers in Taiwan collect a fraction of pensions of teachers, civil servants even after a lifetime of toil. Very wealthy Taiwanese hire Filipinas as maids under false pretenses for about US$500 monthly to work them like slaves. And the incidence of liver cancer and hepatitis in Taiwan rank some of the highest globally. Plenty of aborigines are forced to live in barely habitable mountainous areas where landslide, geo-instability are facts of life. Many Taiwanese workers with college degrees in Taiwan are paid less than part-timers at Starbucks in the West.

Happiness is a luxury only enjoyed by well-to-do Taiwanese, while the rest are too busy making ends meet.

Of course there are "happy" Taiwanese, who are ex-pats who have migrated abroad. The old saying goes "Any Taiwanese who can afford to migrate overseas will do."

I love living in Taiwan. I've been here for about 15 years and have spent a majority of my time living in Taipei but I did live in the county for a few years. I made this decision because of the incredible amount of convenience you get in the city. I have a 5 minute commute to work and I live really close to an MRT(subway) station so getting around the city is never a hassle. There is also a park with a public basketball court and a swimming pool. A ten minute walk from my front door are mountain hiking trails up Elephant and Tiger mountains.
I think the people of Taiwan are friendly and interesting with a serious mix of old tradition and ultra modern technology.

I'm really happy only because I have designed it for myself.

I really think that most people in Taiwan who are not happy feel that way because they are not living the lives they want to. They feel pressure from others to behave in certain ways and conform thereby denying their desired paths in life. And since they don't create their own plan in life, they get stuck in the rut that someone else has designed for them.  I've also noticed that a lot of people feel helpless and unable to change their lives or they want to avoid the pain of doing so.

I would also say that being in Taiwan for so long has helped me mature my way of thinking. When I first got here I did a lot of comparing Taiwan and Canada and found that I could connect with other expats quickly by pointing out Taiwan's shortcomings. However, I feel that thinking in this way is too negative and actually stopped me from trying to connect with Taiwanese people because I had already decided what they were like instead of really taking the time to get to know many of them. As it turns out Taiwanese people are pretty much the same as people all over the world and deal with their own personal struggles daily.

And finally I would like to say I am happier here than in my "home" country because I have personally taken on the challenge to make my life better year after year. I think I am what has contributed most to my happiness since it is something I believe in and invest in heavily.

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