I have been to Taiwan a couple of times, and have stayed at many places. However, few places in Taiwan felt more like home than Meander, near Xi Men. In fact, no place felt more like home.
My second trip to Taiwan was this year(2019), and I purposefully left my itinerary open-ended. The goal was to experience Taiwan as authentically as possible for the length of my stay, which was two weeks.
Before departing on my trip, I did the minimum amount of planning, which consisted of booking a room for the first days, from there, I could figure out where else I wanted to go. After careful searching on the World Wide Web, I came across a hostel called Meander, which was mentioned on several travel blogs, which was good enough for me, so I decided to book my stay their.
As the time grew closer to travel, I was nervous about the whole experience, especially since I was traveling alone. I was not sure If I would meet people or have a good experience, but I was going to be as open as possible.
When I finally arrived in Taipei for my first night, I was too tired to interact with anybody or anything except my bed. Also, I felt uncomfortable and out of place. However, I knew I would feel better once I got some sleep, and the next day everything changed.
After roaming around Taipei by myself, I arrived back at the hostel just before dinner, and was introduced to an extroverted, well groomed, and talkative American, who could also speak Chinese. We immediately hit it off. He introduced me to other guests staying at the hostel, and invited me to get some dinner. On our way to eat, we ran into another friend of his: an American college student who was doing an internship in Taipei. We quickly became friends. From that point forward, I felt like I had developed a home away home from in Taipei, and as the days continued I became friendly with the staff; we joked together, talked talked together, and they even invited me to a local barbecue. It was truly an amazing experience, and extremely rare. I have never felt so comfortable in foreign a country, except when I lived in Chengdu, China.
Next time I go to Taiwan I will be sure to visit Meander, as the people I met, and the experiences I had were unparalleled. If you decide to visit Taipei, you must stay at Meander. If you open your mind to experiences, it could be the beginning of one of your greatest adventures.