Moving to Taiwan (2): Option with Flexibility

(Originally written around 15 January 2022)

In my previous post, I mentioned that, while looking at my options regarding where I could move, I was interested in finding something with some degree of flexibility (although I realised that this could be difficult to find). When I realised that the Taiwan Employment Gold Card allowed me to apply without any sponsorship (by a future employer) and that, if successful, I would therefore not be bound to any employer, it seemed like a great fit.

That said, I had also become disillusioned about my future in academia. I discussed this briefly in “To Be Or Not To Be (An Academic)”, but I’m going to have to revisit that topic at some point again. Linked to this disillusionment with academia is a reluctance to teach, although I know that as an educated first-language English speaker it’ll probably be a good option to consider.

Nevertheless, qualifying for the (Taiwan Employment) Gold Card means that I am immediately a legal resident of Taiwan, even without being employed. In fact, the significance of having the ARC (Alien Resident Certificate) was when I was directed to a queue for Taiwan citizens and residents when going through immigration after arriving. So, there is a degree of security in possessing the ARC.

Secondly, the terms of the Gold Card allow me to work full-time or part-time, to work remotely, to be self-employed or even to start a business that might employ others. It clearly has the flexibility I mentioned previously. 

New Taipei

Consequently, this combination of security and flexibility has me thinking that it might not be the wisest move to rush into a regular 9-to-5 type of job, but rather to take some time to put some distance (i.e. time) between myself and my last job, as well as to familiarise myself with this country and the potential opportunities it has to offer. At the very least, I think I’d like to visit each of the major cities and get a feel for the rest of the country. So, perhaps after emerging from quarantine, I’ll visit Taichung and Kaohsiung, if not a few other places too.

One of the factors that’s shaping my thinking is that it doesn’t make sense to move 11,638km (according to Google Earth that’s the straight-line distance from the flat where I lived in Potchefstroom) only to live the same life in a new country at the start of a new year. Truth be told, I have no idea what might be possible with the right connections in and/or understanding of my new home. I’ve actually already heard about a potential connection as a result of the short article about my meeting with Representative Ho.


I think I owe it to myself to explore some of these possibilities… 

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