A singular discovery
Friday July 29, 2011, around noon. A shy female voice is heard over the loudspeakers over the background noise and begins to sound out a welcome message in an unusual language, in addition to English. Everywhere around me, something intrigues me. The colors, shapes, signs are for the most part unrecognizable. All the senses are on alert, and each new scene is a real discovery – even going to the bathroom.
The female voice continues to be heard throughout the airport. I’m waiting for my rings, I’m looking around. Still all these signs, everywhere. Or rather characters, which I had only seen in my books. I look around, another point strikes my mind: people are not the same either. I ask where the taxis are, I am told to leave in the same accent as the female voice and a big smile. I just heard, at that moment above the hubbub, the female voice said “Welcome to Taoyuan International Airport”. Once installed in the taxi, it starts towards my hotel, in the heart of Taipei. Over 30 minutes of travel. More than 30 minutes where everything seems really different this time.
Looking out the window of the taxi, I see a new world outside and above all all these characters hung where there is the least space available. Each street, each facade, each building has hundreds of characters. And one question comes to mind: what can they say? I hardly recognize any, despite my years of learning. Confusing. Driving alongside the taxi, people on scooters pass it on the left and on the right. Sometimes alone, sometimes 3-4 on the same scooter or even with a dog. Inside the taxi, there is a strange mix between these hubbub coming from the city outside and the radio that fills the taxi. Small melody, a short ad, all in Chinese.
At this moment, I gradually begin to realize that all these people, these signs, these people, these smells will be my new “home” for the next seven months to come. A world far from my habits, from family and friends, where everything that I could take for granted and true is ultimately only a personal point of view. The wonder and discovery begins and will never stop.
The beginning of Wansato
So it was in Taiwan that it all started. Since then, the taste for travel has never left me. Six months discovering this island opened me to the world and was one of the happiest periods of my life. Six more months in China to discover the Asian giant, where at least a small part consolidated me in the idea that the world is ultimately not so big and that the best way to understand the other is to to have lived with him for some time. Then direction Switzerland to finish my studies and learn a routine that I would happily do without: work.
This site is more an incentive to travel and an inspiration for all trips than a practical guide. I try to highlight the strengths of my discoveries, even if the majority of them are classic. Writing the articles takes me time, as well as developing all the associated photos, so don’t hesitate to leave me a comment, I would be more than happy.
The word Wansato comes from three different words which, in my eyes, explain the why of how. First of all “Wan” which comes naturally from Taiwan, a country I admire. Then “sa” which originates from visa. The visa – or the passport in general – is the key to traveling, and a near obligation. Finally “to” for photo, which is an integral part of this site.
A beautiful image makes it easier to catch the eye of the traveler than a simple text and shows all the magic of a place. We can describe with precision a place, a street, a discovery, but having a picture – see a beautiful picture – accompanying an article will give depth and intensity to it, and that’s what I’m looking for . All the photos in the articles may not be “extraordinary”, but we deserve to highlight the important points mentioned in the articles. The “Photography” section is the “Best Of” and I post there the images that I consider the most successful. So don’t hesitate to take a look!
It was in Taiwan that I bought my first camera (Canon 600D), and it was also there that I started to take a liking to photography by discovering the joys of focus and closing time. etc. I trained myself, and over time I can already see my personal development. Also, I who have a Cartesian spirit, photography is the artistic part of which I did not even know the existence! Now working on a Canon 5DIII and a few filters, it has become an integral part of my life and especially of my travels.
About the autor
To finish a little word about myself. Jean, almost thirty, an Alsatian (Alsace, France) by birth. Having worked a few years in Switzerland, I continued my little path in Taiwan where I now reside. I have often traveled to Germany, France and Switzerland while in Europe. Now I discover quietly Taiwan, say the beautiful island (Ilha formosa) and its wonders, as well as the other countries around if I have the chance.
My trips :
2011: Taiwan, Japan, China
2012: Luxembourg, Spain
2013: Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany
2014: Spain, Morocco, Switzerland, Germany
2015: Malaysia, Singapore, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Germany
2016: Indonesia, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany
2017: Taiwan, Hong-Kong, Italy
2019: Taiwan, Philippines, Japan, Poland
2022: We will see what the future holds for us!
Dreams only become accessible if you give yourself the means :-)
All texts are translated using Google Translate and/or DeepL.