This past summer, I hopped on a plane and landed in Taiwan. Away from family and friends for the first time, I had the opportunity to really nurture a sense of independence and identity. From learning to navigate the extensive transportation network of buses, trains, and subways that threaded the small island country together to witnessing my first typhoon, these novel experiences allowed me to view the world from a new angle. Exchange student researcher by day and a tourist by night, the double life enabled me to experience the country through a unique lens. Interning as a researcher at Asia University was a more diverse experience than I had anticipated: I harvested rice, extracted plant DNA, and visited a technology exhibition. I especially enjoyed being able to apply my skills and coursework to a new set of problems. After the work-day was over, I switched the lab coat for a cardigan and stepped into the world of night markets, fifteen story malls, and themed restaurants. In Taiwan, my taste buds enjoyed an assortment of delightfully delectable treats that included: freshly grilled oysters and clams, stinky tofu, mango shaved ice, matcha ice cream, pineapple cakes, taro cakes, and every flavor of tea imaginable. In addition to exploring the local city of Taichung, where I was interning, my adventures also took me to beautiful hiking paths, historical streets, the celebrated Taipei 101, the picturesque Sun Moon lake, as well as an assortment of beaches. As I boarded the plane, homebound, I realized that in a just a few short weeks, my time abroad had vastly broadened my perspective of the world: I had an address book filled with new friends, a camera full of memories, and a summer filled with fresh insights and unforgettable experiences.