About me

About myself and my adventures

I am just living the dream.  I work part time(ish) teaching English in Kaohsiung and spend most of my weekends traveling within Taiwan.  In 2011 I started blogging about waterfalls and I now have directions to 80 waterfalls (and some hikes) in my online guide – Taiwan’s Waterfalls.  I don’t know why this became an obsession but I feel like I must visit every waterfall and hike every hike.  It is going to take some time but I hope to add 30-40 waterfalls every year to the guides.

Tentative plans


May 2016 – 1.5 weeks in Lombok, Indonesia

June 2016 – 1 week at home in Minnesota

October 2016 – 1.5 weeks in the Philippines (Cebu?)

November 2016 – 1.5 weeks (unlikely) northern Vietnam

January 2017 – Cambodia and maybe Indonesia with family

My biography

2003 – Graduated from Michigan Tech with an engineering degree

2003 to 2007 – Mechanical Engineer at Ford Motor Company (Michigan) – I felt like Tom Hanks in Joe Versus the Volcano and quit my job to travel for awhile

2007 – Hiked most of the Pacific Crest Trail (2000 of the 2660 miles) and toured the American Southwest

2008 – Toured the American Southwest again, hiked part of the Pacific Crest Trail and took an awesome trip to Peru/Ecuador

2009 – lived in Washington state before moving to Taiwan to teach English in November

2011 – traveled to Thailand, Laos and Cambodia in Jan – short trips to the Philippines and Hong Kong – completed a 800 km bike trip in eastern Taiwan

2014 – returned home for the first time in 5 years

2015 – Malaysian Borneo and Bali

2016 – North Sumatra and a full schedule

Now – traveling all over Taiwan and trying to take 3-4 short trips in Eastern Asia each year.  I am currently adding all of my hikes and waterfalls to my waterfall guide

38 Replies to “About me”

  1. You seem like quite the adventurous outdoor spirit! I just moved to Taiwan and will definitely be frequenting your blog for advice. I am searching for a teaching English job now. Any advice or places you know that are hiring? Thanks!

    1. The best advice is to simply come to Taiwan and walk into as many buxibans as possible with resumes. An even better first step is to visit each of the major cities and decide which one is right for you. I like visiting Taipei but I would hate to live there. The winters are especially awful. Typically in the 50’s (F), overcast and no heat/insulation.

  2. Love your waterfall guide. Going out to shenshan waterfall this weekend from kaohsiung for a day trip. You mentioned that it it a short hike in from the road. A friend of mine is on crutches. Do you think she’ll be able to manage? Also, any tips on finding the trail would be awesome. Thanks.

  3. I will be doing the Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail this December. Your post said it takes 3 hours to do, which is perfect for me since I’m a bit . I looked at the trail map and it said the trail ends after Pipadong waterfall. Do I have to go back the way I came (down the vertical ladder), or I can continue on the trail up to the washing machine (in your photos)? I think it takes more than 3 hours to go down the railroad and tunnel to get to Shifen Waterfall right?

    1. The trail ends at Pipadong waterfall but there is a roadwalk after Pipadong waterfall to the washing machine. After that you go down the stairs, cross the red bridge and then a short walk on the railroad tracks to Shifen. Overall that should take 3 or so hours. If the tunnel scares you then you can on the train at Dahua (east on the railroads tracks) and ride to Shifen.

  4. Hello! Great blog, I’m visiting Taiwan soon and was wondering what your favourite places are for natural scenery? Looking through your normal and waterfall websites proved really inspiring – if you had to choose a few waterfalls, which would you visit? I was thinking Sandiaoling waterfall – Pipadong waterfall – Shifen waterfall on one day; I wasn’t sure which other waterfalls would be cool to visit.

    My partner and I are based in Taipei for four days, then we may have an overnight stay in Keelung or Jiufen and travel along Yehliu to Nanya for one of the days and then do the Sandiaoling – Shifen trail on the next. We’re moving onto Hualien for two days to see Taroko National Park; we finish our stay in Kaohsiung for four days to see Kenting National Park, Liuqui island, Kaohsiung and Tainan. Does this sound possible? I’m unsure whether to visit Sun Moon lake or Alishan mountain range as I thought the waterfalls and geology seemed more interesting.

    Any advice would be helpful!



  5. Ha! Our lives are nearly parallel. I found your blog from going through posts on Forumosa because I’m moving to Taiwan to teach this year. I also want to go to all the same places you’ve marked in your future 10. Following you now to keep up with your adventures.

  6. Hi…kirk how are you?I was read you blog,that so interesting activities in your life.so when you come to long pasia and go jungle trekk to look the waterfall around long pasia..I one of the nature guide in Borneo but mostly guided at long pasia area..so what can I do for you before you come?

    Lait lakong
    Jungle guide
    Long pasia..

    1. Lait
      Thank you for responding. I just need to know how to get to Long Pasia and how much money to bring. I don’t think I can afford a 4×4 but what about a motorcycle. Can I rent in Sipitang?

  7. Hi kirk…you can rent a motorcycle in kota kinabalu..because in sipitang I never see a motorcycle for rental,for information my chatango a problem so cant read you email,then I dnt know how much money should you bring ,but depending how long you go trekk with guide and stay in a homestay,I thing around MYR 1500.

    1. I was reading through the comments at backpackerlee.com and saw a link to your blog. There’s a lot of great info on Thailand on your site and I will be there again in the future.

  8. Nice blog, thanks! I really like your background info too – I also graduated in engineering in ’03, nearly went mad at my job, quit in ’09, have been traveling on and off since then, and currently live in Taiwan – makes me feel a little less nuts to know I’m not the only one that did this.

  9. I love your blog and posts about traveling!
    I’m currently living in Taiwan, just moved here for a year and want to explore everything this country has to offer.
    I am new to blogging, is there a way I can follow your blog? Or how does that work? Lol… Thanks ☺️

    1. Until recently I mostly worked on content but I let site functionality suffer. It’s easy to follow if you are a wordpress blogger but it is still difficult for the rest. so that is something I need to fix. I also need to link my FB group for Taiwan’s Waterfalls to this site. I will be using the same FB group for both sites (not sure how exactly yet). but your issue is something I need to work on so thanks for bringing it up.

    2. Just click on the Follow button at the top of the page, and posts will appear in your Reader. If you want email notification, click the Edit button, and you’ll be able to change the setting. Hope this is helpful.

  10. It would be nice to “follow” your blog via Email updates. However, I could only find the “reader” subscription and it doesn’t “push” alerts on site updates.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I think I have fixed this. I am sure that there are countless other little details that I have missed on this blog. Let me know if there is anything else that I am missing. Thank you, Kirk.

    1. Sorry – you commented when I was on vacation and I missed this. I lived on 16,000/mo for about 6 months. The most important part of that is your rent. I lived in Kaohsiung (much cheaper than Taipei) and rented a room in a house for 3000/mo plus utilities. After that most of my money was spent on food and I almost always did free stuff. I also drank very little alcohol at that time. That is a budget killer.

  11. Hi ! =)
    i’m Lise, a french exchange student =)

    i read all your page on Jiuhaocha Aboriginal Village, and i really would like to go there for spring break, can i ask you some advices ?

    i have an ID on Line : (edited)
    or a mail if prefered : (edited)

    Thank you so much if you have time to reply to me !


  12. Hello ! I really like your messages of waterfalls. I bought your 2017 calendar. I also have my little crazy waterfalls, but I do not have such opportunities I you. I collect for postcards of waterfalls of the world. I cordially greet and wish you success in discovering new waterfalls.

  13. Hi
    I like your calendar. I live in Kaohsiung.
    I’m wondering how can I buy in local parks (likely Aozidi Park) or pubs.
    I want to personally pick up from you .
    Wait for your reply. Thanks. Heidi

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