Announcement time: I’m moving to China!

Four words I never thought I’d say, but I’m moving to China, and this time next month I’ll be living in Beijing.

How did this happen?

Well. I love living in Chiang Mai, and I was considering doing a CELTA course here so I could teach English. Technically you need a degree to teach in Thailand though, and while many people teach without a degree, I can’t be bothered doing any more visa runs or being at the mercy of a school that could potentially turn me over to immigration (Thai authorities scare me) so I took it as a sign.

Chiang Mai is a great place to live. And I love it here, I really do. It will be bittersweet leaving this awesome city since I still have a lot to see and it’s a fun place to live, so I’ll definitely be returning in the future.

But the truth is, I don’t quite feel like I fit here.

I’m not a backpacker who’s drinking in Zoe’s every night, and while I work online doing freelance work, I’m not working on an established business like the 30-somethings who meet up and work on projects. I’m not retired, I’m not part of a traveling family, I’m not a sexpat, and I’m certainly not here to “find myself”.


The truth is…life is a bit too easy here. If I wanted to I could eat nothing but Western food, spend all my time in coffee shops, and only speak to Thai’s when I’m buying something. I need something a bit more gritty and real at this stage in my life.

And you know what? China scares the crap out of me. But that is exactly why I need to go.

Some of the things I worry about include:

  • The pollution
  • The food
  • Transport, and how I’m going to get around such a huge city with my shitty sense of direction
  • All the spitting
  • The public squat toilets
  • Using the internet under “the great firewall of China”

While I always knew I’d visit China, I never really thought I’d move there. When I started thinking about my options, I realized I need to go somewhere that will challenge me. I want the adventure, I want to experience  new things, and I also want to be able to save some money so I can finally go to Europe.

Moving to China

I’ve found a job teaching English in a kindergarten, and my apartment will be free, although I’ll be sharing with some other English teachers. At the end of the year I’ll be given my TEFL certificate, so I’ll have both a certification and experience that will allow me to teach in many countries around the world.

I’ll also be given two hours of free Mandarin lessons each week, so I’m looking forward to picking up a bit of the language.

This was a rather impulsive decision. One night I was researching jobs online and applied for a couple, the next day I had an interview, and a couple of days after that I signed the contract and booked my flight.

But many of my impulse decisions have been the best decisions of my life, and regardless of whether I end up loving or hating China, I’m sure as hell going to enjoy the adventure.

12 comments on “Announcement time: I’m moving to China!

  1. Izy Berry January 14, 2014 @ 9:39 pm

    You’re braver than I am, but I’m sure it’ll be a daring adventure!

  2. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family January 14, 2014 @ 10:12 pm

    Wowsers!!! That is such a big change. I think you’d be great at working at a kindergarten though. :)
    Bethaney – Flashpacker Family recently posted..Kuala Lumpur or Singapore: Which City is Better for a Stopover?

    • Stacey January 15, 2014 @ 1:15 am

      Thanks Bethaney! It is going to b a huge change! A city of 22 million people is no joke haha!

  3. Peta Hewett January 14, 2014 @ 10:13 pm

    There goes facebook, although I have been told the Chinese know a way around this!! Come meet me in Europe, we will be there July – August!

    • Stacey January 15, 2014 @ 5:05 am

      Yup I’ll need to get a VPN so I can trick them into thinking I’m somewhere else. I’d love to come to Europe then but I’ve signed a year contract so I won’t be there until next year!

  4. Boska January 15, 2014 @ 6:30 am

    Girl, you rock!!! I hope it will be amazing time for you there and I am waiting for your posts from Beijing!

  5. Dyanne@TravelnLass January 15, 2014 @ 9:06 am

    “…If I wanted to I could eat nothing but Western food, spend all my time in coffee shops, and only speak to Thai’s when I’m buying something. I need something a bit more gritty and real at this stage in my life.”

    Yup. That about sums it up for me as well. And for some of us, “a bit more gritty and real” is what we seek at EVERY stage of life. 😉

    Safe travels and best of luck in China, Stace! (who knows, perhaps we’ll bump into each other again one day – in South America or some other corner of the globe.)
    Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..Woo-Hoo – I’m Back In the Spanish Saddle Again!

    • Stacey January 16, 2014 @ 6:51 am

      Exactly Dyanne! I’d love to meet up again and I can’t wait to head to South America!

  6. Derek Cullen January 29, 2014 @ 7:53 am

    Hey good for you Stacey, That actually sounds awesome – how does one who travels far find such a position? :)

    Found you through Twitter



    • Stacey January 31, 2014 @ 12:51 am

      Hey Derek, thanks for stopping by :) Haha one has a “I need money crisis” and applies for a few jobs online after one too many margaritas!
      Stacey recently posted..The White Temple in Chiang Rai

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