There is a simple answer and a complex one to this question. The simple answer for why I moved to China is that my boyfriend (who is Chinese) finished his degree in Korea, and we were both ready for the next adventure. We decided China was next on the list. It is his home country and he wanted to get some work experience, and I was just ready to move somewhere new. China seemed a like a good next step.
But, I decided I need to make sure I have my own reasons for being here and staying here. So I know why I moved here, but now I am asking myself why I am staying here. Why China? If you read the blog My Biggest Struggle in China, you can see that there are some things I am having trouble with. And, the truth is, there are a couple of other things about my daily life here that can be quite frustrating as well. Honestly, I will probably continue to struggle with these things, but I will absolutely not let that ruin my experience here. There is no
point in living in a country if you can’t find the positive, the kindness and the beauty in it.
So I’m now going to share what is that I love about living in China whether the reasons be serious or simple.
I’ve said it before , but China really is a fascinating mix of old and new, and their rate of developement is impressive. In some places it feels so advanced and modern yet in another places it feels like I’m in a third world country, sometimes both at once. It makes it a really exciting place to live. Things are always growing and changing.
The food is delicious and the food culture is really wonderful. Food plays such an important part in China. Each area has its specialty foods and there are so many ways food is prepared. There are 8 major cuisines of China. From what I’ve seen, people take pride in the food of their hometown or province. I’ve heard many a discussion about how different areas prepare their food and friendly debates on who hometown’s food is the best. It’s more than just a meal, preparing food for someone or sharing a meal together is a way of showing you care.
Though it can be busy and crowded, public transportation is great here. It’s actually really well organized and timely. The subway system is super convenient. It is great for English speaking foreigners because you can find English options at the ticket machines, and all the signs have English as well. The buses are nice as well though they require more Chinese skill in order to read the signs. I just learned where a couple of the ones nearby my apartment bus stop go and use them when it’s a more straight shot than taking the subway. The train system is awesome. Cities in China are well connected by the train system. Trains are affordable, and it’s not that hard to get a ticket as long as you have your passport and know the name of the city you are going to. Plus, there are a lot of options in terms of time and train speed.
I’m lucky getting to live the life here that I do. I’m not rolling in the dough, but I get pretty well paid for tutoring which allows me to focus on studying Chinese. I don’t live excessively and so am therefore able to save money for my “forced” visa trips. I am grateful that my income is good enough and the cost of living is low enough that I’m not constantly struggling. Those student loans from my bachelor’s degree though…That’s a rant I will stop in its tracks. Ha.
China is a large country with so much history, and there is so much to do, see and learn. There are so many wonderful travel spots and natural areas. I feel like I’ll never have enough time to see it all. You can find big and exciting cities, you can find breathtaking views of lakes, rivers and mountains, you can find historical places, you can find so many different types of food, you can find fascinating traditions, you can find beautiful music and art, you can really find so much here.
I will always share my struggles while living in China, but I truly hope that I can show people that there is so much more to this country than just the negative that people may see. I think any time you go to a country with a different culture from yours, it will take adjusting. I may not agree with everything, but I will always do my best to learn, understand and respect the culture of the country I am visiting or living in.
Cheesy as it sounds (I’m about to lay it on), my blogs are a part of my journey and me trying to navigate my way through different places and cultures. I don’t want them to ever seem hateful or discourage people from visiting a place. Never let my stories (or maybe occasional rant) make you think China is bad. What fun would it be if I didn’t struggle sometimes? What would be the point if everything was exactly the same as what I’m used to in America? There something wonderful and interesting about everywhere I go. I may experience some difficult things, but I won’t let it stop me.