“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover” – H. Jackson Brown Jr’s mother quoted in P.S. I Love You: When Mom Wrote, She Always Saved the Best for Last.
This has been a post I have been waiting to write for the last 7 months. Something that I’ve been working towards for a long long time to make happen and I’m just excited/shocked/nervous/eager to get there.
In 2016, Boyfriend and I went on a trip to China and saw all of the country over a 3 week period. While we were drinking at a bar in Hong Kong, he asked me if I’d ever move to abroad, and more specifically China, and I said yes. I always think about this moment and wonder if he knew at this time that this move might happen. I’ve always told him that if I were to move away from San Francisco, it would most likely to go abroad.
Fast forward to late-July 2017, Boyfriend received an offer to join his former company, but in Shanghai. The new role was exciting and would let him learn a whole lot compared to his current role. Not only was it a great learning opportunity, but it was the chance to live abroad and travel the world. I urged him to do it.
End of August, he packed up all his things and moved to China. I had the option of going with him, but I wouldn’t have a job. Knowing my personality and my need to be active and doing things, we (okay, mostly me) thought it was best for me to join him once I had a job or something to do there (like school). I made a promise to myself that if I didn’t have anything lined up by February 2018, I would just pack up my things and go.
For the past few months, I’ve been on a constant path to try and figure out how I was going to make it to China. I was aggressive, applying for jobs on weeknights and weekends and spending my week nights interviewing with China during their morning hours. At one point, I started aggressively studying for the GMAT as some of my job opportunities were not panning out and needed a back-up plan for me.
We got to see each other a month after Boyfriend left for China during our Iberian Peninsula trip. We fell back into place with our normal habits, as if we hadn’t spent over a month apart.
After the trip, I started being more public at work about the move and worked with my leadership team to see what opportunities were available for me within my company in Shanghai (or in China or Japan).
In December, I made a quick trip to see Boyfriend in Shanghai. I got to see the apartment he got for us (I had only seen it in photos and was already obsessed with it), and explore our new neighborhood. I tried to set up a routine and even found a Crossfit gym I want to join once I make the move. I definitely had a panic attack one morning about the move, but Boyfriend helped calm me down and helped me feel more at home and peace in Shanghai.
As a person who has never lived more than 20 minutes (and 60 mins when the Bay Bridge is backed up with traffic) from her childhood home, moving across the Pacific Ocean with no firm date of return is extremely scary. But I’m glad that I’m going to be on this adventure.
While in Shanghai on this short trip, I got a job offer from a company I was really interested in for a role I was extremely excited about.
So, on March 11th, I am leaving the San Francisco Bay Area, my home of 26 years, for Shanghai, China. I’m excited and scared.
I’m scared to leave everything I know and all of my family and friends.
I’m excited to start this new adventure and start this next journey in life with Boyfriend.
So, look out for a lot of more posts as we start taking weekend trips to explore China and the rest of the Asian region. We already have a plan for our first weekend trip (Nanjing) and our first international trip (South Korea). I mean, all of these are tentative, but most likely going to happen
I’m always excited for travel 🙂