My fourth year in China was hard, but it was a pivot point. I learned more about what I wanted from life. In some ways it was the end of youthful angst. My attitude was shifting, and my direction in life becoming more clear.
My third year in China had highs and lows, but I wasn’t going through the tumult alone. And while there was pain, challenge, disappointment, stress and strain – it was all laying a foundation for who I would be in the years that followed.
I arrived back in Beijing with NO IDEA how I was going to make this China thing work. There I was, wondering what on earth would come next. It was a year of huge upheaval for me, and it was in many ways the beginning of my adult life.
The heroes of my first year helped me not only survive, but thrive as I started my time in Beijing. So many names. So many faces. So many nationalities! So many stories. I would not have survived that first year without them.
More than 40 people came to a favourite Chinese restaurant to celebrate my 10 year Chinaversary. I was busy chatting and enjoying myself and my friends for hours. I also prepared my Top 10 Top 10 Lists from 10 years in China!
Ten years ago today I arrived in Beijing. I was 21 and it was my first time living alone so it was a BIG move. I didn’t realise how big until after I’d done it and had no idea how to do anything. I had no idea what would happen next.