Moving abroad is crazy and scary and stressful and exciting all at once. Huge respect to anyone who has ever done it and not cried at least once a day over how difficult it is.
Nothing was going to prepare me for this move to China, no matter how many blogs I read or how many people I spoke to about living abroad for uni or work. Without a doubt, the hardest part has been communication. Literally NO ONE in China speaks English and even if they have a small understanding it is insanely difficult to communicate about rent, paying bills, signing contracts, arranging a phone contract and all the other logistical aspects of moving half way around the world.
However, a week later I am sitting on the balcony of my studio apartment on the 15th floor, eating noodles and overlooking a beautiful private park. And all the stress is so worth it to be able to sit here and think “holy crap, I live here now!”
Anyways, a little bit about where I’m living. I’m in a ‘small’ town (still with a population of around 1.2 million) called Shunde, a district outside of Foshan in Guangdong Province. It is apparently famous in South China for its beautiful flower markets as well as being considered a ‘cradle’ of Cantonese cuisine.
Just a 10 minute walk from my apartment is the vast Shunfengshan Park, which I have already spent 3 days walking and cycling around. Baolin temple is an important site here, as well as the memorial to Bruce Lee who was apparently born nearby! I’m also only 5 minutes’ walk from work which is a huge bonus as there’s no metro system here in Shunde!
Despite Shunde being pretty big and busy, it is far quieter than Guangzhou (where I completed my training during my first week and a half) which is much better suited to me personally. I love that there’s peace and quiet in the park such a short walk away where I can have my dose of nature and get out of the city if I need it. I’m still well connected, with Macao less than an hour away and Hong Kong a direct ferry or bus away. I can’t wait to get out and explore!
What about the Coronovirus?
I’ve had a few questions about whether I’m likely to be affected by the current virus here in China. While I’m quite far away from Wuhan where the virus began, we are in the middle of Chinese New Year, the busiest time of year for people travelling around the country. Therefore the risk of it spreading is higher so everyone is on high alert and many shops, bars, cafes and tourist spots are closed. This has been quite frustrating as I’m eager to get out and explore the parks and temples in and around Shunde but I can’t! I’m not too worried but taking necessary precautions (eg. wearing a mask in public places) to prevent contracting the virus. Thanks to everyone who had expressed concern but please don’t worry ☺️