December 2018 Update

I have been too quiet on this blog. That will change next year.

What keeps me busy in Shanghai?

I meet with my Mandarin teacher (Hanyu laoshi) 1-2 times per week. It is a difficult language to learn, but I keep working at it. I spend time every day listening to native speakers…hoping to be able to understand part of what they are saying. I can usually pick out individual words, but full comprehension just isn’t there yet.

I am the board secretary for the American Club Shanghai (ACS). This is one of my volunteer positions. ACS is a great group, and I expect to take on more responsibility next year.

I am on the editorial team for Courier magazine, which is the publication of the Shanghai Expatriate Association (SEA). This also is a volunteer position. My role will change next year, and I expect that transition (top secret for now) to give me an opportunity to expand my skill set.

I play mahjong every Friday with SEA. Not only is this a fun social experience, but it is also good “exercise” for my brain as I strategize each game.

I play “may I” every Wednesday with Brits Abroad Shanghai. It is a card game similar to rummy and “phase 10.” This also is social as well as more brain exercise.

I have done some traveling. I just posted some of those stories to minnesotatoshanghai.com. I have more to post.

As a shy introvert I need to push myself constantly to find more opportunities to meet people. Making friends has been harder than I expected, but like the language, I keep working at it. ACS, SEA and Brits Abroad all offer a variety of events and activities every week.

And lately, I’ve been attending all of the parties put on by the expat groups, in addition to a few private parties also. Here some are pictures from holiday parties.

 

I made an unplanned trip back to Minnesota in November. My husband went home for emergency eye surgery. He is healing well and hopefully will get most of his vision back. Because of this trip I was able to spend Thanksgiving in the US. I really enjoyed spending time with my dad, brothers and their families.

I leave Shanghai Thursday so I can spend Christmas in Minnesota. I am very excited, but I will miss my Shanghai life, and Dave, as he is staying in China for the rest of the year.

Just before my husband flew home for his surgery his boss asked him if he’d like to extend his work in Shanghai beyond the originally planned two years. I surprised myself by immediately agreeing that we should stay longer. I agreed to this adventure because I want to see all of Asia. One more year just won’t be enough for me to do everything I want to do. There are others reasons also I think we should stay, but I will work those into more content to post here.

More to come in 2019…..

Happy holidays!!

Last day of work

Today is my last day of work. How long will I be out of the workforce? That is undetermined at this time.

I am going to miss my colleagues. I am going to miss my clients. But will I miss going to an office every day? Maybe. Maybe not. I feel ready for this new phase of my life.

I have left many jobs. I am not leaving this job because I don’t like the work or the company or the boss. I am not leaving because I found a different position in a different company. I am leaving my job, and moving to Shanghai to support my husband and his career.  #expat

And I am leaving my job because this opportunity gives me a chance to fulfill a dream – travel. A China assignment specifically gives me closer access to places that were not previously on my bucket list: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia (just to name a few).

Not having a job is a big change for me. But I don’t plan to be a Peg Bundy and sit on the couch all day eating chocolates. I will volunteer, travel, write, take photos, and do some freelance work. But I feel like I need a label for what I will be doing for the next 18 months. I guess the label is something close to “unpaid vacation.”

Now…time to pack my bags!