I’ve been calling China my “home” now for the good part of three years. This seems pretty crazy to me. I first came here on a six month internship with every intention of going to Australia for a year or two-long working holiday after. Oh how things change…
After finishing my internship, I soon realised that I wasn’t ready to return to the “western world”. China is a massive country with so much to see and do. The culture here is pretty unique – even after three years I’m still experiencing new things everyday. After a two week trip home, followed by a two week trip to Bangkok and Cambodia, I was ready to continue my adventure in Chengdu, China… For another six months (or so I thought).
It’s strange how quickly you can become comfortable somewhere. Everybody does it. At home, I fell into a pretty “comfortable” routine of working two jobs, seeing friends when I could and saving money for a trip that was yet to begin. I wouldn’t say I particularly enjoyed it, but I was comfortable doing it. I was used to it and it’s what I knew. After a couple of months in Chengdu, I found myself feeling very comfortable teaching every weekend and a few evenings a week, seeing my friends, and just generally living here.
After another six months here, I realised my China journey was far from over. “Just another six more months” I told myself. Again, I was very wrong.
Life isn’t about feeling comfortable. It’s about living. You should do new things as often as possible. Everyone should be that “cool old person” they know with a thousand stories to tell. That’s who I want to be, anyway. After a year and a half living in China, I decided to finally start a degree programme. I’ve always had an interest in languages, and where better to study Chinese than China itself? (Not to mention the education fees and living costs are much cheaper here!)
But, once again, I’ve found myself in a very comfortable place. I have great friends, an amazing boyfriend and even have two pet cats! I’m used to going to uni five days a week (even if it is a massive struggle to get out of bed for an 8:30am class every morning). I’m used to working whatever job it is I happen to have at the time (I’ve just finished a 9 month stint of “scriptwriting and acting” – something I’d never have done in England). Don’t get me wrong, my life here is a lot more interesting to me than it was three years ago, but I still don’t think I’m getting the most out of China. I’m very comfortable in Chengdu.
And with that, I’ve decided to take up blogging again. I tried to blog regularly during my first year in China. Everything was new. Everything was exciting. But I think I started taking that for granted. People want to read about “crazy adventures” not “everyday life”. So, I’m going to try and take mini adventures more often. As I said before, not only is China a huge country with so much to see and do, but the world is even bigger! I want to see it all.