Chapter 50: The Gumption to Stay in China | Speaking of China

14 Responses

  1. Jessica
    Jessica April 5, 2010 at 6:57 am | | Reply

    I think for some people who have been abroad for a really long time (probably including me) the question becomes “do you have the gumption to return to life back home?”

    There have been times when my life in China has been difficult but I suppose that in a strange way what kept me grounded was that my life in China was fairly fun and predictable. Pre-husband and kids I knew that in China I had lots of friends, jobs were easy to get, apartments were cheap, and, while I might not have been curing cancer or ending world hunger, I was enjoying life immensely. Post-husband and kids what keeps me here, grounded so to speak, is the absolute terror that we could leave our good life here and end up at home living off of food stamps, especially in this economy. It would take the sort of gumption that I don’t have right now take my family into an unknown situation and hope for the best.

    So I’m not sure if “fear keeps me grounded” is the best answer but I think it is probably one that a lot of family breadwinners can relate to.
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Mao Zedong and Hu Jintao =-.

  2. George
    George April 5, 2010 at 9:22 am | | Reply

    As of now better to stay in China or anywhere in Asia rather than here in the US…economy is recovering but not very fast.

  3. YahumaMama
    YahumaMama April 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm | | Reply

    It sounds like you are depressingly running out of options and are trying to justify staying. Thats a very good reason to leave. China’s getting shitty – no youtube, facebook, twitter, google, bob dylan etc etc, the good days are over. The upside is you’ve done this before. Now go explore the rest of Asia (especially India!) and reinvent yourself again…if you can do China, the rest of (a much more fascinating) Asia should be a tonic…and perhaps your destiny…go for it girl, its time to move on. China has been good, but not permanent. Enjoy the memories and find your spiritual home.

  4. Crystal
    Crystal April 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm | | Reply

    I guess this is a chapter from diary which was written before Google left 🙂
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Ancient Chinese Wedding =-.

  5. J
    J April 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm | | Reply

    “Do you have the gumption to return to life back home?” is really a question for me too, which I completely agree Jessica. I started travelling to the Europe when I was 17 with fearless mind, even though I had a very little English at the time. I guess my excitement at the time overcomed all my difficulties living aboard.
    Study, travelling, and endless parties were petty and unforgettable memories. Happy days almost over now, I took a permanent job about 3 years ago and train to be professional in my field after my undergraduate studies. Until now, my job is very stable with a good pay even in this economy, it will be even better once I get qualified. However, for some reasons I am constantly having homesick lately which I never had before. Sometimes I ask myself, maybe it is the time to go back home (It will be 10 years in UK& Ireland this July…….. I can’t believe it, seriously time flies).
    The thing is that China changed a lot since I left. I don’t know if I could maintain same lifestyle here in china. Besides I have to make sure my other half will have comfortable life in China which is my main concern (she is Irish, I suppose this made even more complicated if I try to move back to China).
    So I suppose in my case, I grounded aboard without any fears because I want to experience different things when I was on my own. Now my beloved fiancée is really main reason. But I believe I will take her with me to China at some point in future.

  6. J
    J April 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm | | Reply

    Thanks. Well, trust me he will miss home in near future. By reading your previous posts, I guess you and John back US about 5 years………. Around 7 years aboard is really benchmark to get someone homesick, but it depends on different individuals I supose.

    Again, I love to read your posts. It almost becomes my everyday reading list. Well done!!!!

  7. globalgal
    globalgal April 5, 2010 at 7:22 pm | | Reply

    I’m with Jessica. I don’t have the gumption to return to the US. I haven’t lived there full time since 1999. I have considered myself a serial expat for quite some time. In our nearly 5 years in China we’ve left once, come back and then almost left again. It looks like we’re here to stay for at least another 2 years. For me, no doubt about it, I need the expat lifestyle. I need to constantly feel “comfortably bewildered.” (I’m working on a post about this concept right now so I’ve been thinking a lot about it.) Feeling this way grounds me, although that makes absolutely no sense. It helps that both my husband and I are nomadic. China is our fourth country as a married couple. I moved a gazillion times as a kid. My husband was the token foreign exchange student at a high school in New Jersey. We’re nomads! China was an unexpected destination for us, but we’ve found incredible opportunities here and have grown as a couple. We might even start a family in the next year. I have to be honest, it would be exciting to me to be able to tell my kids they were born in China. I suspect, however, that even though we won’t move back to the US, we will continue to move around the globe. My identity is all wrapped up in being an expat. I would have a very hard time adjusting to life in the US.
    .-= globalgal´s last blog ..A Little Spring Reminiscing =-.

  8. Juliet
    Juliet April 6, 2010 at 4:53 am | | Reply

    I have never been to China. My Chinese husband has never been to China. (Born in Taiwan, raised in the U.S., remember?) But we both hope to go one day. We have several friends who have been to China, and there seems to be this unexplainable draw to it. My best friend hopes to move there to teach English later this year. She fell in love with China!

    The only thing that would keep me from moving to another country is the fact that I really do love having family around. But I would love to visit someday. And maybe, when the kids are grown and my husband and I are much older, we will change our minds about living abroad.
    .-= Juliet´s last blog ..Illinois trip: Day 1 =-.

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