How My life has changed after two years living abroad!

When I decided to leave home about two years ago, it wasn’t an easy decision but one I am euphoric I made. I don’t think I would have experienced or become the person I am today if I had not have left home in September of 2014.

Now one year out of China and 5 Asian countries explored I am extremely grateful and do not regret my decision for one minute.

I remember the person I was two years ago heading into the unknown afraid but masking it by putting on a brave face.Heaven forbid I let my parents and family see my fear as I head into China a country we do not know very much about other than the fact it is extremely far from anything we are used to. Fast forward one year, I learnt to teach, I grew in confidence with being around children.( something I was not confident in), I managed to communicate in a new language, travel around China speak to many different people and make amazing real relationships with the best people.

As eager as I was to leave and try something new I was not prepared to leave a place so unfamiliar but an area that had served as home and the friends I had made my new family. Filled with tears of sadness but tears of excitement it was a strange time.

China was just stepping stone in my bigger picture I had no idea how China had prepared me for life outside of China until that day I packed up all my belongings and left for the greater unknown.

China taught me never to give up especially when the going gets tough.

China taught me to be confident.

China taught me to be strong.

China taught me to be brave.

China taught me to stop hiding.

China taught me patience.

Slowly as the year manifested and did its thing full of ups and downs I left with my head held high and the confidence knowing I hacked China for a year one of the hardest places to live.

I remember leaving for Hong Kong feeling like I was superwomen like I had some magical power. As if I was in prison for a year and finally saw the sunshine (ok not that dramatic but you catch my drift) I was sole alone just me against the world needing to figure out how I was going to travel around Asia for three months, and I wasn’t afraid of anything. I would not be able to do this if it wasn’t for the lessons I had learnt in China.

I ventured through Asia for three months came out with a few scrapes and bruises a few hospital visits but alive living the best version of myself. I had appreciated everything the beauty I saw was indescribable the joy I felt was magical. The saying hard work pays off became real I was so proud of myself for reaching this point. The best part was that my true happiness I was feeling on the inside showed on my face in my confidence to strike up conversations with random people. The law of attraction to bring the best people into my life at the right time made me believe more and more in the mighty God I serve.

I believe now more than ever that God has a plan for my life I don’t know my end destination, but I love that this journey has brought me to now South Korea. It wasn’t an easy task after having the beast journey and going home seeing all my loved ones. Getting to eat everything I missed and do all the things I told all the travellers I met to do when they visit Cape Town. It was good. The high I was on quickly subsided and felt depressed again. 28 with no job living at home with mum and dad it did depress me but also it motivated me not to give up on the dream I just lived.

It has lead me here to this very apartment where I live by myself still living an incredible adventure all while giving back to the kids I teach every day.

China has prepared me so much for South Korea I am a confident teacher, teaching and talking to kids is easy for me now and the job is easy compared to how I struggled back in China. Travelling around a country where I don’t speak the language is a piece of cake it is still frustrating from time to time, but I am so used to it it’s normal for me now. I am just more confident in myself and the people I have met have been special blessings in my life.

I am only 3months in, and I feel I have done and seen so much. Not for one second have I doubted my decision to be exactly where I am.  I thank you, China for leading me here and I thank God for keeping me safe and showing me I am on the right path.

Let’s see where this journey shall take me!!

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥

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My China Round Up

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So where do I begin? This is a damn good question. I cannot believe where time has gone. A year ago, I was heading into the unknown and I have been living the “expect the unexpected” life ever since.

What can I say about my year in China? From its ups and downs, to its drunk, happy, sad times, the surprise visit from my mom, to one of the highlights of my year – going to the Great Wall of China! Sitting there in peace, it was a dream come true and I loved every minute of it!.

In life we will experience many things and China living this expat life, these things seem to happen so fast. From making fast friends who become your family, adapting to new traditions and making a home for yourself.

Life is so easy and cheap once you manage to put your blinkers on and not be too fussed by the racism if you of a darker skin tone( not something I often ignore considering where I come from). The staring, the spitting, the yelling, the full buses and bad taxis and bus drivers. Once you master the art of ignoring those things, you will fit right in. Saying Ni hao (hello) and Xiexie( thank you) will come out so naturally while the Chinese yell laowai (foreigner).

When forced to deal with so many cultural differences you are forced to gain a lot of patience and overcome many challenges. I am still deadly afraid of groups of Chinese people. I like individuals lol. Do not travel around China during any festival or national holiday, get out of the country, you will thank me later!

I have grown into the confident young woman I am today and see myself living my dream each day. I take my hat off to all teachers across the world now, having wet my fingers in the teaching pool. It’s a hard job. I thank every teacher and lecturer that has ever taught me; I now know what a hard time it is to be a teacher. If you have that passion to teach and shape minds of the young people, it can be one of the most rewarding jobs ever.

I know each child I taught may not remember me in a few years. Knowing I had a chance to help them improve in some small way, makes putting up with China and the small nuances I didn’t like, bearable.

I have tested myself in so many ways. I can now confidently say I like young kids. A few months ago I wasn’t so sure if I could do this but now the pressure is off and I am as silly as 3-year-old. I have improved as a teacher and I managed to travel. My dream was accomplished by lots of perseverance and hard work. I cannot forget all the support and love from my Chinese sisters and my South African sister, bestie and friend. Without her being with me along the way, I don’t know how I would have managed. So Stacey, if you are reading this, a thousand times Thank You!!

If you are at at a crossroads and weighing up future options…. I highly recommend that you travel and just see the world. Even if it’s for a short stay, you don’t need buckets of money and you don’t need any excuses. My advice is do it and do it now!!

Here are a few of my round up China pictures from Hangzhou where I lived, my trip to Beijing and Suzhou and bits of Shanghai when my mom came to China Town!

Peace love and Happiness

xxx

Cherry ♥

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Life lessons Learnt While Living Abroad!

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Life is made up of many events that lead to pivotal moments that will change your life more so than others. Me being in China has taught me so many life lessons made up of the strangest moments life throws at you.

Life Lesson 1 – Don’t take anything for granted.

Celebrate the small things, the simple things in life. Even something as simple as bread milk and cheese.( which is not something you can find easily here) Not getting lost every day and communicating successfully in a foreign language just to mention a few. Take time out to recognise these small victories and celebrate them.

Life Lesson 2 – Never get too comfortable.

As easy as, things, people and opportunities may land on your lap it’s as easy as it can be removed. Don’t get attached, and comfortable life has a way of throwing you curve balls you will never expect. (expect the unexpected.)

I think the reality of living abroad is the hardest because you can easily get attached to people you become fast friends with that become your family. This life is temporary and as easily as they come into your life it’s as easy as they will leave your life. Saying Goodbyes the hardest part.

Life Lesson 3 – Be prepared.

Always be ready and prepared for everything.Have the attitude to handle things as they come because they will come, and it can be anything and you can handle it. What get’s me through this one is I constantly remind myself that God never gives you anything you cannot handle.

Life Lesson 4 – Become a doer.

Stop thinking that inevitable “what if” just get up and do it. You have nothing to loose but so much more to gain.

Life Lesson 5 –  Be yourself

It’s so easy to turn into someone else when you  in a foreign country where nobody knows who you are or if you are running away from something back home. Take this opportunity to test your boundaries discover who you are and don’t change but be true to yourself and enhance the real person you are.

Time has truly gone by so fast seven months in China, and One trip to the hospital, a few bruises, no kids have died in my care, and I am still going strong.

I have avoided the inevitable where to from here question, which I am still avoiding but time will tell, and I know all will be made clear soon I hope.

My life has truly been turned upside down living here but in a good way but dealing with lack of internet and connectivity to the world has by far been the hardest one.

Hope you enjoy this post its really overdue I do  appologise. I will be posting some more travel Diary posts soon I have been to some really awesome places in China.

Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥

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Breaking the Silence

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I cannot believe it’s almost March of 2015 it feels like it was just Christmas yesterday and I managed to post my last post before the dreaded great Fire wall of China came and blocked me off almost all social media. Hence the reason why there has not been much activity on any of my social media networks, and any social networking geek like me, worse nightmare come true.

Even though that happened life goes on with no online social activity but it has forced me to ditch the phone random status making and instagraming and I had to make real connections with people I see every day. So in the midst of my social networking withdrawals I am alive and made it back on your screens today who knows how long this spell may last but for now I am back.

Where do I start 5 months in China and I am loving it, so much has happened to me in the last few months it is actually unbelievable.  I have traveled to Shanghai like five times visited the south of China Sonya during new years it was amazing to escape the bitter cold and be in the sun for a few days. I have celebrated my Birthday, my mom came to visit me, I have moved to a bigger apartment and gained an extra housemate.   I celebrated my first Chinese New Year, had friends from Cape Town come to visit me and did a solo mission to Shanghai to visit a friend. I have met some incredible people along the way ended up in awkward situations, miserably cold situations, had the most incredible deep conversations about love life and everything else, and I am still going strong.

I still have no clue where the future may lead me, but I am happy being here and focussing on me and pushing my boundaries as a person. So with that being said my Motto Expect the Unexpected 2015 has proven to be living up to its motto for this year.

I can honestly recommend if you are feeling unsure and unhappy where you are right now in your life to make a change even if it’s just a holiday or short term travel. It will surely give you a new perspective on life.

I was once that girl living vicariously through other people on Facebook and secretly wishing that was me being brave and tackling the world.  It started with me making a decision and sticking to it, and I do not regret that decision for anything. Nothing in life is easy but hard work and believing in yourself is so important anything you put your mind too can be done.

I will be posting more about my trips around China so keep posted for that coming soon.

It feels good to be back. Hope you all are doing great and 2015 has been treating well thus far.

Cherry ♥

 

Tis the Season to be Jolly!

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Wow, another Christmas away from home. I remember last year I was on my way to Thailand getting ready for a trip that completely changed my life. If I had known that, that trip would have had the snowball effect of events that it has had for me this year I am not sure I would have believed it.

I am here in China been for almost four months now and still going strong. Life has been good to me since I started to let go of the negative thoughts and start living in the moment. I finally feel settled in with School teaching life. We took a short trip Shanghai earlier this month, and it was just what the doctor ordered. I needed to remind myself why I was in China to live out my passion for travel meeting new people and just enjoying life and learning from others.

With Christmas on our doorstep, it’s strange to be away from home but we have had so many festivities to keep us busy that it has made it easier to be away.

We hosted our Christmas Party last Sunday, and it was so much fun for the kids. We even did a Nativity play, and I was a wise man. Who would have thought I would be singing Christmas carols to kids and dancing on a stage and performing a nativity play in China. (This is my life now.)

I am happy right now the friends I have made so far are awesome the long conversations of intellectual nothingness at times have been well fascinating and fun. The crazy nights out and the random slang we pick up all adding to my Chinese experience.

I am looking forward to Christmas this year Christmas Eve I am trying to find a church for a Christmas service as I do really miss going to Church. Then we have Christmas party with other teachers and on Christmas Day our school has paid for a Christmas lunch for us at a fancy Hotel, so we get to experience a real Christmas after all.
I received the best Christmas/ Birthday present ever my Moma Bear aka my Mom is coming to visit me early next month. I cannot contain my excitement. Cannot wait to show her this crazy world called China.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and may this time be spent with your family and loved ones and show some love to all those around you. I will leave you all with some of my festive pictures from our Christmas party the other night.
Have an awesome festive season, and I say this all the time and I will try my best to post regularly.

Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥

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Don’t be like the Falling Leaves….

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I have had a case of writer’s block not because my minds hit a blank, and I am staring at the keyboard, and all I see are letters in front of me. More so because I have so much going on in my head I cannot quite focus all my thoughts.

I have tried to write this post like ten times but gave up half way because I am not sure what I am writing. The last few weeks in China have been hard for me emotionally, I may not show it but it’s been tough.

I knew packing my life up and heading into the unknown would have its ups and downs, but something you can never truly be prepared for. I have missed three family members birthdays in the last three weeks one being my Sister, and she loves birthdays it was sad that I could not spend the day with her. I even missed the opportunity to meet my cousin’s new wife since they live in America now and had a South African wedding. The wedding was magical, so I hear and my mom had the opportunity to officiate the service, and my dear Courteney did a bible reading. So its moments like these that get me down. That’s the sad part of living abroad moments like these will never happen again.

Then I remind myself that living in China was my choice and to beat myself up about it will only keep me falling and spiraling down into a dark place. I just need to keep moving forward.
I have met so many people, and a common question is why China and where to from here? My programmed response is I didn’t choose China; China chose me, and where to from here well I always say I am not sure will see what happens.

I love that I am meeting all these foreign people with such crazy outlooks on life. The nomadic spirit of travel and adventure gushing out as they speak each word of lands yet to be traveled and things to be seen heard and experienced first-hand. Listening to them inspires me and just reminds me of what I am doing here and see the bigger picture. I am living a dream I dreamt of for many years.

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Life isn’t easy no matter where you live, but it’s up to us to make a conscious decision to be happy take the good with the bad and keep moving forward.

I have been overwhelmed with negative thoughts lately not because I hate China but more so because of my insecurities. Maybe that stems down to childhood trauma of my fear of failing and being too happy because I feel it will never last. But that’s another can of worms I need to open on another day…

I am not going to say I love teaching the fact that I am a teacher still scares me, but I am going to award myself for trying it’s been almost three months. No kid has been harmed and neither had I even though I do feel like running out at times.

There are aspects of teaching I do like. Knowing I have the opportunity to mould these young kids minds and teach them a language that can help them in so many ways in the future is fulfilling. Watching kids get things right and genuinely have fun is rewarding.

As the weather changes and the crisp cold air hits my nose, and the falling leaves hit the ground as winter days roll in I will not fall with it. I am making a conscious choice to take more risks have more fun and leave the negative thoughts behind me. (easier said than done I know) If I don’t, I will fall with the leaves and be blown away. I am here for a reason, and I’m going to make the most of it even when school gets me down, and I run out of ideas. When I’m placed in situations, I am deadly afraid of I will take the bull by the horns and try my very best.

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As the year heads into a close, I am going to focus on the things I love like this blog that I have been neglecting and saving up for a new camera. So I can focus on my photography again.

Get up and make a difference in your world no matter how big or small it is change starts with you. Live more allow yourself to be truly happy, you never too young or too old to change the way you think or do something.
I will be posting more I have been to some awesome places little coffee shops, awesome restaurants and headed to Shanghai again soon. We doing a little trip over new years and my birthday that I am deadly excited for too so there will be loads to share with you all.

Don’t be like the falling leaves getting blown away stand tall like the trees, live more, laugh loud and have fun!!!

Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥

Photo Credit; Teresa Zhou

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Off to the Amusement Park we Go!

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Last week a group of teachers local and foreign decided to go the Hangzhou amusement park. Waking up early and heading out on an adventure was just what I needed as I sill feel like such a foreigner in this city.

The journey took us a bus ride in peak time, and a train ride later taking us about an hour to get to the area where the amusement park is.We then had to navigate ourselves to the actual park. Walking to the bus stop, a women convinced us to go with her, she had a van and would take us for the same price of as a bus. We all agreed and got lead to a dodgy looking van like we were about to get Kidnapped Lol Jokes aside we arrived alive…

With very little idea of what to expect we were all excited to get in and see what this place was all about.Since its October and the month of Halloween, the park was decorated in a Halloween theme. They had actors dressed like zombies scaring people and doing random flash mobs from time to time.

The first ride we went on was the Rollercoaster it’s not very big and its very quick. It was fun, but you move around a lot and can be very painful. The rides in the park are very mediocre. Nothing too crazy and even our Rangtanga Junction back home in Cape Town can beat this place, but it was fun to see and experience and be out with friends.

One thing that’s for sure is Chinese People get scared so quickly.There is a haunted house in the park, but it’s a dark house with a few rooms you walk around in with a few scary props here and there. It was so silly not scary at all, and our Chinese friends that were with us were so scared it was crazy a real good laugh.

If you have been to any other amusement park, you will really laugh at this one it is very lame. I enjoyed being out and having to see it and go on all the rides reminded me of being kid again.

I would say this place is to be enjoyed in a group so you can maximize your fun, but I wouldn’t recommend going if you alone. It was a fun day out and especially working the way we do in the week when it comes to down time we need to let our hair down and have some fun.

So overall I enjoyed the day out but will give Hangzhou Paradise a 4/10 based on rides and entertainment value.

Let me know the best amusement park you have ever been too in the comments. Hope you all are well and welcome to all my new subscribers Thank you for joining my adventures in China and who knows where else I may end up….

Peace love and Happiness

 

Cherry ♥

 

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