Totally didn’t think this would be so long, but a major event requires major reflection and explanation so read on…
I thought about waiting until I officially picked up my visa tomorrow (the process of which has literally brought me to tears), but as I am quite impatient and have nothing else to do, I’m announcing what could be a major life event for me:
On July 16, I’m heading to China, perhaps indefinitely.
Now, I use “could” and “perhaps” because I do have a return ticket booked for August 20, but the idea is that I will be living on my own (after my mom has helped me get started and connected with some family and friends), with the goal of determining whether I can and feel comfortable enough to, well, live and work independently in China, specifically Guangzhou.
I owe the ease of making this decision to my four months in Shanghai just last year, where I really did see myself living in a different country. But if for some reason China doesn’t work out, I’ll use that return ticket. I actually didn’t even want to book that return flight so soon, but my mom insisted the roundtrip ticket only cost a little bit more than a one-way. Maybe she and my dad also have doubts that I would be able to do it, but I’m so grateful that they continue to support me and my not-so-cheap endeavors as I attempt to figure out my life.
There are actually reasons other than not liking China for returning. The main one being any job back in the States. In fact, I have an offer to work on a three-month project in Boston for a considerable amount. The company wanted me to start immediately, and despite having already booked my trip to China, the co-founders said they would be happy to connect again when I return. So I’ll have to check by the end of August to make sure they still want me, but it could be one reason for returning. And who knows? Maybe one of the countless jobs I’ve applied to in the U.S. will want me. Anyway, if not, I do have a great opportunity in Guangzhou that I will go with if necessary (not exactly what I want to do but it’s a start). So another reason to return would be if I don’t find fitting work opportunities in China.
The thing is, it’s easy to see how I would not use that return ticket. In addition to acclimation and networking for the right job, I want to spend my time in Guangzhou traveling to other parts of Asia, including Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea after MERS… Even if I do get a job, either somewhere in Asia or the U.S., I probably would not start until September, meaning I really need to use the free time I have to do what I love—travel. And what’s even more exciting about this is that I might spend it traveling with my French-Moroccan guy 😉
Anyway, even though it is so easy to see all these possibilities (and get super excited about them), it can only go one way, and that way will remain uncertain for a really, really long time. A few months seem like a decade right now, especially when unemployment remains a painful headache constantly making me think I’m not good enough and can’t support myself. I know that things will eventually work out, but it doesn’t make it any less difficult.
So the most certain thing—without even officially having my visa until tomorrow, gosh—is that I’m shipping off to China in less than a month. Before then, I’ll visit my sister who is studying (tbh, partying) abroad in Prague. Then I’ll have a week before it’s goodbye to toilet paper in public toilets and hello to squatting—LOL, alright, aaand amazing food, necessary family meetups, exciting new adventures, and above all, a new chapter.
And of course, I’ll record it all on my blog 😉