We have something very important to tell you:
We are not having a baby.
But that’s about the only major life change that we’re NOT experiencing right now. Everything is changing, and changing very quickly.
We’re about to embark on our biggest adventure together yet and it’s quite a big one! It is a time of great anticipation and of some trepidation. A time of uncertainty, but also of opportunity.
In just a few weeks, we will pack our bags, bid goodbye to our cozy New England home, and head to the most populated country on earth.
We’re moving to China!
Yep, China. Pretty far away, eh? Trust me, I know.
Why are we moving?
In short, we are moving to China through an opportunity presented by Justin’s job. But to say we are moving solely for his job would be misleading. We’re moving for us; for our life goals.
We’re moving because we want to.
Here’s the scoop …
We have been discussing the possibility of pursuing an overseas placement for several years now. We have been fortunate to share a deep love for travel and for exploring other cultures, which has taken us all over the world in the past two years. That’s been great.
But deep down, there is something else driving us; unfulfilled goals and life regrets gnaw away at us and leave us longing for more.
To simply travel overseas a few weeks out of the year is not enough.
We want to live there.
Not forever. Just for now.
Justin’s drive for expat life in large part stems from his childhood lived overseas, during which time his family relocated to a new continent every few years for his dad’s job. He actually did not live full-time in the United States until college. He always dreamed that his career would one day provide him with a similar opportunity for his own family. For him, being an expat living in a developing country is just normal; living in your home country is … well … a bit strange, actually.
For Justin, moving to China feels more like going home.
And for me? Well, this move is equally as important, but for a different reason. It is the fulfillment of my long-held dream to one day live overseas. I dreamed of entering the Peace Corps after college or of teaching English overseas, but in the end, I convinced myself that going to graduate school was the more responsible thing to do. Big mistake.
Sometimes being responsible can make you absolutely miserable.
There are few choices I regret more than my decision not to live and work overseas after college. I don’t want to look back on my life when I’m 70 and still kick myself over that decision.
But now, I feel like I have been given a second chance — and this time, I’m not going to talk myself out of it.
We both believe that time spent overseas, immersing yourself in another culture and forming relationships with the people, no matter how brief, is vital. If we don’t understand how the rest of the world works, how will our country remain competitive with it? If we don’t understand how differently the rest of the world lives, how will we keep the American lifestyle of superiority and over-indulgence in perspective?
We look forward to the ways in which this adventure will both challenge and change us.
What will we be doing?
We plan to be in China for at least a year. Justin is a mechanical engineer whose company is the worldwide leader in its industry. China is by far the company’s largest customer. In an increasingly globalized world where international borders mean little to commerce, this is an important professional opportunity that cannot be declined.
Although we’re moving for Justin’s job, I’ll still be working, too. A business partner and I are launching an internet marketing and copy writing firm. I’ll spend this year developing our services and growing our client base. I’ll have much to keep me busy!
In addition to our work, we both feel that living in China presents the perfect opportunity to expand our foreign language skills. We plan to enroll in Mandarin Chinese classes, and we’ll give it our best shot. Stay tuned for our adventures in language-learning, as well as travel!
Where will we be living?
That still doesn’t help? Eh, just look at the map; we’ll be living in the vicinity of that little pin.
Notice our convenient proximity to all things awesome in Asia, including but not limited to: Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, South Korea, and India.
Over the coming year, we have plans to visit each of these locations, while also exploring quite a bit of China itself.
Sound interesting? Then stay tuned! This year will be full of useful articles on Asia.
How will this website change?
It really won’t.
This site will still exist for you, not us.
The Time-Crunched Traveler will still be primarily geared toward helping YOU make the most of your limited vacation time, providing you with useful travel tips and sample itineraries that are practical and easy to follow. We may publish a few entertaining stories from time to time — and we’ll always use our own experiences to inform our travel recommendations — but we will generally stick to the same types of content for our articles, with at least two exciting additions:
1.) We plan to write more on our own reflections about travel — how it has changed us, what we have learned, and how we have grown as a result of our experiences overseas. We believe travel is not just about seeing the world and having a great time, but also about applying the lessons we learn about ourselves and others from traveling.
2.) Our new position as expats will provide us with the opportunity to acquire knowledge and share tips that will be useful to other professionals who are facing a similar life change. So, from time to time, we’ll be passing that information along through this website.
Keep in mind that, although we’ll be living in another country, we’ll also be working and studying there.
So, we’ll still be time-crunched travelers, just like you.
The only difference is we’ll have the opportunity to explore a new backyard.
Want to follow our adventures while we’re in China?
At least once a month, we’ll post an update on this site about our life in China. But, as mentioned above, going on and on about our lives and what we’re doing is not the main purpose of this site.
So, if you want to see what we’re up to on a regular basis and catch lots of great photos and humorous reflections, then you’ll want to connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter, where we’re eager to get to know you.
Where will this journey lead?
We don’t exactly know yet.
We’re going to take it one step at a time and be careful not to close any doors before they even open.
I guess it doesn’t really matter so much where we end up … it’s the journey we’re looking forward to the most.