Published on January 4th, 2011 | by Paz10
Purchased Plane Tickets to China
We have bought our plane tickets to CHINA!!! We leave February 17, 2011.
It is official we have made our non-refundable air-plane ticket purchase. It is a done deal. We leave at 1 am on February 17, 2011. I start my new job on February 25, 2011. We arrive in Hong Kong on February 18that 12 pm. (Hong Kong time) I can’t tell you the excitement and nervousness that we feel right now. It is odd and amazing all at the same time. The only feeling I can equate it with is finding out you are pregnant….you are so excited but then at the same time you think holy crap, now what?! Why we decided to move Part 1 and Part 2.
Our flight starts in O’Hare, Chicago and then has a stop in Seoul, South Korea and next Hong Kong. Once we arrive in Hong Kong we will be greeted by the director of the school and he will take us to Guangzhou, China. We will travel via train to Guangzhou, which is 1.5 hour ride. I honestly can’t wait. How are we preparing to travel for roughly 24 hours with a 1 yr old and a 3 yr old? Well first we will start with prayer. We need lots of prayers and patience. Then we have to make sure that we keep our new motto that “Less is More”. This is so important when traveling with little kids. We recently took a 15 hour car ride with them to see my mom and we drove straight through. They were amazing. We kept a few tricks up our sleeves. I will outline them in my next post. How to travel with kids under 5 and have fun.
Getting settled will start immediately. We have about 1 week before I start my new job and our expat life begins. In that first week we will try to establish a routine with the kids as soon as possible. Getting all of us on Guangzhou time and getting our apartment cozy and feeling like home. Home is where your heart and favorite coffee mug is. I should make a plaque like that. It is true. Each of us have things like that and it is important that instead of bringing 8 pairs of shoes you incorporate a few things that make you feel cozy. For me it is my coffee mugs and framed pictures. (I am packing 1 coffee mug and about 6 framed pictures.) Zeek is packing his music equipment…that is all I have to say. Lupita is bringing a couple of picture albums, a small pink sleeping bag, her green monkey, and her princess outfit. (Can’t leave home without it) Abe wants lots of food…so he gets an extra bag of cheerios, his green monkey, a picture book with all of his friends and family. He has lots of peeps that he needs to keep in touch with.
Packing is a bit nerve racking. How do we fit our life into one suitcase and a carry on? Well I will tell you, by getting rid of all the STUFF we don’t need or use. Yes, we continue to purge and purge and purge and did I mention that we are purging. We each are bringing 3 suitcases, 4 carry ons, one camera bag/purse and 2 umbrella strollers. Yup that is it…for the year. If you had to pack enough to live for a year into 1 suitcase what would you bring? What could you not live without? I am interested in hearing what others find most valuable. I can’t tell you how much we are enjoying our mindset change to be more minimalistic. On our last trip of 13 days we brought one medium suitcase for the 4 of us. Yes, just one and it was fine. I have to admit I was a bit tired of my shirts (I only brought 4) but I washed them and no one seemed to notice that I had worn that same sweater 3 days before. Now that we are back home with more options I find myself more annoyed with getting dressed and more annoyed with doing laundry. So… I am annoyed, lol, what is new. I am going to post some pictures of our suitcases and what we are packing. Check back this Thursday….we are doing a dry run pack on Wednesday to see what other things we can donate.
Fang is staying with my sister. She is a great dog and they will have lots of fun. Don’t worry everyone.
Staying in contact with everyone is going to be way easier than we thought and not very expensive. We have our e-mail account. You can contact us @ firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have face book…yes I know you can’t access it in China, but Zeek the genius that he is has set up our own personal VPN so that we can get around the “Great Firewall of China” it is only $90.00 bucks a year. Well worth the price. He will post about this later. He gets props for this. If you “like” our face book page you will get all posts in your face book profile. You obviously can follow us here as well. Then of course the amazing invention of Skype is where you can also find us. Truly amazing. I wish I could give this inventor a big high-five. So cool. We recently sign up for a Skype number with our US local area code so that everyone from home can call us at no extra charge to them from their land line. AMAZING! It only cost us $60.00 for the year. Also on a side note…land line???
Living in Guangzhou for a year is going to be amazing.We know that there are going to be unforeseen challenges. So we are trying not to worry about them because they are unforeseen. No sense in worrying about something that I don’t know.
How we plan on making it work? The most asked question we get is, aren’t you scared about moving to a place where you don’t know the language, the culture, or what the hell to do? The second most asked questions, is what about your jobs? We understand that most people don’t get what we are doing or understand. That is okay. They aren’t suppose to get it or understand it. We are. Yup, just us. To answer these questions once and for all here it goes. No, we are not scared. We are excited and nervous of the unknown, but that is also part of the allure. It is an adventure and we are smart resourceful people who depend on our hard work and the power of prayer to get us though anything. So that is that. Second, we aren’t worried about our jobs. We obviously need to make money to survive and travel, but we have found so many different ways to make money that don’t include a 9-5 corporate job. Neither one of us is interested in climbing a corporate ladder or managing a team of 50. We want to be flexible and to spend time on what we are passionate about. We want to be able to take educational adventures with our kids while they still think we are cool. Who knows that might be over before we thought. We are not criticizing anyone who wants these things. We know the world depends on them to go round. But at this time in our life it isn’t right for us. Who knows in 10 years…again the key is being flexible. Remember Gumby…lets bring back Gumby.
Moving away from family and friends is going to be hard. Yes, this will be the hardest. It will be the hardest especially those friends and family that we see the most. The ones that fill our days with laughter and fun. The ones that we can confide in and finish a whole bottle or 2 of wine with. Yes, those are the people that this will be the hardest to move away from. Nevertheless, I will say that in our preparation for this adventure we have already made new friends in China. The warm response from people in China who are excited to help us figure things out and enjoy a good drinking night with has been overwhelming. We already have 3 dinner invitations and 4 drinking invites to cash in when we arrive. How were we able to acquire so many new acquinances? (I will put together a more in detail post later) In short, we shared our story with them and people have been extremely helpful and friendly. Please keep in mind these people were complete strangers 4 months ago and we never have officially met. I love it! We also have offered to take people to dinner as a thank you for their assistance. This is a great way for us to show our appreciation for their help and continue our friendship.
What happens next….well since this is not a book. You will have to stay posted. We are going to be leaving February 17th 2011, only 5 days after our little guy turns 1.
Thanks for checking in