Perception vs. Reality

There are so many ways that living abroad is universal regardless of your location or home country. It takes a while to assimilate into any a new place and learn a new language, but some places are just naturally magnets for expats like Shanghai. As a foreigner here, you are in good company with several... Continue Reading →

Giving birth in China: part 2

A few months ago, we had our second son here in Shanghai. Now that it’s all said and done it feels like a total nonevent, but it certainly was a common topic of conversation leading up to the big day. I was asked by family and expat friends alike how I felt about giving birth... Continue Reading →

Can your friendship survive repatriation?

Summer in Shanghai is repatriation time. As the school year ends, families say goodbye to their time abroad, often returning to the same place (and life) they had before. Sometimes people begin new lives in another foreign country, but either way there’s an adjustment for the friends who leave and the friends who stay behind.... Continue Reading →

Resolutions: the start of year three

Last week marked the two-year anniversary of our arrival in Shanghai. So much in our lives has changed since that first lonely week in our new home. We returned from a summer in the US and easily settled back into the school/ayi/work/activities life we had carved out for ourselves over the past two years. Everything... Continue Reading →

Holiday loneliness

Today is the 4th of July in the US, typically one of the most fun weeks of the summer as people skip work and spend time with friends and family at BBQs, fireworks shows, and town parades. Here in China, it’s just Wednesday. Due to several life circumstances (new baby, traveling husband, best China friend... Continue Reading →

Abroad in Australia

I started this blog to talk to moms in Shanghai who are in a similar situation as me—away from family and friends, potentially for the first time, and trying to figure out how to make a life for themselves in a totally foreign land. After a year and a half meeting friends from all over... Continue Reading →

New year, new start

Happy New Year, everybody! It’s taken me a little bit to get back into the swing of life here in Shanghai. I admit, I was not super excited about coming back home after our month in the States. Yes, I wanted our routine again, and I was tired of living out of a suitcase, but... Continue Reading →

The holiday hurry-up

The end of the year always brings with it the anticipation of family holidays, the rush to see friends at holiday parties, and the excitement of opening presents with little ones. As an expat, I feel a need to hurry up and get into the holidays even more than I did when I lived at... Continue Reading →

A Conversation on Perspective

When we accepted this expat assignment, my husband and I had family goals we wanted to achieve while living abroad. I also had a few that were just for my own growth and development. One thing I really wanted to focus on was being open to exploring and understanding other ways of life. I wanted... Continue Reading →

1 year in

Yesterday was our one-year anniversary of living in Shanghai. I thought it would feel more momentous somehow, and it ended up being just another day. But I think that's good. I think it means I have finally stopped thinking of myself as someone who just moved here, and instead look at my life here as... Continue Reading →

Is ex-pat life itself enough?

What is it like to be an accidental ex-pat? So much of what we think of when we imagine the ex-pat lifestyle is a conscious choice to branch out and explore new countries, either solo or with your family. But what if the path to ex-pat life is only a path in retrospect? Today we’re... Continue Reading →

Not good enough?

A common thread when meeting ex-pats on their journey through Shanghai is that most of them have much more experience being “away from home” than you do. As a first-time ex-pat, the events, activities, adventures, and feelings are all new for me. But for many of the women I meet, this is just the latest... Continue Reading →

The not-so-long goodbye

In almost a year of living in Shanghai, only recently did I experience my first true initiation into ex-pat life: a good friend moved back home. I knew it was coming, as she and her husband had alluded to the potential for months. But their final exit came fast, something I know now to be... Continue Reading →

Saving mianzi

When I first moved to Shanghai, I was so excited to be connected with a woman around my age and in my neighborhood who could introduce me to Shanghai. We’ll call her Alexa. Alexa was bubbly, always ready to offer tips on places to buy food, take the kids to play, and where to go... Continue Reading →

Does she really have it all?

The other day I was reading a very reputable Shanghai magazine and came across an article that really frustrated me. The story profiled a working mother who seemed to easily and effortlessly balance being a full-time mother to a young child and full-time employee for her company here in Shanghai. I am sure this woman... Continue Reading →

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