Moving to China was a bit of a big thing for me. And actually not even something that came at all about in a planned manner or anything. I had, for a long time, juggled with the idea of moving overseas to study, and when I moved to China, my goal was only to be teaching for a little while before enrolling in a university, but I found that I quite liked teaching. I then ended up having been a teacher for more than 4 years and counting. During my time here in China I have learnt a lot about myself, about China, about language, culture, cultural differences and I have in many ways grown as a person. But to understand where I am now, I think it is important to know why I am here in the first place. So, let me try and explain what brought me to China in the first place.
I was tired and Insecure
Back in Denmark, I was not really sure of myself, what I wanted to do or even who I was by the time I finished by Bachelor’s degree at Aalborg University. I had my degree in Computer Science and Media Technology, a part time job at a local supermarket and no other plans for using my tech skills in a fulfilling job. I had realized this about two years into my three-year college degree, and the thought of going to China or South Korea had popped into my head. A different country, a new culture, beautiful girls and a possibility to earn a high salary were all very strong factors that pushed me toward that decision. And not having a relationship or a job here in Denmark, I was free to do it.
On top of my thoughts and ideas, I also felt that Denmark was boring. Don’t get me wrong, Denmark is a nice place. It is clean and quiet, we are relatively rich and our education system is decent. You can always find trouble, but Denmark is a great place. But I was not inspired by being in Denmark. Even with the prospect of moving to Copenhagen or Aarhus, the two biggest cities, I didn’t feel any excitement. And so, I wanted to change the scenery around me. Find a new place to settle down and do something, somewhere with places I had never seen before and something as different from home as possible. I also considered other places in Europe, but eventually decided that if I was going to do this, I might as well go “All In” and go to a place as different as possible.
I have also always wanted to travel more. And while I haven’t traveled as much in China as I’d like, I always wake up with a feeling like I am on holiday. Especially during the warm summers, when I lie in bed in the morning, listening to the busy people outside, it feels like I am in a hotel room when really I am just lying in my own bed. I love that feeling. But moving to China was always a way to live out a dream of living somewhere exotic or different. And living in China, it’s just that!
A land of Opportunities
China is an emerging global market and emerging global power. There is no denying the impact that China has had all over the world, and no matter what China says or does, the world is usually listening. While China certainly has it’s flaws, there are also many good things to be said about a country that actually runs quite efficiently with more than one billion people in it. Many smaller countries struggle maintaining considerably smaller populations.
There are also truly many opportunities for careers in China. I am working as a teacher, but foreigners come here for all kinds of jobs. Foreign owned restaurants, branch offices from foreign companies and even foreigners starting their own business here in China. The opportunities are endless and only your imagination can hold you back.
I wanted to do something Noteworthy
A part of my decision to move to China, definitely also came from a desire to do something noteworthy. I wanted to do something with my life, that I would be proud of, something that I could tell to my children and grand children when I get older. When I get old, I can look back at my life and say I had the courage to move across the world, to take care of myself, to love, to travel and to experience. And when I got my first job as a teacher, I felt I was actually making a difference for the students I was teaching.
As much as I wanted to make myself proud, I also wanted to make others proud of me. I wanted to show my parents that they raised a successful child, I wanted to show people around me that I could handle myself, that I could build my own dream and live it. And while I don’t want to brag, I want to show off my achievements and get recognition. I think we all do, right?
I wanted to Learn about Myself and the World
Moving across the globe away from family and friends was also a way for me to really try and stand on my own two legs. I know my parents and my family will always have my back, I know I can always ask for help and get it, but there is something about living so far away, and taking care of myself. I have managed to pay off loans, debts and to help people around me and I like the feeling of being able to really take care of myself.
I have also always had a big interest in China as a country. The history and the language is amazing albeit a tad difficult to learn and be proficient in. China has more than 6000 years worth of history to look into and a myriad of interesting places to visit full of historical context. Very few countries on Earth will offer so much in terms of culture and history as China.
Moving to China has been the best thing I ever did for myself. It has been hard at times, but it has, by far, been the richest experience of my life. And I have never regretted moving here, even though it has been tough sometimes. I have come to love this country more than I had ever imagined.