Sunday, June 4, 2017

NYC

Watching the Manhattan Skyline go by from the ferry

I spent a week down in New York City as part of the final stages of processing my work visa for China. I needed to come down here to go to the Chinese Consulate to apply for the visa, which I finally just received on Thursday, after about three and a half months of organizing all the paperwork. There is one more document I'm waiting on, and then I'm off to Nanning at last!

The nice thing about visiting the consulate here was the opportunity to do a lot of sight-seeing while waiting around for the visa to be processed. Below are some of the highlights:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Technical Difficulties

Just  a quick update, in case anyone is wondering what's happened to this blog. I've been having computer issues for a while now which is why I haven't been keeping up with my goal of posting every Monday and Friday. I'd really like to get back to posting at least once a week soon, provided my laptop decides to cooperate.

I'm still staying with my sister near Boston for now, working on getting the last few documents ready for my Chinese work visa. If all goes well, I should be headed to Nanning for my new job in a couple of weeks. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Paperwork, paperwork & more paperwork

Ugh...

Well, unsurprisingly, the road to China is a bumpy one, cluttered with seemingly endless amounts of bureaucracy and paperwork. I accepted a job at a college in Nanning in mid-February, and it's now nearly May and I am still trying to get all the boxes ticked on the laundry list of things I need for a work permit.

It's definitely been the slowest and most arduous process of any of the countries I've worked in so far. Luckily, the end is finally in sight.

Monday, April 3, 2017

U.K. Visit: Brighton

The West Pier in Brighton

One of my favorite places that we visited while I was in the U.K was the city of Brighton, located on the southern coast of England on the ocean. I went with Anna for the weekend and we visited some of her old friends from university.

Brighton became a popular summer holiday destination during the Victorian era, so a lot of the architecture and famous landmarks are from that time. As a seaside city, Brighton has a nice beach where we spent a lot of our time. The beach is a great place to wander around with plenty of shops, art galleries, food and pubs, and it's most famous landmark, the Brighton pier. 


Walking the beach in Brighton

Friday, March 31, 2017

From England to New England

Hello Boston!

As I explained in the last post, I've decided to accept a position teaching in China next, which will be starting soon. However, the visa process for China is turning out to be longer and more complicated than any other country I've worked in thus far. So I decided to use the extra free time while I wait for my work visa to visit family in the U.S.

I just got back stateside a couple weeks ago and I'm having a great time staying with my sister and nephew James at their new apartment in Massachusetts. I've been keeping busy here helping home school James and working on my Mandarin. I'm also really enjoying exploring Boston and New England, a part of the U.S. I've never been to before.

Although, I have to say, I'm not enjoying the weather much. The week I arrived there were actual blizzard conditions here, with on and off again power outages that are really not good for my nephew, who has special medical needs. And people say that England has bad weather! Luckily things are finally warming up now.

I was welcomed to Massachusetts by a blizzard and power outages... 

I have at least one more post about my time in the U.K. I'd like to catch up on, and then as I do more sight-seeing here I will do some posts about that. I'll also post more about the China job hunting and visa process, in case anyone reading is considering working there.

I already miss the U.K. and Anna and her family. It was really fun staying there and getting to know Bristol, and I can't wait to get back there again soon. Also really looking forward to seeing Anna again in China!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Getting ready for China

Beautiful Guangxi, China (amazing photo from Trey Ratcliff at Stuckincustoms.com)

Well, it's official now - I've accepted a new job at an international college in Nanning, China. It's located in the Guangxi region, which is in the southwest near the border with Vietnam. From the photos I've seen of Guangxi so far, it looks beautiful and tropical with some of the most incredible landscapes in all of China, especially in the Guilin area.



Terraced rice fields near Guilin in Guangxi (photo credit)


I'll be teaching English to first and second year university students, as well as potentially doing some subject classes. One subject I may do is teacher training for those students who plan to teach English in the future. Teacher training is definitely something I'm interested in doing someday, so it's really exciting to have the opportunity to do that with this job.

Monday, March 20, 2017

U.K. Visit: Oxford

University of Oxford

Oscar Wilde, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lewis Carroll, Tolkien, Jeanette Winterson, Aung San Suu Kyi, Prince Naruhito from Japan, C S Lewis, T E Lawrence, Stephen Hawking, Gandhi, T S Eliot, and a long list of many more influential people, all share something in common: they studied at the University of Oxford.

I'm an avid reader so following the footsteps of some of my literary heroes during my U.K. travels has been really exciting. Just walking the streets around Oxford, surrounded by old stone buildings and narrow alleys, you have the feeling that you could turn a corner and run into one of the greatest writers, leaders, scientists, human beings of recent history.

I only spent a day in Oxford so this will be a brief description, but the beauty of the architecture in and around the university really impressed me. We started off just walking through the university grounds, which were a mix of gardens and tiny paths that cut past warm stone halls and libraries. 


Beautiful gardens on the Oxford campus