Before the age of 5, I moved 4 times. Georgia, Chicago, Denver & Houston. Then, I moved to Dallas when I was 12 and. Dallas is my home town and my parents still live there. But, since leaving for college, I have not had the same address for more then 3 years at a time. Is that strange? My friend who is into astrology says that is a trait of my sign; sagitarius get bored easily. I lived in New Orleans, back to Dallas, Tallahassee (Go Noles!), back to Dallas, Washington DC, Silver Spring, Maryland, back to Dallas, Jacksonville and China.
Living in Shenzhen China for over 5 years for me is a long time. It is weird to live in the foreignnest (not a word, but I like the way it sounds) of foreign countries for longer then I have stayed anywhere in a long time. But, based on my history, the move to Shanghai is long over due.
Every move has its difficulties, but moving to Shanghai has been especially unique. Dealing with movers who don’t speak english, highway restrictions and regulations (You can’t drive commercial trucks on city street except during a specific time), moving company employees quitting in route. One of the guys that works for us who was supervising the move said he had not been as upset in the 6 years he had worked for us combined then he was on that single day of the move.
Moving from southern China to Shanghai is like a native to Alabama moving to New York City. It is very different. 25 years ago, Shenzhen was rice fields. Now it is one of the fastest growing urban areas in China. But, it has a very young population. For most of the people in Shenzhen, they have come to the city from farms and villagepuff the farm. They work all year long and take 10 – 20 hour train rides home once per year to visit their family and take money home.
Shanghai, on the other hand is one of the oldest cities in China, but it is the most westernized city in China,as well. There are a lot of foreigners. Just below my apartment there is a Starbucks, Subway and McDonald’s all in the same block. And, it has a metro system that takes you all over the city. After being stuck on the outskirts of Shenzhen with no quick access to public transportation, this is going to me mean freedom for me.
I have been doing some research and they have an expat learning center with writing courses, a fitness center from Australia that offer boot camps all over the city. There are movies theaters with recently released movies and stadium seating. It has all the comforts of modern living and I am excited to take advantage of it all. Plus it is China, so even more opportunities to explore this countries culture in history from a new perspective.
I am happy to be moving to Shanghai, it will be a welcome change of pace from the isolated place I have been in for the last 5 years.
My goal is to take advantage of all Shanghai has to over, until I move again.
Have you moved around like me or have you lived in the same place all your life? How many different places have you moved?