I've moved many times in my life and each time I feel like the first thing to getting settled in is finding a new normal. Your new routine, figuring out where your stuff goes, what your daily schedule outside of work looks like. You know, all the little things. Well, as much as those things have been important to me in settling in here in the US, I can only imagine how much more so they'll be a necessity for settling in all the way out in China.
When I moved to Vegas, my new normal set in quickly. Doing my job at the local television station was one thing, but figuring out where I'd get groceries, which gas station was likely to be my regular, and even which streets would be most reliable in delivering me home on time all were things that set in easily and quickly. But in China, life is going to be so radically different that I just don't know what life is going to be like on the non-work side of things.
For instance, one thing might be where I get groceries, but because of the difference in price and cost of living, I might actually be eating out far more often. In that case, which food stall or local restaurant will be my regular? What about when I want to catch the newest Marvel movie? Gotta find that theater that plays English with Chinese subtitles. And what about when I'm getting homesick for food that's not common there? Gotta find the international market, too.
But that's just going out. What about once I get home? Figuring out my routine once I walk through the door, I mean, even that is going to be different. When the bathroom and kitchen are fundamentally, when the only way to watch English stuff is through VPNs, when I can't actually drink the water from the tap, even the little things are going to be completely different.
I'll have to get used to haggling for grocery prices at the wet market. Taking a two hour nap in the middle of the day at work (nice!) Being able to walk safely at 2 AM down any street in the city. Oh! And, of course, not touching the wheel of a car for the next two years.
I had a taste of this when I lived in the Netherlands, but I know this is going to be on a completely different level. And you know what? I can't wait to give it a shot.
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.