I can’t believe that we’ve already been in Beijing for three (3!) months now!  It truly has been a wonderful experience so far, and I’m so happy we took advantage of this opportunity.  I am looking forward to what the next months hold!

Nothing’s Perfect

Living overseas isn’t perfect (what is?) but it’s pretty darn amazing (if you allow it to be).  Before moving here, I really didn’t want to live in a city.  img_0888I also didn’t want to live in a place with bad pollution.  And now, after three months, I really like our life here in the city.  It’s cool to say that I now have the experience of living in a city-walking to places, using public transportation, etc.  As for the pollution, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.  I thought I would have to wear a mask practically every day, but that’s not the case.  I just appreciate the clean air days more!  The hardest part about moving would probably be leaving my family and friends, but FaceTime, Facebook, and emails have all made the move that much easier.  I have really enjoyed myself and this new life these past three months.  I’m sure the next months will be just as awesome!

New Perspectives

When you live in another country, especially one with such a different culture and a different language, it can give you a different point of view.

Before moving to Beijing, I taught first grade.  Talking with coworkers, I’ve always heard how your teaching changes once you have kids.  I haven’t experienced that aspect yet, but through this experience of living in another country, I can see how my teaching will change too once I get back in the classroom.

I taught in a very transient school with lots of military families (and other transient families).  I’ve had lots of students come and go throughout the year.  I could only imagine the difficulties when packing up your house and moving (especially at an awkward point in the year), but now I know firsthand.  Firsthand knowledge definitely gives you a new perspective.  Knowing how this lifestyle can be when you have to pack up everything and move to another state (or another country), I can empathize with all that is involved with moving and starting again.

My school also had a high ESOL population where there were many different languages spoken.  I’ve worked with students who were just learning English.  I’ve also worked with translators in the past to help me communicate with parents.  Being in a country where I don’t speak the language, it makes me more aware of when speaking with others who don’t speak English.  I feel like I will be even more aware of the particular words that I use.  As I’m learning Chinese, I’m learning a particular way to say something and then someone goes and adds in another word or uses a different word/phrase that I don’t know yet, so it then because extra challenging trying to figure out what someone is saying.  By having this firsthand experience, I will take that insight and make sure that I’m being as simple and clear as possible when speaking.

I definitely know that feeling now when someone’s talking to you and you have no idea what they’re saying. 🙂  Still, I make it work!  That’s the other cool part about living in another country-learning another language.  I can see how my language skills have improved over these past few months.  I have a ways to go, but I think it’s pretty impressive what I do know so far-all on my own. 😉

Reflecting Back 

During our first few months here, I’ve been fortunate to get a great taste for the city.  At first, I was not too sure about moving at the very end of October.  We arrived just when holidays were starting up and winter was approaching.  However, it worked out for the best!  We got to get out and explore when the weather was crisp, yet still nice out.  Plus, there were less crowds since it was the off season (biggest pro!).  Being that we had holidays coming up, it gave Ben time off, so we could explore together.  We’ve hit the major sights from the Great Wall to the Forbidden City to the Summer Palace and more!  We’re definitely making the most of our time here.

What’s to Come

It’s only been three months, yet we’ve got plenty more to see!  Since we’ve seen all the major sights, I’m looking forward to seeing what else we can discover in this city.  I know we’ll be back to those big sights again once we have our families visit, but it’ll be nice to find some other hidden gems.

I also can’t wait to explore more of the country and surrounding countries.  We’ve got some trips planned for the next year, so stay tuned! 😀

TOTE:  Enjoy the moments!