We get this question a lot from visitors, people looking to move here, and even other Chinese people curious to know how and why we do what we do.
We’re not exactly reinventing any wheels here – there have been foreigners in Shanghai for hundreds of years- but were enjoying life, loving Chinese food and culture, and doing our best to share it with others.
If you’re thinking of moving to Shanghai, we answered a few questions the other day for ExpatInfoDesk, a website dedicated to helping expats relocate abroad. Here are a few excerpts:
What advice would you give to someone who was relocating to China for the first time?
My best advice for dealing with the things you least enjoy is just to try to either change your routine so they don’t affect you as much, or change your frame of mind, so they don’t bother you. If the subway is too full, figure out a bike route, or skip your Starbucks to pay for a cab. Sometimes it’s about the tradeoffs. If spitting bothers you, maybe it will be therapeutic to start spitting as well. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Just find ways to be at peace. It’s important not to wall yourself off from your host culture though, so make sure your expat bubble is popped every single day.
What three top tips can you offer to expatriates who are considering starting out for the first time?
1) Talk to other expats doing similar things. Expats have great camaraderie, and usually people are quite eager to help!
2) You likely aren’t the first one facing certain situations, so be sure to check out all the online resources available to you. Of course, especially in China, things change quickly, but it’s always a starting point.
3) Don’t be afraid to just do it! We get emails all the time about people wanting to start a business, but don’t know how to get started. The answer is to just start. It may not be as professional or polished as you have your end result in mind, but it probably never will be in the beginning. You have to just start somewhere.