laowai \ laʊ-why \ noun;
A foreigner, of any nationality, age and profession, currently living and/or working in China; one looking into a future move to China.
I am a laowai. So is my entire family. So are about 85% of my friends here in Shanghai (I'm super fortunate to count among my friends a good number of local Chinese, and that, I think, makes a huge positive difference in my experience living in Shanghai). My friend Ally is also a laowai, and something she noticed about living here in China for so many years is how this is a land of really unlimited opportunity. I say very often that there is so much freedom here in Shanghai, which is a hard-to-explain and controversial statement considering the government system here. Coming from America where everything is heavily regulated, I've come to greatly appreciate how little interference I've had to do just about anything I wanted to do here. It's a huge change of mindset! But not everyone immediately sees that, and many expats really struggle when they are here.
In an effort to share some stories of positive experiences about living and working in China, as well as allow people here on the ground to share their tips and tricks, Ally decided to create this platform as a podcast. I sat with her over the summer when it was in the dreaming stages and I had the good kind of goosebumps because I believe in this so strongly. Attitude accounts for so much of what we experience in life! I always state that if you are looking for a reason to be miserable, it's there, you'll find it. But if you look for the reasons to sing and be filled with joy, you'll be overwhelmed with things to be grateful for. I, for one, am grateful for Ally!
I wanted to share the website with you (here) and the podcast as well (here). But I also wanted to tell you that I am a guest on the show today! So if you're wondering what I sound like, wonder no more! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to move to China...
And I promise that in the coming month I will share more about two things I talk about on the podcast but have never shared on the blog (the scary dog bite with police car ride story and our education journey with the boys). So go have a listen! Sign up for the newsletter (here) and subscribe to the podcast if you have any interest in what it's like to live and work in China!