The Expat Diaries: 2014 Wrap-Up

I live in Shanghai; a city of 26 million people.  I have a job that I love, and the absolute freedom to do whatever the hell I want.  I don't think I've ever been as happy or as content as I am right now. Sometimes I can’t believe it; that I really am back in my little house and dreaming about being an expat instead of actually being an expat.

It’s not a dream.  I’ve said this before.  Who dreams of moving to the People’s Republic of China, a communist nation that is still in many ways a third-world country?  “Not I,” said the cat.  But I’m a believer and I’ve learned to trust the path God has put me on, even when I can’t see it and don’t understand it.  Living in Shanghai has been an absolute wonder; an unfathomed delight of new and marvelous experiences.

Look at this city.  What's not to love?

...aka Suva Oriana
2014 in a nutshell:  I have learned to live without a car and lost 30 pounds.  I have learned how to shop for days as opposed to weeks.  I have discovered the absolute magnificent delight of having custom-made clothes and shoes for the low.  I have fully embraced what Westerners consider “alternative medicine,” and lest we forget, The Rebirth of Slick.  I stay thankful for Trey.  Still see his snarky ass every week and will continue to do so until I have to leave.  Hell, I want to take him with me.

All in all, an exceptional year.  I expect more of the same with 2015.  I know without a doubt that it will hold a new adventure with my name plastered all over it. I love living in Asia.  I love the freedom and near-complete anonymity I have, which allows me to do anything and everything I please.  It’s as comforting and as secure as a warm blanket.

Life is too short to have an unstamped passport.  I encourage all Dilettantes who are in the position to do so, to spend a year or two as an expat.  Go when you want and wherever you want, just go. 

I read this on a basket at a restaurant:  “YOLOGONOW.”

Good advice.  Do it. 


  1. Life is too short to have an unstamped passport.- Well said.

    1. Hell, I need to renew mine! I haven't traveled since I was 11. Thanks for the extra kick n the ass, Amaya!

  2. Though I'm scared as I don't know what of flying, I still will get a passport in case I'm bold enough to do it.

  3. So glad you're having such a great time. You have to tell us about your adventures more often!

  4. I love reading such entries :) Fantastic.

    "Go when you want and wherever you want, just go."
    Great advice. I say the same to people when they ask me what it was like in Ireland (stayed for a few months). I'm seriously considering going back for longer this time, or trying out Scandinavia or Canada. But life's too short, yes, and only getting shorter, so I agree, guys: just go.

    Happy 2015 to everyone! :D

    1. Ok I'll bite what was Ireland like? What parts did you visit? I've only flown through which doesn't give a real indication. I do want to go for an actually visit. I plan to get to Canada next year.

    2. Hey there :) I thought Ireland was great. When I first had to study up on it, I was worried about racial relations, but found out that in Dublin especially, there's no reason to be worried about that. I spent the majority of my time in that city, which had a good mixture of people from all sorts of places. I met quite a few people from Africa, for example, as well as Middle Eastern areas and it was fascinating to find out what brought them to Ireland and how they enjoyed their time there. All in all, everyone was incredibly friendly, though it was interesting that most assumed I was from Africa as well (older white people, usually, or males from Africa that wanted to strike up a conversation); they were surprised to hear my accent in those cases.

      But I loved the transport system compared to where I live now (it's the country so there's not really one yet) and the architecture and attractions I saw (museums, libraries, castles, etc) were gorgeous. The surrounding areas, but what little I saw of Galway on the way out to the airport was lovely as well. I hope to go back and visit (though not to school this time), spending most of my time on the western half. From what I understand, it's a bit slower in pace there, compared to Dublin, which will be a nice change. When I traveled west, it was nice to see more nature on the way, too, indicating the travel away from the city. I really hope you get the chance to visit, though. It's well worth it... I find myself feeling rather nostalgic when I think about it. lol

      As far as Canada goes, I've heard good things about it, too, especially when it comes to the maritime provinces and the more mountainous regions to the west, depending on what you're interested in seeing. Certainly a photographer's dream from the sound of it. Do you know where specifically you want to check out there? I'd love to hear your feedback after visiting also. :)

    3. Quick edit - sorry about the typos. Meant to say:
      "were gorgeous. I stayed in Dublin as well as a few of the surrounding areas such as Ballyfermot, Drumcondra, Leixlip, etc., so very much on the East. What little I saw of Galway was on the way out to the airport but they were lovely as well. I hope to go back and visit (though not for school this time), spending most of my time on the western half."

    4. I can tell you why everyone thought you were African...Because most American born blacks (I'm assuming you are so forgive me if you are not) do not travel even if they are affluent. When I was traveling through Europe most people (especially Jamaicans I met who were traveling) thought I was Jamaican. And no I do not speak patois remotely. :) When I take cruises a lot of the staff or guests (again Jamaicans) think I'm either Jamaican or somewhere from the Caribbean. When I lived in Italy my landlady thought I was Panamanian (I think because I speak Spanish fairly well). She traveled there before.

      As for Ireland you story has me psyched to go right now! :) In Canada I would like to visit Vancouver out of all the cities and maybe Montreal since a friend and her husband go every year. They love it up there and are considering moving there. I am especially keen to visit the more mountainous regions (or more wilderness parts) of the country. I love being out in nature so that appeals more to me. Its one of the reasons I loved being in Alaska.

  5. Great!

    I have a plan for this year...not confirmed though, I'll let you guys know when it's done ;)


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