It's hard to believe but we have already been in China over 3 years. I remember that smoggy, freezing December day in 2015 when we arrived as if it were yesterday. And here we are - looking towards our "life after China" already.
The decision has been made. It was a tough one - but we have chosen not to apply for an extension of my husband's contract in China which ends in the summer of 2020.
There were many things to be taken into consideration - such as the timing of the kids' education, finances, me being on leave from my job - and of course how we feel about living in Beijing.
But despite some amazing opportunities here, a wonderful lifestyle and our lovely, lovely friends, it all came down to being ready for a new chapter. We're not ready yet - but we reckon we will be by the summer of 2020. By then, we'll have been in China 4 1/2 years.
I've always said that I love the unknown. We still don't know what will happen next but we know this much: There will be opportunities for my husband (and for myself) to apply for other EU delegations around the world and we'll certainly apply. Should it not work out, then we go back to Brussels. But we won't know for sure until early 2020.
The bucket list
My project for the next 16 months is all about China. I would like to enjoy life as much as I can in China. I want my life to be full of China, over the top-China, trying-to-crack-the-code-to-learning-mandarin-China, cultural China, historical China and not least the traveler's China. In other words, I don't want to look back at this experience thinking "I wish I had..."
I have a crazy project of traveling to all 30 something provinces in China before we move - and so far I've only visited around 10 of them. To be frank, I don't know if it's realistic and I certainly don't want to stress about it - but boy would it be cool. I will post more about my project over the next few weeks.
Thank you for your support dear readers and followers! I just had a look at the site statistics and I'm ever so grateful! I promise to post more regularly!