"Wish You Happy Every Day": An Expat's Life in China


What is WYHE?

Hi there! I’m Al, a writer and teacher. I lived in Dalian, China for two years, and my husband and I go back on and off to visit his family there. Currently, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and work as an Academic Coach for mostly art students from China.

I’m also an avid traveler. The Travel Bug first bit me at the age of 12, when my aunts took me on a trip to England, my first time to venture beyond the U.S. The next bite I got was from the China Bug, which started with studying Chinese in high school and eventually led to moving to China to become an English teacher.

China drew me in for reasons that I still can’t fully articulate.  Is it because China is an emerging world power? Possibly. Is it the the fact that its culture is so different from my own? Well, yes, that sparked my curiosity in the beginning.  Is it the set of contradicting culture norms and value systems that govern society? The push and pull of tradition and “modern” Western culture? The concept of “face” and its ripple effects on human interactions? The challenge and privilege of operating in an immensely beautiful language?

A wholehearted yes to all of the above. But there’s another dimension to my interest in China that is emotional rather than intellectual.  Why are some people drawn to particular far away land?  Why do we have the urge to become bi- or multicultural?  The answers are unique to each person, I’m sure, revealed only in pieces over the course of a journey.

That journey, for me, is the expat lifestyle, with all its intrigue, (mis)adventures and solitary independence. And so what I blog about is two-fold: Chinese culture through the eyes of an embedded foreigner and expatriotism from within the heart of its circuit.

Want to keep up with WYHE? Do you have questions or just want to drop me a line? Feel free to leave a comment or email me at happy.wishes.everyday@gmail.com.


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