So why am I still in China? This is a question that me and my buddy Jaime, from Spain, always discuss. Why are we still here? We always complain about the people, the behavior, the traffic, and the pollution; and yet, here we still years, years later. What is it about Beijing that has managed to capture our attention for so long? For me, it’s definitely a love/hate relationship. When I applied to Tsinghua, I told myself that those would be my last 2 years. And yet, upon graduation, after applying for 350+ jobs, I found one in Beijing. So here I remain, under a one year contract and excited for what the future holds. Beijing is also a massive city, so after moving out of the U-District and into the center of the city, I feel a lot more comfortable. There are more bars and restaurants, and more people instead of the stereotypical ‘student’. I’m also living alone now instead of with roommates, which is a nice change of pace.
For Beijing itself, I think one of the biggest draws is to see it change, and to continue changing with it. Every expat, either currently here or back home, will tell you that Beijing will change the way you see the world. Its one of those inevitable things that happens after living here. The city itself is also expanding and renovating at a breakneck pace. New skyscrapers are being setup while the hutongs are getting a makeover. As someone who has been here for 4+ years now, it’s been a wild ride. I’ve made great friends, had a long-term relationship, worked, studied, and lived. A large part of me is ready to try something new, to embrace the next big adventure. However, another part of me is ready to settle down and start looking for a long-term job, which may or may not be in Beijing. Life is what you make it, I’ve always believed that, and I intend to continue to make it one full of adventure and challenge, wherever that might take me.