Sunny and Blue Skies – Day 1 of My New Life in Beijing, China
Waking up at 05:30 is not something I do in my normal life. Generally speaking, the only good reason to be up that early should still be happening since the night before – and one simply hasn’t gone to sleep yet! But it somehow feels quite fitting that today of all days I woke up in time to watch – and Instagram video it bit-by-bit – the sun rising on my new life in China.
I don’t know why but moving to Beijing feels like a much bigger deal than three years ago when I made the decision to move to India following eight wonderful years living in a seaside village just south of Barcelona, Spain. Maybe it’s because English is the second language for most people in India? I’m really not sure…but I do know that I’m here for a job that has me more excited than any other role I’ve accepted since 2008! I’m here to lead and grow the communications, social media and marketing for a very well respected luxury travel company – marrying for the first time ever in my career ‘what I love to do for a living’ and ‘what I love to do for fun’! In short, it seems like a dream come true job and I can’t wait for Monday at 9am.
So….China! I’m not sure what to expect from ‘real life’ here AT ALL, so it’s very exciting! I left a sunny and warm climate and arrived in the evening last night to a snow covered -1 degree Beijing. I was greeted by a very sweet driver who shuffled me off to a nice warm car where he proceeded to prepare and then present me with a beautiful bamboo tray adorned with fragrant orchids and set with a warm towel for my face and hands, some hand sanitiser, and lemon infused tea! In all my years of travel I have to say that it is the most pleasant ‘non limousine’ service I have ever experienced. In one swoop it wiped away that full day of travel and put a bigger smile on my face than I already had from my goofy excitement!
It is 9:30am and I’m sat at breakfast at the moment but on my way out in half an hour to go apartment hunting with an agent. The sky is blue, there is no smog … and I am about to go breathe in this new city, explore … and maybe even find my new home. Will finish this later with more details!
OHHHHH WOW! It’s now 8pm and I’m so dead I can barely stay awake but I am so elated it’s hard to keep a smile off my face! The flat hunting didn’t go so well but I have more apartments lined up to check out tomorrow and Tuesday. What I do have though is a renewed sense of adventure, of utter and blissful freedom and a feeling of total safety, which as an independent single woman I was never allowed to feel in India for all the reasons you’ve read about or know if you’ve traveled there. Beijing is AMAZING! I walked around for hours, rode the metro here and there…and it was so much fun! Beijing is old AND new…there is amazing infrastructure and a metro ride cost only USD 35 cents for a one-way ticket. I enjoyed yummy and healthy street food sold by vendors on bicycles! And I ended up snapping about 110 photos.
It was a beautiful day. Yeah okay it was cold as hell and I wore a coat for the first time in three years but destiny produced crystal blue skies and magnificent sunshine that I am so thankful to have experienced on this very first day in my new exotic home. I know it won’t last and I am mentally trying to prepare for the reality of the air quality here, but I will carry this special day with me in my heart for the rest of my life.
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