After more than 5 years with the same company, I decided to quit my job last Friday. There were a multitude of reasons, but the two main reasons were that I want to focus more energy on my own projects and I want to get out and do what I originally intended when I first moved to China: explore! Perhaps in future I will write more about my experience working for a Chinese startup and gaming company, but for now I’m going to take some time to refocus and delve into experiencing China and improving my Chinese.
You may be wondering how I can just up and quit my job, but I have been saving money for a while and over the past year I’ve been building up a side income with freelance projects and through working on developing my own company with my best friend. It may not be as much as I was making at my office job yet, but now I will have the time to focus on developing my company and focusing on my own projects.
Here’s what’s been going on since I quit.
The day I told my boss I was leaving, I booked a train out to Guangxi for the morning after my last day in the office. My best friend recently moved there with her husband, and couldn’t stop singing praises for rural living (keep in mind that rural living in China can mean living in a town with a population of 250k+). There was no turning back now.
A week later, I celebrated my departure from the company with my entire department at a Brazilian BBQ (Latina) in Shenzhen.
It was a bittersweet farewell, everyone was happy that I was starting a new adventure but it was also hard to say goodbye to everyone after such a long time working with them. After everyone got their fill of food, I left them to continue the party and returned back to my house to finish packing as I had a train to catch at 9:30 the next morning.
I was feeling a bit nervous up until my last day, but as soon as I woke up on Saturday, I was more than ready to begin adventuring again. It’s funny how you can literally be living in a completely different country and forget to appreciate and experience what’s around you. I’m not saying you have to quit your job to do that, but in my case it was just the push I needed.
I had to switch trains in Guangzhou (if you ever do this remember to give yourself plenty of time to wait for an elevator if you have heavy luggage… the escalators always go down), so I grabbed a coffee and a bagel from Starbucks to tide me over until I arrived. The train to Guangzhou is only about 30 minutes, but my connecting train was another 3 hours plus there is a 30-45 minute bus ride from the station into town. The train ride to Guangxi province was very pleasant with some absolutely gorgeous views.
Once I arrived at the station I realised there weren’t any escalators or elevators. This is the point where I regretted packing quite so many things (to be fair I’m staying for a number of weeks so I did pack light for the amount of time), but fortunately my bag wasn’t so heavy that I couldn’t manage the stairs one flight at a time.
Once I finally got out of the station, I snagged a bus ticket into town for 20 RMB (about 3 dollars). Since the bus waits to leave until it’s mostly full, it was a good 20-25 minutes before we left but the Chinese lady in front of me made sure to let all the staff know over and over that she was dying from hunger for a good 10 minutes of that time. I’m not sure that did anything to speed up the process, but I found the tactic pretty funny.
The bus ride into town was just as stunning, full of green paddies, mountains and little Chinese villages. I posted a mini video of the bus ride on my Instagram if you want to check it out – I tend to update my Instagram with pictures and videos before I get around to posting on here, but I’ll be a lot more active on here now that I have the time. Once I got into town I hopped on a motor scooter taxi to get to my friend’s house. They really try to rip people off on the price since you have to negotiate for the ride, but most of the time you just have to walk away to find a better deal. Once I arrived at my friend’s house, her husband came out to help me get my luggage up the 4 flights of stairs (there are no elevators in this town).
I took a week off from most things just to try to get more accustomed the town and not having to go to an office, but it still hasn’t quite sunk in. It may be a few weeks before I stop having office nightmares. So, there it is, the start to my new chapter of wanderlust life has begun.
Here are some pictures of the town I’m staying in.
As always, thanks for reading! I will be posting much more interesting and regular updates in future, and thank you all who have continued to be patient and still read my blog. 🙂
Also, I’ll be adding a couple new sections to the blog so that alongside general adventure updates I might have a review section for places I try out while traveling (restaurants, nail salons, hostels, supermarkets, etc.) … and perhaps a more random personal section where I can add things like randomly dying my hair blue that might not be interesting to everyone.