|From CNY 2010|
Jamie and I left our lives in Cartersville, Georgia, USA, for Shekou, Shenzhen, China on July 31, 2008. Since then, we have been working at Quality Schools International of Shekou as middle school teachers. These last 2 years have been amazing as we have had our first overseas living experience. It has been nothing short of spectacular as we have had the opportunity to work with amazing students, teachers, and administrators, see the world, and experience various cultures. I believe we have both grown as people, and it has also brought us closer together as husband and wife.
While working and traveling, we have been both been writing our dissertations for our PhD's in Curriculum and Instruction. Our host country of China and city of Shenzhen was a perfect match for us for our first international teaching experience. We lived in Shekou, China, a city within the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. It was also the first time we lived in a large city, so we lived in a high rise apartment, walked everywhere, and took public transportation. We didn't own a car and didn't ever need one. Living in Shekou was a great lifestyle as we were able to afford a housekeeper (AYI) and live comfortably on just a small amount each month. This way, we were also able to save some money and traveled extensively in southeast Asia. While the teaching at QSI and living in Shekou was a wonderful experience, we decided to seek other opportunities abroad. We went to a job fair in January 2010 in Bangkok, Thainland and interviewed with 7 schools.
We have accepted new jobs are moving to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in August to take new international teaching positions at International Schools Group. We are both very excited for this opportunity and the many new adventures that we will no doubt experience while living in the Middle East, but also we are also sad to be leaving China, a country that in itself has been a wonderful and enriching experience all to its own.
We have had the opportunity to travel China and southeast Asia with both of our parents, my niece, and even brought my wonderful dog Griffey over here to live with us. Griffey was sent back to the USA in May 2010 and has not circumnavigated the earth.
If this is your first time visiting the blog or if you haven't visited in a while, I've compiled a list of all of the places we have been and briefly things we have seen in our 2 years of living in China. We left China for good on June 20, 2010, but will forever have the memories of that wonderful country in our hearts and minds.
Enjoy the list below and be sure to check out our 11168 photos that have been taken on our journeys. If you wish, you can search the blog site for the details of what happened at each place.
Shekou - our home for 2 years
Shenzhen - "The largest city you've never heard of"
Hong Kong - one of our favorite places (too many sites here to list)
Beijing - Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Hutongs, Summer Palace, Acrobat Show,
Macau - Portuguese influence, Coloanne, Lord Stowe's Bakery (egg tarts), Venetian, ZAIA
Xian - Terracotta Warriors, Cycling on top of the city walls
Guilin - Longji Rice Terraces
Yangshuo - Karst landscape, Light Show, Caving, Hot Air Balloon Ride
Lijiang - Old city, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Snow Dragon Mountain
Dali - Marble, Cangshan Mountain, Celebrating Xmas with Food Poisoning
Kunming - Stone Forest
Chengdu - one word - Pandas!
Chongqing - Beginning of our Yangtze River Cruise, genuine Hot Pot
Yichang - Three Gorges Dam and End of the Yangtze River Cruise
Shanghai - The Bund, History Museum, Nanjing Road, 2010 World EXPO
Suzhou - canaled city, Venice of China
Phnom Penh - National Palace, Killing Fields, S21 Prison Camp
Siem Reap - Angkor Archeological Site (Angkor Wat), Water Village
Bangkok - once for vacation (too many sites to list), once for hospital (kidney stone surgery), several times through the airport, once for the job fair
Chiang Mai - great little city in Northern Thailand
Chiang Rai - starting point to see the Golden Triangle
Golden Triangle - border between Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar (Burma)
Koh Chang Island - island vacation
Bali - Jimbaran, Kuta Beach, Scuba Diving, Kopi Luwak
Manila - Intramuros, Jeepneys
Coron Island - beautiful islands, lagoons, and teal/turquoise water
Cebu - Site of Magellan's Cross
Panglao Island - Bohol, Tarsier Monkeys, Chocolate Mounds, World's Largest captive Snake
Boracay Island - beautiful beach and vacation spot
Hanoi - "Hilton", Water Puppet Show, Ho Chi Minh Museum
Sapa - Hill Tribes, Rice Fields/Terraces, Place of Kidney Stone Attack
Halong Bay - Junk Boat Cruise along beautiful water and karst landscape
Ho Chi Minh City - War Museums, Tet Holiday celebrations
Hoi An - charming city with beach and shops
Danang - Marble Mountains, My Son Sanctuary (Vietnam's Angkor)
Hue - Citadel, Emperor's Tombs, Thien Mu Pagoda
Luang Prabang - laid back city we liked so much we stayed an extra 4 days
Vientiane - capital city of Laos
United States of America
Cartersville, Georgia - our permanent residence
Calhoun, Tennessee - hometown for Eric
Panama City Beach, Florida - vacation spot 2009
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - vacation spot 2010
I have calculated that we have been in a place other than Shekou or the USA once out of every 9 days for the past 21 months.
In 21 months, we have taken 47 flights as best I can count. This may sound expensive, but flying in Asia can be amazingly cheap. Some of our flight in the Philippines were only $9 per one way ticket.
We have traveled every mode of transportation that you can possibly think of with the exception of a helicopter. This includes a private leer jet that was arranged for me to fly from Hanoi, Vietnam to Bangkok, Thailand for my kidney stone surgery.
We aren't sure what adventures we'll have in Saudi Arabia, but we can only hope that those experiences can compare to what we have been able to see and do the last 2 years while living in China.
As always, I appreciate comments you may have. This should be posted on Facebook in the next couple of days and you can always email me at email@example.com
Also, be sure to check out our online Picasa Album for over 11,000 pictures taken in these marvelous places.