Florence has been living for four years in Zhuhai, China. Before leaving her home country, she attended the “Preparation to expatriation” seminar. She writes a most interesting newsletter –the last issue is already #15- and is kind enough to send it to her coach. Four years of an experience she lives with discovery fever, and a very accurate judgment on her life as an expat.
Everything changes so fast in Zhuhan
We truly appreciate the quality of life in Zhuhai. We live in a suburban district, more “rural” than Gongbei or Huafa, where most expatriates live. In our area, you can still find small bars and typical restaurants! But Zhuahan is changing tremendously fast: a new opera appeared in less than two years, artificial beaches are under construction, reclaimed from the sea, skyscrapers are always higher, huge mall can be found everywhere, and a bridge will soon connect us to Hong Kong. Fifty kilometers long, it will be made of three successive cable-stayed bridges, many viaducts, one tunnel and two artificial islands. With an estimated cost of 10 billion dollars, this bridge will be the longest in the world!
Living as an expat wife: that's a very special life!
Living as an expat is a very special life, as an “expat spouse”, and I feel that after almost four years spent in China, the balance is fragile behind the facade. I was caught by boredom, something quite difficult to admit personally, and impossible to share: how could this life – the life I share in my newsletters- be boring? I discover a new culture, I travel through Asia, I party with close friends, and have time with my children. My life could make anyone dreaming! Even though anyone can see different things, according to his/her own story.
I have been thinking deeply about this, and I recently immersed in the training I attended with you in 2012. I found that boredom is one of the dangers, and other information that deeply echoed, like losing one’s self-esteem… A feeling I never experienced before.
I took again the test about the small voices1 of my past, with almost the same result than four years ago. However, the pressure situation 1st and 2d degree are even more significant than when I took the test for the first time.
Now, I can see the diagnostic more precisely. I try to build paths, and find the intellectual occupation that I need, and this means daring say no to futile occupations that feel in the gaps. That’s a programme!
1Small internal voice: a test of the Transactional Analyses by Eric Berne. Fifty questions for a better understanding of what we say within ourselves.