SOCIAL MEDIA

09 May 2014

We're Moving to China

 Surprised?

I've been dropping hints for a while now--last fall's "Summer Vacation Changed My Life" and, more recently "Contentment and Faithfulness" contained some pretty significant clues.


But now's when the truth finally comes out. Angel and I are moving to ShenZhen, China, in late July, to get our TEFL certifications and begin work as ESL teachers. Our leave date is less than 3 months away at this point.

And sometimes I myself can't believe that statement.

The months since last August have been a whirlwind of applications, letters of recommendation, research, phone calls, emails, and learning quite a bit about the visa application process in a number of different countries.

At some points I was tempted to doubt that we would actually meet our goal of moving overseas by this summer. At other points I was tempted to doubt that moving overseas was really what we ought to do in the first place.

Now that we've bought the plane tickets, now that we've made the commitment--sometimes I feel like I'm bursting with joy at the thought of getting to work with children and language education and getting to study and really use a language I've invested so much of my life into learning. Other times, I feel somewhat overwhelmed at the reality of moving to a country with no one else I know except my husband, and having to cling desperately to my 8 semesters of college language classes in order to figure out in real life how to take a taxi and buy groceries at market.

I'm being honest here, moments come when I'm utterly terrified of what we're about to do, when I second guess myself and start to think about the comfortable suburban American lifestyle we could have had. But those are merely moments. I'm not in this for the moments, I'm in it for the long haul, and when I doubt myself for a second, I take time to remember why we wanted to go in the first place, and I get excited all over again. I don't want the suburban life, not really, even if it looks pretty fun while I'm standing right here.

So, that's the news, as far as we know right now. It's so hard to ever say the future, so I revert back to the flippant "Good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise" statement, which sounds slightly irreverent, but it tells the truth. We hold the future lightly, but this is what we're dreaming of and working towards. We have some very, very busy weeks ahead of us as we tackle the to-do list that comes with moving to the other side of the world with a grand total of 2 suitcases, 2 carry-ons, and 2 backpacks to our name. (I've already found out that it's so much more complicated to move overseas as an adult than it is when your parents just bring you along!) I hope that you all will stick around to read the adventures of Angel and Rachel on the other side of the world.

I'm not really the blog series type, but clearly this is a bigger-than-everyday kind of life change, so I'm going to give once-weekly "Moving to China" themed posts and updates a go for most Fridays till we get there. Maybe. We'll see.

77 comments :

  1. AAAAAAMAZING! What an adventure! So pumped for y'all. WOW! Glory to God! xx

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  2. Woohoo! Things are moving along so quickly now! Wishing you loads of strength and fun with all the packing and stuff still to come! (Those luggage requirements are no joke!)

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  3. AHHH!!! Congrats!!!! I can absolutely see you guys flourishing there. I know you will. I'm so excited for you!!

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  4. Sounds exciting! Will be praying everything goes well for you! Can't wait to hear the next chapter in the story! :)

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  5. Wow Congrats!!! That sounds like so much fun. Can't wait to read about your adventures in China.

    BTW, Mr. A and I have been thinking about visiting China sometime next year. If we're in your neck of the woods we'll have to stop by :)

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  6. woohoo!!!! this is SO exciting and i know you've just got to be so excited to get over there!!! it will be so crazy living in a country where the only person you know is your husband - but that will do so many great things for your marriage! what an awesome bonding experience that most couples will never have! praying for you as you enter into this next season of life! :)

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  7. Yay!!! I am so excited for you guys! I of course knew you were going somewhere overseas, but it's great to officially know! Gah! That's gotta be so scary along with the exciting! I am definitely praying for you two! I can't wait to follow along on your Chinese adventures!

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  8. I am so so happy for you guys. It's the best decision we have ever made!!! And our marriage has grown in ways I could have never imagined. Can't wait to follow along from Korea!

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  9. So cool!!! You better keep blogging so we can see photos and hear stories!!!

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  10. How amazing! I give you so much credit for being able to follow your passions and move to someplace so different from what you are used to. I am sure you will have adjustment periods but I know you will succeed. To make it this far is an accomplishment in itself. I look forward to your updates and wish you the best on this new part of your lives.

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  11. Hmmm - I always took those posts as facts vs hint but I am so thrilled for you both! It's great to see people use the gifts God's given them and I feel like you all are making the right (and an awesome) decision!

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  12. That is such amazing news! My best friend's parents moved to Beijing this year - mostly for fun - and work at American language school. They blog at http://gordonandjudy.com/ - although now (after a year), he mostly talks about work and random things, it might be fun to read about their adventures with moving into their apartment and such! Anyway, how exciting - I can't wait to read about all your plans!

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  13. That is amazing! I hope you have a great time! I look forward to following your journey!

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  14. This is so cool and it will be so exciting to follow along with you guys! I have always wondered how people handle moving overseas when a huge oil company doesn't pay for it (remember, I live in Texas so expats are pretty common) - it seems so hard but I'm sure you'll master it!

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  15. My jaw dropped! Congratulations, what exciting news! I can't wait to see the pictures you post from China!

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  16. It will be AMAZING!!! I am so excited for you!!! This is the time of your life, enjoy it and explore the world!

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  17. Dang girl! This trumps my "moving from Texas to Virginia" move. I can't wait to see how your blog changes once you get there :)!

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  18. yay congratulations!!! I can't wait to read all about it!

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  19. Wow that is amazing Rachel (and Angel). I learned from our past photographer who moved to Uganda that sometimes we don't realize what we truly need til we move to another country with a suitcase and another person or family and what we need is each other and God to get us through. America does have a lot of luxury but is it necessary. Rachel xo

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  20. So awesome! one of my best friends is doing this in june! I can't wait to follow along your adventure. You guys are going to have so much fun! :)

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  21. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you that your goal is so close at hand now!

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  22. WOW! And this whole time I thought you were moving to Malaysia!

    Congratulations though, that is SUPER exciting and you guys are going to have the BEST adventures together!!

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  23. That is so very exciting Rachel! What a great opportunity for the two of you. So you both will be teaching ESL? Do you know where you'll be living or who arranges all of that? Best of luck and looking forward to hearing about your move! Happy Friday -Iva

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  24. sounds awesome! i had guessed it would be one of the languages you spoke! :-)

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  25. That is an exciting move! Wow! I knew you were moving, I just wasn't paying attention to the hints. So cool! I can't wait to read about your adventures. Will the Bear be going with you? Maybe I missed that memo too? :)

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  26. Wowzers! Whenever you follow the calling of God and His direction, only blessing will come from it. It doesn't mean that it will be easy or perfect. But it will be for your good and for others. Who wouldn't want that!? Congratulations you two :)

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  27. How fabulous! So amazing that you are moving to China! Good for you for following through with what you want! I don't think I could move with so little to bring with me! I am so looking forward to your series of posts about the move!

    Rebecca
    www.winnipegstyle.ca

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  28. Wowza! Congratulations on such an amazing life change. I think learning a language is so much easier when you're immersed in it, so I bet you'll be able to hail a taxi and grocery shop without issues very soon!

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  29. Oh wow, that's amazing! I did TEFL at university and taught English for a while in France.

    I hope everything goes well for you!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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  30. Wow, that'll be a lot of fun! I look forward to reading blog posts about that experience.

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  31. Yaaay! It is a big change and those are always daunting! Just keep your faith and determination!

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  32. OH WOW, how exciting!!! I am excited for the two of you and am going to live vicariously through you :P

    A good friend of mine just recently got back from Korea and she was doing something similar. I can’t imagine how much of an adventure it was. I know you two will do wonders over there and will keep you in my thoughts that everything is smooth sailing <3

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  33. I'M BEYOND EXCITED FOR YOU! I can't wait to hear all about it! While I know a great deal about Japan and Korea, I know NOTHING about China. Except that you can only have one kid there? or something like that. Good luck!

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  34. Congrats! Sounds like quite the adventure!

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  35. Oh my gosh! What awesome news!!! Congrats you two!!!!!!!!!

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  36. That sounds so exciting! Oh, and I love your lipstick in that picture! So lovely! :)

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  37. How exciting!! I'm sure you'll have the time of your life! :)

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  38. Yeeeeeeeeee!!!!!! Whoop whoop!!!! We can meet in real life!! Exciting super cool news :) seriously though when you're here please come to Yunnan!

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  39. Eeek, so exciting for you two!!Looking forward to hearing more about your new adventures, hope the last few months here in the States are not too stressful!

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  40. ahhh! CONGRATULATIONS! that's kinda way wonderfully huge! so happy for you two. moving abroad comes with so many questions and what-ifs that make it so exciting for the next stage in life. we're actually switching with you and moving back to the states late july (which comes with its own sort of excitement since we haven't had mexican food or target or ...a huge list of conveniences..in two years)!

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  41. This is so exciting! Really! I think you'll be great at it! I can't wait to read more. Since we keep moving and now that we own all this land, I often think, "We could've had a comfortable suburban life…" but really, who wants to be average? :)

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  42. Congrats! I can't wait to read all about China once you get there!

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  43. Wow, I'm so happy for you! What an adventure! Enjoy this transition time. :)

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  44. Wow! I was not expecting such a big move- but that is really amazing! I pray God will use you both in big ways while you're there!!!

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  45. wow! what an adventure! i get you too.... with our recent trip to japan, my husband and i thought "hey, what if we move here? what if?" seemed like a crazy idea, and i love my life here, but i always say, never say never (and no, i am not quoting justin beiber, lol!)

    best wishes to you both...can't wait to see more of your posts about this adventure!

    rhea @ rheaetcetera.com

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  46. Wow, wow, wow!!! How thrilling, this is going to be one hell of an adventure and I wish you and your other half every success in the move. I can't wait to hear more updates and follow you on your journey from the comfort of my armchair! P x

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  47. amazing. how exciting!! you are both so self-less to take up this adventure. can't wait to hear all about it!

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  48. this is sooooo cool - congrats and so amazing. can't wait to hear about your adventures :)

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  49. Omg! What an amazing adventure!! Congratulations! Can't wait to follow along :)

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  50. Oh seriously?! That is just a very daring and bold move! Very inspiring of you to actually decide moving to the other side of the world. I would love to hear and read about your China adventures soon. Hope everything goes well and smooth with your big move! :)

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  51. Oh my gosh this is so exciting!!! Congratulations! Can't wait to hear more about it!
    www.amemoryofus.blogspot.com

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  52. Wow, what exciting news!!! I think it's amazing and awesome that you guys are going to do this. This is something that you'll remember and look back on the rest of your lives.

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  53. Wow..... nothing like seeing a new place, and China is going to be really good, especially when you are moving in there :-)

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  54. WOW THIS IS AMAZING!!! GOOD FOR YOU! I love being an expat, life becomes one huge adventure. I cannot wait to hear about your stories and to be perfectly honest I can't even imagine how hard you've both had to work to make this happen. Good for you both!

    Angie from reasons to dress, life as a North American mom in Italy.

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  55. Congratulations! We moved to Singapore last year and I love the adventure of it!! I am sure you will love the experience as well--- just be willing to try new things, because I promise there will be lots of them :)

    ~Alexis Grace of North On Harper

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  56. Wow, what an amazing adventure you two are about to embark on! I hope it is filled with wonderful moments, lessons, and memories to hold dear forever.

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  57. Aw! So glad everything has continued to work out for you and Angel. I'm so excited to read along with your journey. Praying for you guys!

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  58. Oh my gosh! That is really exciting. I can't imagine moving with just two suitcases... (I probably have two suitcases of just my favorite children's books) I though living abroad for a few months with two suitcases was bad. Good luck! Looking forward to reading all your updates

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  59. AHHH! This is so exciting! I am so happy for the both of you! I know you've said that the US doesn't quite feel like home and so I am glad for your new adventures and you following your hearts! I can't wait to hear more about the process and also about you when you are in China! YAY! :)

    -- Erika from America

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  60. Wow! This is going to be such a change for you guys, but what an AMAZING adventure you have ahead of you!!!!!

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  61. Very cool!!! What an adventure. :) I'm sure it will be amazing.

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  62. How exciting!! Is your plan to go for a certain time period or just see how things go?

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  63. Awesome!!! I'm so excited for you! Moves are always scary, exciting, fun and stressful all in one, I always have mixed emotions before a move too. You are going to have such a great adventure! Also, side note: I read this and thought OH NO I wouldn't be able to read The Random Writings of Rachel anymore! Then, I remembered that the internet is everywhere and you can still write in China. Thank goodness! :)

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  64. Insanity! You guys are going to lead some pretty interesting lives! I look forward to reading all about it!

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  65. I LOVED my time in China! It completely changed my life!

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  66. What an exciting adventure! Good for you making a dream come true!

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  67. How exciting! I hope yo love every minute.

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  68. How exciting! It's going to be an adventure of a lifetime. Good luck with everything! Can't wait to read all about it.

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  69. i can't wait to read your posts from china!!!

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  70. Ahh, my inner suspicions were right! So excited that you two are moving to China! What a neat new adventure to start in your lives and relationship together!

    I'm SO looking forward to living vicariously through your blog!

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  71. How exciting, congrats and best of luck!

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  72. Congratulations! I think you will love China--I spent last summer there and while it was certainly an adjustment, it was beautiful, the food was fantastic and I met so many great people!

    I am actually move to Prague to start ESL teaching with my boyfriend this summer, too. I definitely understand the bursting with excitement one second and terrified second-guessing the next. Mostly though, I think I've been waiting for this adventure my whole life and I can't wait!

    Good luck with everything and I can't wait to read about your adventures.

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  73. How exciting for you guys! It is so hard though to figure out what to cram into your luggage allowance. So different packing when you're moving aboard then just going on holiday. I can completely relate to that one! Cheers - Ellen

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  74. Wow!! How exciting. I want to do the same thing when my visa in London expires. Such a brave move! Good for you!

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