Some only dream of moving overseas while others pack up their lives and leave the US behind. That’s definitely the case for Britney, a girl from a small town in Louisiana. This is a story of a young woman that hit rock bottom and then soared to new heights she at one time could only imagine.
I came to China with a chip on my shoulder. I was 30 years old when I landed here and started a new life. I had never even left the southern region of the United States. But I had always had big dreams and huge aspirations. I made the decision to come abroad when God had me at my most uncomfortable point. I worked at a job I hated where I felt like I couldn’t relate to anyone, but still thankful nonetheless. I’ve always been a risk taker. I moved to Houston with everything I could fit into my car and started over. I got sick while there, had no one there to really help me over the hump. It wasn’t really any of my closest family members’ faults that they couldn’t be there. And I just want y’all to know that it is okay. It made me stronger. When I almost lost my apartment and embarrassed my family asking strangers for money to help me pay it?! Oh man. When I woke up one morning and saw my car had been repoed?! I didn’t break. I kept it the fuck rolling and never faltered. And FINALLY, when I got written up at this job I hated because I was lazy and unmotivated… guess what happened? In a 3 day span, I was told I could have the surgery I had been needing for the last 3 years finally. All the tears I shed when I got 10 blood transfusions and my body was weak… then I got the call that said China was waiting on me. LIKE WAIT WHOA! Whoa whoa whoa what?!
I’m so happy. I’m so free. All those years I spent alone, sick and wondering why I was in the dark … it made me strong! It built me up! I walk with my head held high in a country where black skin is considered ugly and I STILL LIVE. This is my testimony! Read the interview we did with Britney and how China became a reality for her new chapter in life.
Job Title: Foreign Language Teacher
Location: Beijing, China
Was there a purpose for moving abroad?
I’ve always desired world travel but never fathomed that I would be living abroad. This opportunity came while I was doing research on teaching abroad in several Asian countries with the intention of doing it at a later time.
What steps did you take to move?
Timing was excellent because they wanted me to come right when my lease was ending in the US. So it worked out to where I had enough time to get rid of things. I donated TONS which felt really good.
Do you work? If so, what is your profession?
I am teaching ESL (English as a second language) to kids and teenagers ages 3 to 16.
How did you find that opportunity?
What is your day to day life consist of?
Work life consists of commuting by bus and subway in this huge city that consists of over 20 million people (a girl from small town Louisiana ended up here, who knew?!), lesson planning, teaching a few classes per day. On my off days, I like to pamper myself and socialize. It’s been pretty great.
Do you communicate with your family often?
As often as I can. Sometimes it’s hard because I’m over 12-13 hours ahead of them at times and my schedule can be tiresome. Having time to physically talk is harder than receiving text messages throughout the day.
Has it helped you in any way? Saved money? New love life? A new sense of self?
So far, it has helped me realize there’s nothing in this world I cannot do 🙂
It’s a good deal financially. Cost of living is much lower so saving is easy.
How long do you plan to stay?
The jury is still out on this one. Planned on staying no longer than 2 years, but only God knows what’s in store at this point. I don’t miss being in the states.
How does the salary vs the cost of goods measure up? Is it more costly than the US? In your profession, does the country you currently live in pay more or the US?
It depends on your qualifications. But salary for foreign teachers is pretty decent all around. It affords you a decent apartment, travel and most of your salary can be put into your savings.
Is the culture significantly different in comparison to the US?
In China, most definitely. This is a country where they’ve only been exposed to black people in more recent years, or never at all due to being from rural areas. Big bustling cities in China like Beijing have huge expat communities but it’s still shocking to most people. When you’re out, you will be stared at and have people sneak pictures of you. They ask you to take pictures with them or their kids and dog while you’re going on about your day and it can be annoying. However, most people are nice and only curious about you so it’s not entirely their fault.
Other Asian countries like Thailand, Japan, and Korea are a tad bit different in relation to these kinds of things due to US military presence but all of these countries have their moments.
Also, Chinese food in the US is nothing like how food actually is in China, but I like most of it! I have come to like many different kinds of foods here. I can’t wait to come home and get some greens though!
If ever you believe you can’t do something, pray about it, keep strong and go after what’s meant for you! Do you have a story you’d like to share with our readers? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org