Today, I celebrate five years in Shanghai. It’s rather unsettling even as I write these words. Five years. Really? That fateful bus ride from New York to DC doesn’t seem that long ago. Yet, five years. My cousin’s kid was born just before I moved to China. She’s almost in first grade now.
I simultaneously feel that I’ve accomplished so much and so little. I uprooted my life 5 years ago and moved to Shanghai, without a job nor knowing a soul. I started from the very bottom. I hustled my way through the first year in this city until I landed a corporate job in year two. Since, I’ve turned that negative positive worth positive, found a stellar travel partner to spend my life with, and established a great community of friends. I didn’t change the world, but I suppose I took care of those basic needs on the Maslow hierarchy.
Today, I live an extremely comfortable life in Shanghai. I understand the language, and know the inner workings of living in this city. The marginal benefit of each pay check is now diminishing. I am craving for the next adventure. The next sink-or-swim opportunity to show that I have not gotten complacent, and that I still “got it”. As I look forward to the next adventure, I reflected over the past 5 years, and remarked on how quickly the city has changed. Entire neighbourhoods have vanished and gutted as Shanghai continues to develop at a rapid pace. I flipped through photos, and am glad I had taken the time to document.
#myshanghai through the years: