So, my name is Shane and I am living in Beijing for more than two months now. I come from a small village in Tipperary, Ireland with a population of 150 people, so when I chose to come to Beijing my biggest fear was the population and how I was going to cope. Beijing’s has slightly more people than my village back home (22 million) so I thought to myself “how will I be able to move, to breathe, will I be cramped on the subway…..”. This, to my surprise, is not the case at all. The public transport is amazing, I can go anywhere in the city in a short time, I have lots of space to move and I have proven this by practicing my Irish Dancing skills, and I need a lot of space for that!
For as long as I can remember I always wanted to explore and China is the perfect setting for exploration. The vast amount of places to see is endless, and the sights are beautiful. In Ireland, I graduated with a Degree in Law and I worked in a governmental position, but I had itchy feet and I knew if I didn’t jump at an opportunity to travel I would regret it in years to come. So here I am, as happy as can be and I will explain to you why you should also jump outside your comfort zone and take the opportunity that is in front of you
If you are into food, Beijing is the place for you. The food is incredible, the service is top class and I promise you that you will never leave a restaurant hungry. In Ireland I used to love eating Chinese food, you know chicken curry, sweet and sour chicken, chow mein etc etc… When I arrived here I was shocked at how different the food was compared to back home. Beijing has more food types than bicycles (and there are a lot of bicycles). If you are a foodie like me, then you will be very much so in your element here.
I am a sports fanatic, and back home I played GAA which are the Irish games of football and hurling. I played soccer, tennis, really I played a bit of everything. I knew coming to China, I could be leaving my sports at home but again I was wrong. The choice of sports to choose from here is endless. There is a GAA team, many soccer teams, facilities for every sport you can name. This was a big plus for me as without sports, I think I would go mad.
Aihua has made me feel at home here. There is a fantastic network and support system here and if the Chinese language gets too confusing, Summer and Tina are two incredible ladies who always go above and beyond to support me and help in any way. The training they provide is done in a professional yet fun manner and me being a big child at heart had the opportunity to show my youth again without judgement (let’s just say more moments I believed I was 5 years old again).
What are you waiting for? Come on this adventure and JUMP outside your comfort zone. Become the person that is itching to get out there and explore and live life with no regrets.