small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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expat life

64 Things You’ll Never Take for Granted after Living in China

“You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone,” Cinderella lamented, and it’s true. And when you live in China, you realize certain things are precious indeed because now you’re living without them. Here are 64 things you won’t take… Continue Reading →

I’m Not That Tall

Let’s just get this out of the way up front: I’m tall. 5’10”, in fact. Possibly 5’9 3/4” if we’re being really exact, but, honestly, no one cares about that quarter inch. In the United States of America, 5’10” is… Continue Reading →

14 Ideas for a Cross-Cultural-Stress-Busting Laugh Break

What do you do for stress relief? Some people go for a run, some people scrub their house clean, some people zone out with Netflix. But sometimes, there’s nothing like a good, long laugh session that leaves your stomach and… Continue Reading →

Misunderstood Goes a Long Way in Helping TCKs be Understood

Growing up away from their passport country has a deep and lasting impact on children. Often, parents, teachers, family, and even the kids themselves don’t always fully understand how global life has affected these third culture kids (TCKs). In Misunderstood:… Continue Reading →

10 Things to Know About Teenage TCKs

How are things different having a teenager overseas versus having a younger child? And how are teenage TCKs different from their monocultural peers? I’m answering those questions in a guest post over at China Family Blog: 10 Things to Know… Continue Reading →

Favorite TCK Books of 2017 + Giveaway!

I love finding good fiction books about people living cross-culturally. This year, I found three great middle-grade novels that featured main characters living in a new country. I think they’re good stories, especially for TCKs and expat families. Have you… Continue Reading →

The 10 Craziest Questions I’ve Been Asked in China

Being white in China, especially in off-the-beaten path areas of China, seems to make it fair game for any stranger to ask you any question about America. This can sometimes be awkward or weird, especially if you are a white… Continue Reading →

Figuring out Thanksgiving Far from America

It’s turkey time! If you’re an American living overseas, Thanksgiving is often the hardest holiday in terms of logistics. Is it worth the hassle and expense to get a turkey? How will you cook it in your EZ Bake oven?… Continue Reading →

Are They All Yours?

Early on in my Mandarin studies, I learned the word 都 dōu. Although it can mean “both”’ the meaning that stuck firmly in my head was “all”’ as in: “All the Americans in Nanning love to play Ultimate.” “All of… Continue Reading →

The Great Firewall in a Nutshell

If you’re new to China, you may be wondering why people keep talking about “The Great Firewall.” Are things really blocked? Is your online activity actually monitored by the government? As I was clearing out some old files, I ran… Continue Reading →

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