Brenna is an American expat living in Qingdao, China. If being busy with 2 little kids isn’t enough, Brenna is also busy with her blog called Living Asian, but also finds time to vlog on her Youtube channel.
Tell us a little about yourself,
Where do you live now and how long have you been there?
We live in Qingdao, China. We moved here in October of 2018.
What do you love about where you live now?
We love the people, the food, and how close we are to the beach. Qingdao is a beautiful city with so much to do!
How is it different from your home country?
We are from a small town in the states so it’s very different living in a big city! We love that there is always something to do and something to see.
What frustrates you about your host country?
The language barrier is the hardest thing! We are all studying and learning Chinese but it is a complex language so it will take time. It’s hard feeling like we are progressing with the language and then the simplest thing like ordering something online can quickly destroy your confidence!
How has expat life changed you?
Being an expat has opened my eyes to the world outside of my home country and to other cultures. I love learning from people that are different from me so it has been so amazing being able to do that daily. I feel that I am more open minded and understanding of people.
If you could sum up life now in 3 words, what would they be?
Unpredictable. Messy. Beautiful.
Are you the same person you were, when you arrived? Why?
Definitely not. I have become more confident, outgoing, and adventurous. I love the changes I have seen in myself and within my family.
What advice would you give a first-time expat?
Be realistic with your expectations and plan for things to go so so wrong before they go right. Also, give yourself a solid three months to feel recovered from all the changes.
The expat adventure
Where have you lived so far?
We lived in China during 2012 and then went back to the states to finish our degrees and start our family, then we moved back to China in 2018. My husband lived in Nicaragua for 2 years before we met.
10. What makes your expat adventure different from others?
We felt called to China and we did whatever it took to get there. We want our kids to experience a different way of living so they understand that there are many types of people in the world. We also look at our expat journey as a long term thing. We don’t plan on spending 2-3 years and then moving back. We are creating our lives here and plan to spend a long time in China.
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