Travel To Grow

Understanding The World Through Travel

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Feb '10

Troubled Times in China

In my last status update I talked about how my time in Guangdong – China was over and how I was moving to Nanning to start a small private tutoring business with my friend Helina…

Things however, don’t always go as smoothly as planned.

After arriving in Nanning Helina and I found the apartments we had found on the internet for super low prices were exactly as depicted, and we would have to end up paying about double what we thought we were going to for what we wanted. On top of that Helina’s father convinced her that she needed to instead get a full time job and only think about this business in her limited free time. We talked about still running the business despite these things but after I looked for a decent apartment we could use for teaching for 2 days with no luck we really felt things weren’t working out. I was quite frustrated by the whole thing and the benefits of getting another teaching job with low hours, high pay and a free apartment started far outweighing the desire to work long and hard for little pay mostly by myself here in Nanning. Helina and I talked it over and came to the decision to drop the business and just work at our own jobs.

I was quite disappointed by how everything turned out. I had high hopes for the business but every aspect of what I had imagined it to be had fallen apart, it seemed a lost cause and the thought that we had failed before we had even started was depressing. For the next 7 days I lived in a hotel room. I was stressed out constantly, I applied for jobs daily with some disappointing results, and I really missed my friends from Shunde. My entire trip to Nanning seemed like such a waste.

I tried to convince myself to stop worrying so much, to enjoy my time in Nanning and to relax a little bit but I think I just felt defeated. I slept way too much with no enthusiasm to do much of anything and I got a little sick. I found out how easy it was to get trapped in a beaten down mindset, the mindset produces bad results, and the bad results keep the mindset going. Nothing very positive came out of my actions because I was in such a negative state. It wasn’t until my experience with the Power of Now that I started to turn things around.

After that night things got a lot better. My friend gave me a number for a man looking for teachers in the nearby Yangshuo and he offered me a 2 week job in the area. I also signed up for the couch surfing website and had my first experience with that. I didn’t end up staying at anyone’s house but I met a group of 3 Chinese guys all with excellent English and they showed me all around Nanning, invited me to their families place for dinner, and then went out for a night of fun drinking with me. I felt a lot better about things after that, getting a job in Yangshuo quite close to Nanning made the trip I made feel like it wasn’t a waste, and the good memories, cool sights and awesome friends I made in my final few days made me feel as if coming to Nanning was just another fun adventure on my journey around China.

I had also always planned to see Yangshuo one day as I had heard it’s one of the most beautiful places in all of China… and as I found out after arriving… I heard right!



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  • nameannelashbrook

    just when things are not going your way – they seem to turn around. Nanning was a stepping stone for Yangshuo – and you are right it is beauiful.

  • nameannelashbrook

    just when things are not going your way – they seem to turn around. Nanning was a stepping stone for Yangshuo – and you are right it is beauiful.