Beijing featured

Why I Moved To Beijing

I finished my year of teaching in Guangzhou! While I’m sad to say goodbye to my little students, I’m excited for what’s next! I love living in China – the culture, the people, the food, the challenges – and I’m not ready to leave it all yet…

So I moved to Beijing!


I was really busy in July finishing my contract with the kindergarten then helping with summer classes at another center. I taught some of these students part-time for a year and we became so close! I became used to seeing their smiling little faces every week and they brought me so much joy.

Our last week together was so fun. We played more games, sang more songs, had a fashion show, and took sooo many photos together.

I love you guys and I’m so happy I could be your teacher this year!

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Jack, Jacky, Tomas, Leo, Arnie, Emma, Helen


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Jojo, Rachel, Hero, Anna, Alan, Jacky, Tomas, Jackson


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Lucas, Daisy, Alice, Mimi, Tiffany, Anne, and Mia


I visited Beijing once during the Spring Festival in 2016 and never imagined I’d be moving there!

The Great Wall with friends I taught with my first year in China! Shout out to the original Dumpling Expert crew

Aside from being the capital of China and one of the top destinations for travelers in Asia, it’s a great place for expats to live. You’ve got traditional Chinese architecture and history, as well the modern city life that comes with a metropolitan area of 20 million people.

A few people think I’m crazy to move from Guangzhou to a city much more polluted and cold…but I’m actually really excited about it. While I’ve loved my year in Guangzhou, I’m ready to be in a different city that can offer the same big city life that Guangzhou has – and even more!

I think it will also be really interesting to live in a northern Chinese city. The majority of my experiences in China have been in the southern cities, but China is huge. Every region has it’s own dialects, foods, and traditions. It will be exciting to experience China in a different way.


Before I came to China to be an ESL teacher, I graduated with a B.A. in Public Relations and Communications. Sharing stories and media and connecting with others across social media platforms has always been one of my passions and a big reason I started a blog here in China.

I’ve absolutely loved teaching and had the best three years with my university and kindergarten students, but I knew at some point I wanted to be in the communications field again.

So here’s what is next! I’ll be working in Beijing as the Digital Marketing and Social Media coordinator for Career China. Career China partners with other companies to help people who want to come live and work abroad in China. Whether it’s teaching or another career field, they can get you connected with a job here.

I’ve been working with Career China part-time for several months already, helping with their social media and writing for their blog.

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You can check out some of my blogs for Career China here:


beijing wangfujing street

My first night in Beijing I went to Wangfujing Street to say hello to Beijing. I’m sure I’ll write more about this place in the future, but Wangfujing is a famous walking street with all kinds of delicous and weird food.

Like scorpions. On a stick.

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I also woke up early to visit the Temple of Heaven, a famous temple and park here in Beijing.

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It’s already been a whirlwind – right after I arrived, I looked at an apartment with an agent, signed a lease, and registered my new address with the police. This was definitely a faster process than it was in Guangzhou!

I’ve also met lots of my new coworkers and seen more of Beijing. We went out to an archery bar and ate hot pot one night (one of the best foods in China!)

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I’m really excited about Beijing because it feels like a combination of Guangzhou and Hengyang – a big modern city but with lots of little Hutongs and local culture to explore. I can’t wait to see what else will happen here.

Check out some of my other posts about my students in Guangzhou, my recent travels in China, and my favorite things to do in Guangzhou:

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  1. Your blog posts are truly fascinating, not to mention heartwarming. You know living in the west I often notice there is a sort of pervasive anti-Eastern sentiment from media reporting to day-to-day conversations about how the rest of the (developing) world is unsafe and not up to the same quality of life and standards so it’s nice to see you are actually challenging yourself by living in a new place and enjoying yourself while doing so. Keep exploring!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! What you see in the media elsewhere often depicts the East in a negative way and I’m glad I can show a different perspective. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts with me! I appreciate it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, what an amazing adventure, and great photos. My dream was to travel abroad teaching English, but then I had my son and decided to hold off for awhile. He’s 8 now, and I teach ESOL in public schools in the U.S. (which is amazing in its own right). I believe one day I might drag my kids to another country to live for the adventure though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading 😊 Yes I bet that is an amazing experience as well! Teaching kids is such an awesome and rewarding job and I’m going to miss it so much! Best wishes for you and your students this year! And if you move abroad consider China – it’s awesome! I might be a little biased though 😉


  3. As someone who’s about to start their fourth year in Beijing (and China) as an English teacher, I look forward to following your travels and posts about life in the city. I haven’t been to Guangzhou, but I hope you will enjoy your time in Beijing (even the very cold winters!).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha. Well it’s not really snowy, just dry. But very cold. Beijing is an interesting place to spend some time. The pollution isn’t that much fun, but I think you will enjoy yourself. Are you living in east of city (I live in west, away from most of expat areas).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m in Chaoyang in the east – definitely lots of expats over here! So far I’ve really enjoyed Beijing, there’s so much to do here! Any recommendations on any unique places to check out?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hmm… well if the air and weather are nice, the Summer Palace is worth a visit, and the Olympic Forest Park is also good for a potter on a fine day. I haven’t been yet, but I believe that 798 art district is also an interesting place to spend some time. In Chaoyang, you’ll find lots of things for expats to do. I rarely get out that way, because it is far, and also transport links can be difficult at night.


  4. Exciting! My former manager moved from Siem Reap Cambodia to Beijing and based on FB (always a good indicator ;)) he loves it. And I was surprised for the very reasons you listed, cold and polluted. But congrats on your new job and new life! Good luck and looking forward to following along.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is amazing! I’m so glad I stumbled on your blog! I’ve been preparing to go to China for the past few weeks (more like months), and I’ll finally be leaving October 24th. I’ll be going for work, like you, and while my training and orientation will be in Beijing, I don’t yet know where exactly I’ll be placed.

    I was worried about being able to find my own apartment, and all the expenses that will occur in the beginning, since it’s my first time living alone. But it’s great to hear that your transition both to Guangzhou and then again to Beijing have gone well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey thanks for reading! I’m so excited to hear that you’ll be coming to Beijing – I love living here! I felt the same way about finding an apartment and settling in, but it’s actually not terrible! If you need any realtor names let me know 🙂


      1. Thanks for your quick response! I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying living in Beijing! I would actually love to get recommendation for realtor. I’m not exactly sure where exactly I’ll be, but I want to get a head start on apartment hunting 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Rachel. I’m thinking of moving to Beijing (I currently stay in another city in China). I would love to chat to you more about the city and what to expect. Is there any chance I could get your wechat or email?


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