Here is the city of Zhucheng, my home for the past 6 months. At first it was quite the culture shock to be in a new country, with a new language, and a very different people, but now it is feeling more like home every day!
Have you ever wanted to pick up, move across the world, and start fresh? I did. And I did it!
In 2006 I was working in the insurance industry in Toronto, Ontario. I had been there for 6 years and quite enjoyed my work, but I was ready for a change. That's when a job opportunity came up in China. Originally I planned on making the move for a relatively short while - perhaps 6 months or a year - but I fell in love with the country. I did move back home temporarily but always knew I'd be back!
Last year another opportunity came up to move to China. This time it was in a city called Zhucheng and I am planning on making this a long-term relocation. Already much has happened with my career, my health, and my mindset about life and living. Here I will share a few of my stories.
Growing up I was always the "chubby kid" in school. I was never fat, but I was always a little bigger than my friends and I was definitely self-conscious about my weight. The funny thing about being overweight is that, despite how much I wanted to change, my weight became my identity and it was scary to be anything else. That's where China came in!
On my first trip to China back in 2006 I lost a lot of weight. I don't know if it was the food or the constant walking but I dropped about 25lbs in 6 months. I didn't even realize it at the time, but when I came home everyone had such a positive reaction that I knew it would be worth while to maintain.
Unfortunately it didn't take long to start piling the weight back on. I'm not sure what it is about Toronto but it just seems like an easy place to constantly go out for food and not do much exercise. I tried going to a gym but didn't like the atmosphere so I began using this online workout service called MakeYourBodyWork.com. It is a cool way to do bodyweight exercise at home or on the road and it fit nicely into my schedule.
On top of the exercise, I read a cool book about how to detox your body naturally, that spoke highly of using various detox supplements as well as foot baths or patches to remove toxins and promote weightloss. I haven't started yet but did find a site called Purify Your Body that sells many of these types of products. I will do an update if I get using them.
Now that I'm back in China I've set a goal of losing another 12-15lbs. I just signed up for the body transformation program that Dave and Cassie Smith run and I will begin in the new year. Losing weight is part of my new beginning. New home, new career, new body! (check out my "before" and "now" picture below...not bad!)
When I was living in Canada I worked in the insurance industry and I really enjoyed it! Okay, I know that sounds strange - Who likes to sell insurance? Well, I had a great relationship with my customers and I saw so many stories unfold that had a happy ending because of the insurance policies I found for them.
I specialized in offering something called critical illness insurance as well as certain business products like various liability insurance policies and business interruption insurance. It was all good - I was helping my clients and saved many people their businesses and life savings.
At the same time, I was ready for a change. That's why I was excited about moving into the precious metals trading industry when I moved to China. Now I specialize in trading precious metals, mostly gold, and a few other commodities.
This is completely different from my previous career because this is much more numbers driven than it is emotionally-driven. I still feel that I help my clients and business partners, but the goal is more about making money than it is about protecting people. I'm not 100% sure that this will be career for life or anything, but it is fun right now and I am learning a lot about trading, investing, and making large sums of money!
UPDATE: In April I switched companies again, but will still be working in trading. Hopefully this time it will be a better fit!
Well, as you can see by now my life is based in Zhucheng, China (Z), I am moving in a new career path with my gold investments (G), my health is a new priority and I am focusing on losing weight (H), and this is just the start of my journey (J)!
I admit it's a little cheesy but I do think this properly sums up my life right now. Feel free to learn a bit more about me by snooping around my site. And check out this video I shot from Zhucheng Square:
I often get asked this question, "What can you do in Zhucheng?" I'll be the first to admit that there isn't a lot to do here, but there are some great attractions worth checking out. The city is apparently home to some major dinosaur bone discoveries, in particular T-Rex finds, hence why these is quite a good dinosaur museum in town. Check out this cool video about the king of the dinosaurs!
I just got home from what turned out to be the best trip of my life and I'm excited to share about it!
Each year I get 4 weeks of paid vacation. So far, I've done a little bit of traveling but have always stayed on the eastern side of the world. I figure it makes sense to travel in this area while I'm already here. But, a friend of mine was taking a month of vacation time to travel around Panama and she asked me to join her. I've heard great things about this little South American country so I couldn't say no.
Her mission was to take a look at Panama real estate deals. I had heard about the deals that are available - beachfront mansions for half of the price they would fetch in the US - so I was intrigued by the investment opportunities. While we spent most of our time in Panama City, we did explore some of the beach towns (check out PanamaScout for help finding info on the country), and we made it inland to one of the mountains too.
Here's one of the video guides we used while planning our trip: