In college, me and my friends would only need to ask one question before we did something: ‘Down?’

The mentality of being open to new experiences, whether possibly stupid, frightening, risky, or fun, has given me a wide berth of experiences that I would not have otherwise been witness to had I stayed inside my bubble of comfort. Pushed by a strong desire to see more of the world than the small island I call home, I set off to college on the mainland US, and have made a point of prioritizing using my resources on experiences instead of things. I don’t regret a single decision I’ve made, and my Instagram bio – Along for the ride – has become an important aspect of how I approach life. It’s not so much listlessness as a desire to seize an interesting opportunity and gain new perspectives.

Which brings me to today. While circumstances mandated a temporary move back home to Kaneohe, HI, I was not exactly sure where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. At that point in time (Jan 2017), I had been working in marketing and advertising for numerous small businesses and agencies, and while I liked it, I felt that I wanted to work on something bigger than that. While job searching, I came across an opportunity to teach English in Shanghai, and applied on a whim, thinking it might help grant new perspectives on the field of communication, and would also be a great opportunity to capture more of those experiences I seem to crave.

I got the offer.

And now it’s time for something completely different.

This blog series (hopefully updated once a week), will detail what I experience while in Shanghai, China, for this next year will surely be something that sticks with me for the rest of my life. It’ll also serve to keep my writing skills in shape, as I’m still very interested in returning to marketing/advertising in some capacity.

Some random thoughts I thought I’d share:

-The visa process was unexpectedly long and complicated, partly due to my mistakes, but I was able to get my work visa in the nick of time (literally hours before my plane left), and I’m certainly glad it’s over.

-Teaching is something that I have not considered before this position, and while I grew up watching my mom work as a teacher, I’m still a little anxious about how I’ll do. I really want to excel in the things I commit to, so you’ll be hearing a lot about my struggles in diving into another profession.

-The flight, while long, was spent in comfort, with a decent amount of space, good movies available, and okay food. It’s definitely set in that I’m going to a foreign country though, as I heard and saw a lot more Mandarin as soon as I entered the plane.

-The hotel is pretty modern, and it looks like I’ll be spending the next couple of weeks here. Hopefully my orientation goes smoothly!


That’s all for now. There’s not much of a voice to this series yet, but I hope I’ll be able to develop it as I write more.


See you next week,

2 thoughts on “Shanghai

  1. Checked out your blog for the first time, lot here to go thru! Great insights on your journey, will keep posted.

    Mom & Dad


  2. Hi Dylan,
    This is exciting stuff…and if you donʻt mind, I will be sharing with Marley and Nyree! They need to know what cool adventures await when they are old enough to spread their wings – you’re a great role model!
    Can’t wait to hear about more!
    Take care Dylan!



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