“This trip to China is not like my five previous trips,” writes new China Correspondent William Eubank. “This time I have come not for a 30-day visit but for the long term. There is a difference.
“For me the difference has had not as much to do with adjusting to life in China (I did my homework and I’ve spent enough time here in the past to know what to expect) as it has had to do with adjusting to the re-invention of myself. I am learning to deal with what this new life I’m making for myself really means. One important adjustment, of course, has been giving up that nice monthly paycheck from the university where I was employed as a teacher for so long.
“Over the last four years, making my plans, estimating what I might need/earn/spend living here in China, was one thing. Arriving here and seeing how things really pan out is another. I have been here for 35 days as of this writing, and I’m beginning to relax.
“I have identified a half-dozen ways to make money here to supplement my retirement funds (more on that later).
“More immediately exciting is that my health has improved dramatically since I got here at the end of March. I have been walking, taking public transportation, and getting out for several hours every day. I have lost about 5 kg in the last 35 days. My blood sugar levels have fallen from the 300s down to an average of under 150. I was walking in the park today, and I actually felt like running. I didn’t because I didn’t want to set off a panic among the thousands of Chinese watching me. But what a great feeling to have the inclination.
“Reinventing my life here in China is requiring big adjustments, yes, but life back in the States is going to require big adjustments soon, as well. The social, political, and financial challenges that I see coming in the United States in the next few years will make the ’60s (both the 1860s and the 1960s) look like calms before the storm.
“You may not have considered China as a place to retire, and this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I see big advantages here, for an improved lifestyle, for a reduced cost of living, and for a big adventure. For this 65-year-old, the idea of enjoying my final years in this exotic environment was irresistible.”