I lived and taught in China for 8 years.

Here's 11 Life Lessons I learned.

(That you can use in your life too)

1. Confidence Builds With Experience

When I first arrived in China, I was a shy speaker.

My eyes would often water, and I would shake when I spoke in front of people.

I also had 0 teaching experience.

I had to fake my confidence...

But over time, I conquered this shyness.
2. You Can Learn At Any Age

I grew up believing the old lie: adults can't learn language.


I was monolingual when I stepped foot in China at 21.

Now I can have deep conversations 'righting the world' in Chinese.

This taught me another valuable lesson:
If you can lean a complex language completely unrelated to your own, you can learn anything.

Is it easy? No.

Is it possible? Yes.

Never use your age as an excuse to not learn something new.
3. The More You Understand A Person, The Better You Can Help Them.

The more I learned Chinese, the more I understood where their mistakes and misunderstandings in English came from.

Meet people at their position before you provide your bridge of help.
4. Your Desires Change with Time

When I started, I thought learning and teaching foreign languages would be a lifetime thing.

Right now, I'm bored with languages but can't get enough of crypto and twitter

I'm still helping people, but in a way I never thought of before.
5. Friends Change With Time

Twice in my life I've moved.

UK to NZ when I was 14.
NZ to China when I was 21.

With both moves, I've lost and gained friends.

Some friends in China are like family to me.

Some 'friends' I grew up with are strangers to me now.
6. Home Is Where The Heart Is

For most of my time in China, I lived in a city called Hefei (pronounced: her-fay).

Every time I go back, it feels like home.

I get that warm 'I'm home' feeling in a foreign country.

Weird, right?

But it gets weirder...
7. Normal Is Localized

In China, it's normal to ask a stranger if they are single or how much money they make.

In the west, asking a stranger if they are single means something more, and asking about income is rude.
Everything from the food we eat, the words we speak to the actions we take, is only normal to your immediate surroundings.

Once I realized this, a lot of anxiety and shyness I used to feel disappeared.

Don't try to fit in.

Be You.
8. English Native Speakers Are Privileged

The no.1 reason to learn English for non-natives is for more educational or work opportunities.

Many parents pay for English education like western parents trying to put their kids through college.

It's a ticket to a better life.
9. Money Controls You Or Sets You Free

My first choice to teach English wasn't China.

But I ended up in China because it was a cheaper option to get started when I had no cash flow.

ESL teachers also receive a high income compared to the cost of living.

Which was great...
I 'wasted' the first half of my 20s...

Lots of partying, lots of fancy meals, lots of fun and crazy experiences (Which I wouldn't change).

After 3 years, I paid off half my debt.

Then I got serious and paid the second half in 1 year.

I could finally save money....
I didn't increase my cost of living...

I used some savings to invest in courses.

It took me 2 years before I found twitter...

and at the end of last year, I made all the course money back.

Now I have savings, investments and online income to fund travelling the world.
10. Be Open To Love

Before China, I had some heartbreaking relationships.

I lost who I was...
And it made me scared to love again.

I didn't want to waste more time losing myself when I was still trying to figure myself out...
I only had casual relationships...

When I met my wife, we both thought it was another casual relationship.

I had found love.

At first I ignored it....

But after travelling outside of China for half a year, I came back for her.

Now, we're happily married.
11. Everything Happens For A Reason

Learning Chinese
Getting Married
Financially getting ahead

These experiences shape:
•who I am
•the way I think
•the way I approach the world

China was a long stop-over to travelling the world.

And I'll travel better coz of it.
Thanks for reading this thread.

If you are thinking about living in a foreign country, I highly recommend it.

You'll turn into someone different, but you'll be wiser than staying in one place.
If you enjoyed this thread, hit that RT.

A follow @SteeTweets 😁

Have a good one.

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