My name is Olena and I am a travelholic. I fell in love with traveling when I was just a child, but don’t blame my parents for taking me on cool holidays. It was moving to China that transformed my hobby into something more serious. My husband, Isaac, and I moved here without ever even visiting Asia.
Calling what we experienced ‘culture shock’ is an understatement. I would have been different if we lived in cosmopolitan Shanghai or historically rich Beijing. We live 90 minutes from Shanghai in an economic development zone. Huaqiao is basically a growing city within another city and it’s a very bizarre place to live if you’re moving here from Prague, like we did.
It’s been a struggle to adjust to life here which made us realize how clueless we both are about the world beyond Europe and America. One of the main reasons for moving here was to explore Asia. Since we’ve moved here six months ago we’ve visited Thailand, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Macau. We also booked flights to Australia and planned a trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos for July.
Our original plan was to stay in China for around a year while we applied for my US visa. It took longer than expected to gather all the necessary papers and with all the chaos in the US right now, our original plan of moving to Rhode Island in September is no longer realistic. As frustrating as not having a permanent home and being away from family is, the idea of spending another year abroad is absolutely exhilarating!
I never even realized just how big the world was until I started researching where to go next. We’ve sent job applications to literally everywhere in the world. Although it would be the easiest visa-wise to stay in China (which we might end up doing) we are looking into the United Arab Emirates, Oceania and we’ve even sent applications to the Maldives. If a high salary wasn’t our priority we’d be applying to Columbia, Puerto Rico, Ghana, Thailand and other exciting exotic places.
The only reason we’re so focused on a high salary is to be able to travel more. Duh. Living near Hong Kong or Dubai would be the ideal way to see more of the world for less money. $300 round trip tickets from Dubai to Johannesburg? Yes please! I’d be embarrassed to admit just how much time I spend on Skyscanner looking at the cheapest ways to travel. I’ve also done extensive research on “around the world” tickets too.
In love vs. addicted to travel:
You know you’re addicted to travel when you book flights first and worry about paying rent later. When you can’t just visit one country but have to Google cheap ways to visit neighboring countries while you’re there. Oh, and you know you have it real bad when you’re writing an article about being addicted to travel and you keep taking breaks from writing to research potential trips on Skyscanner.
Speaking of Skyscanner, did you know that it lets you write “Everywhere” as a destination and shows you the cheapest flights from any departure city? Also, you can select an entire month instead of specific flight dates to see the cheapest days to fly? It even tells you which month of the year is the cheapest for flying to specific countries! Do you see why I’m so obsessed?
Just in case you’re suspicious, Skyscanner is not sponsoring me, but they really should start paying me or better yet, give me free plane tickets! I’m easy to please when it comes to choosing a destination, I literally want to go everywhere in the world. Seriously, if any sponsor is reading this, send me anywhere in the world and I’ll report via blog posts, photos and videos! I’m unemployed at the moment and very flexible *hint hint* *nudge nudge* *wink wink*. Just kidding! I’m in a very serious relationship with my passport.