One of my favorite things about Zhongshan is that there are multiple reminders of home. One thing that I was happy to notice about Zhongshan when I first came to China was the abundance of parks in the surrounding area.
It might seem silly that parks are so important to me, but they had a big impact on my move. I had spent four years living in the mountains while I attended college back in America and I had grown accustomed to being surrounded by nature.
While I had plenty of access to the parks of Zhongshan, I also had access to a lot of malls. There are so many malls in Zhongshan that I could easily go to three different malls within the span of an afternoon. I have never needed to shop that much, but it is nice to have the option.
The best part is that many of these malls had stores and restaurants that I had back home. That meant that I did not have to give up Starbucks like I had feared.
One might wonder why I choose to stay in Zhongshan when I could easily move to Shenzhen. After all, Shenzhen has even more Starbucks stores. While it is true that Shenzhen has all of the things I listed above, it also has large and noisy crowds.
The noise and the crowds were the two things that people warned me about the most when they heard that I was moving to Shenzhen.
I was pleasantly surprised when my plans changed, and I found out that Zhongshan did not have those issues. There are some things that Shenzhen has that Zhongshan does not, but I have found that I do not really miss those things.
With that being said, I can easily take a day trip to Shenzhen, along with other major cities, due to how close Zhongshan is to them. It is not unusual for me to spend a weekend in Hong Kong or Guangzhou if I feel like shaking up my routine.
Another thing that is so great about living in Zhongshan is that it is very easy to save money here. I do not even have to make sacrifices to save money. I eat out quite a bit, and the most expensive thing that I buy typically ends up being a Starbucks drink.
The fact that I can save money at all while I continue to fuel my caffeine addiction is mind-boggling. Moving to Zhongshan has allowed me to live more comfortably than I thought was even possible. I still have to put in the effort to use my money wisely, but that really is not that hard to do.
In the end, I could not be happier with how things have turned out for me. I have traveled and done more than I thought I ever would. The opportunities that I have here have opened up a new world of possibilities for me.
This adventure has been nothing less than a rollercoaster. There have been many ups and downs, but it has been the best ride of my life.
I can honestly say that I love living in Zhongshan.