Big News – I’m Moving!

I’ve been keeping a huge secret and I’m SO RELIEVED to able to finally share it with you!

In a few months, my family and I will be saying goodbye to Australia and moving overseas.

We are moving to Guangzhou, China. Not many people know Guangzhou – it was formerly known as Canton, and it is the third largest city in China after Beijing & Shanghai. It’s located in the south, just inland from Hong Kong and Macau.

moving map

We visited in April this year to get a feel for the city, do some school tours, look at apartments and meet some of my husband’s colleagues.

I don’t speak a word of Mandarin, but I’ll be taking lessons when I arrive. The girls are enrolled in school and for the first time in 7 years, I won’t have either of them at home during the day anymore. Mixed emotions!

The next few months will be a whirlwind – we have already begun the process of moving. I’ve done a lot of decluttering, we’ve put together our packing list for the movers and had many medical appointments and travel immunisations.

moving china


What does that mean for the blog? There won’t be much sewing for a while – my machines and stash will be packed up in December and shipped, which will take about three months. I’ll keep up with book club and I’ll make sure I check in and let you know how everything is going.

I hope you’ll come along for this crazy ride with me – I don’t know anyone in Guangzhou and I’ll need my online friends more than ever! If  you’ve got experience as an expat, especially in China or Hong Kong, I’d love to hear all about it!

87 thoughts on “Big News – I’m Moving!

  1. Exciting! Is it a permanent move, or just for a few years?
    Guangzhou sounds familiar. That’s the airport that China Southern airlines stopover at from Australia to Europe. My experiences don’t go further than the airport there though!
    Safe travels!

    1. About 4 years Jodie 🙂 You are right – Guangzhou is China Southern’s home city, we will fly with them a lot!

  2. Ooooh ros. It’s come around quickly. What an adventure. Damien’s aunt and uncle lived in china for years when their daughters were young snd they were schooled there. From what i know of them, they are all well travelled and can speak Mandarin very well. It’s going to be a wonderful experience for all of you. Can’t wait to read all about your adventures. Best wishes mg love xx

    1. Thanks Anne! I hope the girls get a really good handle on Mandarin and also me too – I’m planning to do lessons and I’m hoping to get to a good conversational level. xx

  3. Glad you included that map – it doesn’t seem so far away now. And look how close you are to Taiwan… as if I needed another excuse to visit!

    I shall be avidly following stories of your new adventures! x

  4. Hi, I’m new to your site and sewing. I do mainly patchwork and have loved your tutorials and stories. The very best of luck to you and your family on your exciting adventure.
    From Avril. In Scotland U.K.

  5. Michel Thomas language CDs are great. The mandarin one is easy to follow and will help you learn some basic sentence structure. I love China, I’ve been through Guangzhou while travelling from HK to Hunan. The fast trains are amazing, but I don’t know the city. I hope you enjoy your time there. Might be worth investing in a vpn.

    1. Thanks for the language CD tip – I will check them out! Can’t wait to go for some trips on the fast trains, they look amazing. Already investigating VPNs – will be essential! x

  6. How exciting. Maybe a whole new area for your blog. I personally, would love to read about your experience settling in, learning a new language and culture. I studied Japanese and would love to learn Mandarin one day. all the best.

    1. I think the blog will certainly be a bit different next year, although I’d say my focus will always be my sewing projects. Will definitely update you on how life is in China though! 🙂

  7. What an adventure for your family….I have never been to China, however, my aunt and uncle did mission work there and loved the people and culture. I hope your new surroundings inspire your sewing ideas and I know you will share them with us!

    1. I certainly will share them! Looking forward to a new culture and lifestyle, but also a bit anxious about all the changes as well! x

  8. Good Luck with the move and have a Great Adventure! Be sure to stay connected to your quilting buds!

    1. I definitely will – I’ll need all my sewing buddies online, especially in the early days when I won’t know anyone!! 🙂

  9. WOW! That is big.

    I really recommend learning the language as fast as you possibly can so that you are able to talk with your new friends. A language barrier can make you feel very isolated, but, at least in the mean time, you have your internet friends to chat with 🙂 I’m sure your girls will pick up the language quickly, as young kids tend to do.

    Best of luck! Keep us posted.

    1. I’m sure the kids will be amazing – they’ll help teach me mandarin! I’ll definitely keep you posted. xx

  10. What an adventure for you and your family, Ros. Kids pick up languages very quickly. I’ve had a couple of kids start in my kindergarten class, not speaking a word of English, and within six months they were speaking fluently. Three months without a machine will probably go quite quickly as you’ll have so much to do. A little EPP could tide you over, though. All the best with the packing and the move.

    1. Thanks Pam! I think the first three months will be a whirlwind so I’ll probably enjoy the break from the creative stuff but will be thrilled to get it once it arrives!

  11. How exciting, awesome, AND a bit scary! What a learning experience for your children. They’ll probably be able to help you learn the language & I’m sure you’ll make some English speaking friends. Can’t wait to live a little vicariously through your new adventure. And I bet you’ll have easy access to some amazing fabric! Wish you & your family all the best.

    1. Yep a little bit scary 🙂 I’ll have to go on some fabric hunting adventures – there are no patchwork & quilting shops like we have here and in the UK/US. Thanks Lana!

  12. That is so exciting!! I wish you and your family lots of luck!!! It’ll be interesting to read about your experiences.
    I’ve always wanted to live overseas but it’s a bit late now for me!!

  13. Wishing you the best of luck in China!! Hope to hear about your adventures and hope to still follow you when things settle down for you!
    What a great opportunity!

  14. Sounds exciting and scarey! You’ll have to take up knitting or crocheting until you get settled. Oh you’ll be eating so much interesting food. Yum. Good luck and stay safe. Look forward to seeing some posts on your journey.

    1. Thanks so much Valerie! I’ll still do a few more blog posts before the move but I’ll be pretty quiet over Christmas/NY and January. xx

  15. Its sure come around quickly hasn’t it! So exciting! I will be following along your adventures for sure. Hubby travels to China frequently. All the very best of luck, Ros, I’ll be thinking of you.

  16. What an absolutely wonderful adventure for the family, Ros! Here’s to a smooth move and a special time of learning and making memories. I look forward to following your journey!

  17. So excited for you all and looking forward to keeping in touch. You know you can email me anytime. We are working through a lot of transition preparation stuff with our kids at the moment so if you need resources for that let me know xx

  18. Wow that’s an exciting next step for you and your family. I’m sure the local scene will inspire you endlessly. Enjoy the adventure. I’ve really enjoyed following your blog and sharing some of your lovely posts. Nicole 🙂

    1. YASSSSSSSS! So excited – our daughter turns 7 very soon after we arrive so promises have been made already 😉

  19. Oh wow! Big adventure!
    I cannot believe you’re moving before I ever had the chance to meet you in person (Keryn had plans, but then, well Elsie (: ). Good luck with everything. I’m excited to read about your new surroundings. 🙂

  20. Well done Ros,enjoy your new life .Your children must be so excited and I’m sure it will be a great learning curve for you all.Good luck.

  21. good luck and hopefully you will eventually get to do tutorials. culture very different but you will learn many new things. My son was in Shenzhen china for one year and enjoyed it…

  22. The food will be amazing! My parents lived in HK for 3 years and had an absolute ball, food, culture, scenery. It is definitely worth learning enough language to shop as very little English is spoken – I would have thought that it would be Cantonese rather than mandarin locally, the nine tones are fairly challenging so it is definitely worth finding some good language lessons.

    1. Hi Ruth, yes I’m very excited about the food! The Chinese government have been very strict in recent years about having Mandarin as the main language so schools / official business / newspapers etc are all in that language. Many people in Guangzhou speak both mandarin and cantonese though, and of course once you cross the border to HK everything is cantonese!

  23. Wow Ros! What an exciting move! We live in China too, but not in your city. We have been here for 7 months and find that we are quite comfortable and able to get almost anything we need.
    Mandarin is tough, but so worth the effort. Will you be hiring a private tutor or attending a uni or what method will you use? We have private tutors and are using the GPA method. After 7 months, we are able to get what we need, but in pretty broken language.

    1. Kate! I’d love to chat more to hear about your experiences. I’ll email you. Most likely private tutoring – my husband went over for a month earlier this year and did an immersion course, I will probably attend the same language school.

  24. wow this is a MOVE. This is an exciting journey for all of you. You are all going to learn new things. It will be something that is remembered for life. Have fun and enjoy.

  25. Wow – what an amazing opportunity for your whole family!! I’ve spent about half of my adult life living and working on other countries, and my main advice would be to just enjoy the experience!

    Other then that, for your husband (and yourself if you’re planning on working), I would suggest cultural training. It’s sounds strange, but the couple of times I’ve worked in non-western countries, this has been something I’ve done (mandatory the first time, and something I did of my own accord the second), and it’s been such a big help. Knowing that the culture is different, and having vague ideas of how is ok for everyday living, but I found actually learning about the cultural history of a country, and how this effects behavior and impacts decisions, especially in a business environment, was invaluable for me.

    Have a great time – hope the packing is relatively painless and stress free, and can’t wait to read all about your new adventures!

    1. Thanks so much for your tips and advice Emma! I think cultural training would certainly be helpful, there is a lot of etiquette in China that is very different from western culture. I’m exhausted already at thinking about the packing….argh! We have been preparing so hopefully it will be fairly smooth. xx

  26. Just a recent visitor to your blog – love your passion and positivity! Your new move sounds so exciting – such a wonderful opportunity for you and your family. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures. Congrats of the big new projects. Karen

  27. How exciting Ros and what a chance in a life time for your girls! I know it will be scarey at first but then you will love it! Imagine all the new dishes you can try and places to visit. I will be looking forward to hearing all about your adventures and I wish you all the best for a safe trip and with all the packing and unpacking xxx

    1. Thanks so much Amanda! I am very excited about spending time exploring the city and trying new food. xx

  28. I rarely leave comments, but this post forced me to 🙂 What a great experience for you and your family! Three friends of mine are often in China on business, and they all fell in love with the country and the people. I wish you all the best!

    Greetings from Germany


  29. Hello Ros. Have been reading your blog for quite a while now but have never commented. Its funny I feel like I know you a little bit….even though you’ve no idea who I am! China will be amazing! What an experience! The Friday finds will be a bit different next year!
    Me and my husband and our two young boys travelled around China for 3 months a couple of years ago. Its a little overwhelming how big the cities are. I read this great book when we were there…really recommend it. The Good Women of China. Hidden Voices. Written by Xinran. Its about being a woman in modern China. Really engaging and easy to read. It’ll be on book depository I would think.
    Anyway, glad your move has finally spurred me on to get in touch with you. I love your posts and have caught the ‘zippered pouch’ craze from you. Have made about five of them! Good luck with the big move.
    Louise from Hobart, Tassie.

    1. Hi Louise! I’m so glad you finally commented :)Thanks for the book rec, I’ll check it out – I’ve been devouring anything I can get my hands on because there isn’t really much out there for China. We went over for a visit in April and I totally agree – the big cities are crazy and overwhelming so it will be an interesting transition. Sorry for this late reply, things are starting to get crazy and only 4 more weeks until the movers come!! OMG. Ros xx

  30. Hi Ros, so very exciting and scary at the same time! Hope all goes well, it will be a great experience for the whole family. It’s a good thing for us readers that you can blog from anywhere in the world! All the best. Julie

  31. This sounds so exciting! Moving to China with your family, learning Mandarin… this is so cool! I really love the idea to move to another country with my family but unfortunately I don’t think that they share my enthusiasm. That is why it is nice that there are adventurous people like you! I’ll be glad to follow your move and all things you need to go through there! Thanks for sharing! Best of luck with the move!

  32. You are going to love it there. And the sewing!! everything at your fingertips and the prices too good to be true!!! Enjoy your adventure! Make sure to visit Hong Kong, it is amazing!

    1. Thanks Helen! We are really excited about it. We visited in April and went to Hong Kong as well – it was fabulous and we are really looking forward to spending more time there!

  33. Such an exciting opportunity Ros – A huge change but an exciting one! I loved it over there when i visited a few years back, hopefully you will too. I saw someone else say make sure you go to Hong Kong – definitely do! I spent one New Years Eve darting back and forth between Kowloon and Hong Kong, it was absolutely spectacular, like no other celebration i have ever been to! Good luck with the move, make sure you enjoy everything and try not to get stressed or homesick! xxx

    1. Yes very exciting – only 10 days until we are there! We visited back in April and spent some time in Hong Kong too and we loved it!

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