A New Chapter: Bangkok Bound

The only thing certain in life is change.

When we first found out we were moving to Shanghai, I was terrified. When we arrived in Shanghai, I was terrified. Our first few months of living in Shanghai, I was terrified. But, as time went on and we settled into our new lives, I found myself getting used to our new lifestyle. Actually, I found that I really liked living abroad. Most of my fears went away and we all settled comfortably into life abroad. 

That being said, living an expat life usually comes with an end date. You agree to a certain amount of time and understand that you need to make the most of it because before you know it, you will be packing your things to move back home. Our initial assignment in Shanghai was set to end, well…now. It was a three-year gig. However, we liked it so much that when we were given an opportunity to extend another two years, we jumped at the chance. Not only would it let us live our newly adapted expat lifestyle longer, but it would also allow our 16-year-old, Elijah to graduate from an international high school, which we agreed was a huge opportunity. 

So, we all happily resigned ourselves to the fact that we would be in Shanghai until 2020. Silly us. We should have known not to get too comfortable. Along came a work opportunity for my husband Brett and, BAM, we were told to pack up our things and move to Bangkok.

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First week in Shanghai
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Last week in Shanghai

 Whoah, Nelly! Ok, that’s a curveball, but if living abroad has taught us anything, it’s that we are so blessed and always need to be adaptable. So, how long do we have to pack up, move to a new country, enroll the boys in a new international school, find a house, transport our dog, and say goodbye? Let’s say two months, but only one month of hands-on time to pull everything together. Because, why not? Might as well just rip off the Band-Aid, right?

As you can imagine, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster. Another international move makes a move across town look like a cake walk. But things are coming together. We are all wrapping our heads around what our “new normal” may look like, and although I am back to being a bit terrified about our new home base, I now know I can do it. Hey, if we picked up our lives and moved to China of all places, we can certainly make a move to Thailand (at least this has been my mantra lately). 🙂

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Ready to go!

So, stay tuned for our new chapter. We will have a lot of twists and turns over the next few months. I’m sure it will be entertaining and I hope you won’t mind what is normally a little bit of crazy turning into a whole lot of crazy! IMG_3005

So, here’s to another new adventure! 

The Burin Bunch 

is 

Bangkok Bound! 

(say that 5 times fast) 😉

Shanghai-Pudong Airport (Terminal 2)

This is a series meant to help you find the best of the best in lounges everywhere.

Our 12-year-old, Jack has become a lounger-extraordinaire. He knows how to get the most out of any lounge experience and always manages to get our full money’s worth out of any visit. As a result, we have come up with a lounge rating system according to our very discerning lounge critic. Enjoy, and may you too achieve lounge nirvana!  

Jack’s Rating System

1 (worst)—5 (best) 

Ambiance

Comfort  

Sustenance 

Bathrooms 

=

Overall Score

________________________________________________________________________

Shanghai Pudong Airport

Priority Pass Plaza Premium Lounge #77

Terminal 2

(Priority Pass)

Ambiance: 5

Comfort: 4

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No more paparazzi!

Sustenance: 4

Bathrooms: 5++

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Your throne awaits!

=

OVERALL: 4.5

Jack really liked the ambiance this lounge had to offer because you could look down over the gates at the airport. Although the sandwiches here are freshly made, Jack prefers the prepackaged ones he has found in most other lounges. What can I say, sometimes he likes the finer things in life and other times, he prefers to keep it simple. As for the bathrooms, those are what put this lounge’s rating over the top. Japanese Toto toilets with heated seats made Jack feel “fancy” and became his favorite bathroom out of all the lounges we have visited.

China-Shanghai Pudong Airport T1

This is a series meant to help you find the best of the best in lounges everywhere.

Our 12-year-old, Jack has become a lounger-extraordinaire. He knows how to get the most out of any lounge experience and always manages to get our full money’s worth out of any visit. As a result, we have come up with a lounge rating system according to our very discerning lounge critic. Enjoy, and may you too achieve lounge nirvana!  

Jack’s Rating System

1 (worst)—5 (best) 

Ambiance

Comfort  

Sustenance 

Bathrooms 

=

Overall Score

________________________________________________________________________

Shanghai-Pudong Airport

Terminal 1-Lounge 37

(Priority Pass)

Ambiance: 2IMG_0313

Comfort: 2IMG_0314

Sustenance: 2IMG_0318

Bathrooms: 0

=

OVERALL: 1.5

According to Jack, this lounge provides just the basics. Overall not very impressive. Comfort was rated a 2 because it did have comfortable chairs but no working power ports. Sustinance was sub-par but was granted a 2 because of the “delicious prepackaged sandwiches”. I guess he liked them because by the time we left, Jack had eaten 13! Bathrooms are just a very dated small single stall and honestly you would be better off using the bathrooms outside the lounge.

 

6 Reasons Why Kids Should Live Abroad

My 11-year-old, Jack had quite a day last week. He decided he would go on an “adventure bike ride” around our neighborhood. When he returned, his eyes were alight with excitement and he had quite a tale to tell. You see, we live on a very large compound which includes villas, a hotel, conference buildings, a large lake, and walking trails. Jack’s adventure led him to the conference buildings where he found a conference was taking place. To summarize his epic journey, he basically walked into the conference, was given a backpack, a book, some mints, and a lanyard, then sat for a while enjoying a cup of tea before being chauffeured back home in a Rolls Royce golf cart. We have since discussed the need to be careful when out exploring and the fact that it is not really appropriate to crash conventions, but to be perfectly honest, I am pretty impressed by this kid’s sense of adventure and bravery.

 Adventuring aside, this led me to think about how far my kids have come in the 2 1/2 years we have lived abroad. My mom always used to say that she believes everyone should live abroad for at least one year and you know, I now completely agree. I’m sure me agreeing with my mom is music to her ears. 😉 But really, I have seen so much growth in my children while living overseas that I can’t help but agree. Read more

Go For a Ride With Culture Shock Bike Tours

Shanghai has many sites to see. So many, in fact, that it can be difficult to narrow them down. Culture, history, architecture. Museums, tours, activities. The possibilities can be overwhelming. And let’s face it, most people have a week, tops, in order to squeeze in as much as possible. 

Since we have established it is impossible to do it all, it becomes important to focus on opportunities that will give you the most bang for your buck. Perhaps ones that combine history, culture, and fun together in one happy package. Enter Culture Shock Bike Tours. This is a company that offers morning and night tours through the streets of Shanghai via vintage Forever brand bicycles. Read more

China-Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu​

This is a series meant to help you find the best of the best in lounges everywhere.

Our 12-year-old, Jack has become a lounger-extraordinaire. He knows how to get the most out of any lounge experience and always manages to get our full money’s worth out of any visit. As a result, we have come up with a lounge rating system according to our very discerning lounge critic. Enjoy, and may you too achieve lounge nirvana!  

Jack’s Rating System

1 (worst)—5 (best) 

Ambiance

Comfort  

Sustenance 

Bathrooms 

=

Overall Score

________________________________________________________________________

Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu

Horizon Club Lounge

(visited for happy hour)

Ambiance: 5

Comfort: 4

Sustenance: 2

Bathrooms: 4

=

OVERALL: 3.75

This lounge offers great views of downtown Chengdu from the 30th floor of the hotel. Jack considered it a winner except for the fact that they ran out of macaroons and did not replace them. In his eyes, this was an “unforgiveable mistake”. Had it not been for this faux pas, the Horizon Club Lounge would have easily scored a Little Lounger review of 4.5+.IMG_1055

Lesson learned: don’t mess with this boy’s cookies!