PJ in Seoul, South Korea

It’s Halloween in China – so I will start by saying- Happy Halloween – Happy Fall – Happy Wednesday! 

It has been a week since I was in Seoul! You will probably continue to read about this for a little while longer – because – well – im a fan – and it was a great experience. 

I remember having issues purchasing tickets when they went on sale. I didn’t know if it was me, my computer, my wifi, my vp-n, china and all its internet blocks, i didnt know what it was but I couldn’t get my purchase to go through. I called Althea – it was late at night – and she went step by step with me to purchase the tickets as we were both online going one page at a time.

I was ecstatic once they were purchased. Everything else would come later. Airplane tickets- hotel – blah blah blah – I would let all of that work itself out. All I knew was I was going to Seoul to see my favorite artist. 

The show was amazing and of course what topped it all was me meeting PJ- The Amours- and his musicians – after the show!

What an experience.

What a great life I am living.

I am so thankful. 

Here are some pictures from the show. I will upload and share video soon. It was amazing!!!

clearly i was excited before and after the show
these two are so talented and skilled

 

Live Show Killer 

 

Image may contain: 4 people, including Karla Marie, people smiling, people standing and outdoor
The Amours – #blackgirlmagic #gumbogirls

 

I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY! I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #BlackInChina #BlackAmericanInChina #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE

…as always thanks for following my adventures abroad ….

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My Year In Review

(yup long*ish post alert)

hey yall!!! I have been in Shanghai for a year…. 2018 is almost over too but lets look back at my year …. and the goals I set in January …

January Goals – Update on the goals I set in January:

Here are the goals I posted/shared in January-

  1. Complete a 5K: Run in Blue in June!!! √
  2. Read 2 books for pleasure: I have read 6 books and I am in the middle of two right now… and someone just shared another one with me! Ay Dios Mio what is a girl to do??? Read them all? Yep! √
  3. Visit 4 new countries – 3 down and 1 more to go. √ – I will see my 4th country in December … but I did go to Seoul again!
  4. Pay down some US Debt : Yea  – I have paid down some … totally need to pay down more – but it gets a check mark too, lol √
  5. Play in a waterfall – √ finally this one gets a check – yesss! Waterfall in Ningbo … wonderful
  6. BE!!! Just BE. Enjoy each day as it comes. Live. Love. Laugh. Smile. Live a life rooted and established in JOY! #EverdayJOY Yup! Everyday Joy is a thing! Its real Yall! √ – Everyday Yall …. these #BlackExpatDays don’t come without theier moments and challenges but I am managing my way through them with more grace daily! √√√

SO I set 6 very realistic goals I and only have one more to hit! Not a bad year.


 


Lets Look Back …

Q1: October 2017 – January 2018 -were gonna mash together – I just arrived. I was cold. Tired. Jet Lagged. Having on-boarding and training at work. Adjusting to a life in a new country. SO many things.

Q2: February 2018-April 2018

During CNY (Chinese New Year) I took my first international trip since leaving America. Yes, I know I have traveled internationally, but it was my first trip since moving to Shanghai. Two friends joined me on a trip to Bangkok and we had a blast. When we returned from Bangkok, the city was like a ghost town – quiet- and cold. Having time off from work was nice.

Spring came around – the sun started shining and I was ready to hit the friendly skies. I took a trip to Seoul in April and I had #SeoulMuchFun. This trip was nice because it was just random and fun. I did a TON of research before leaving for South Korea and when I arrived I threw all of my research out of the window an decided to just have fun. I asked locals what I should do and where I should eat and I did that my entire trip. I had a blast.

Work had its moments. I was really just getting a good rhythm going at my job and getting use to my students and having so many classes. IT was definitely an adjustment coming from teaching in America where classrooms are teacher centered and not learner centered.

Q3: May 2018-July 2018

My life never seems to slow down. May -July was busy, but great at the same time. I continued to travel, see China, make friends, and enjoy Shanghai.

I went to Disneyland a lot!

I enjoyed my time with #DoubleDutchSquad – a group of us who got together every other week to jump rope.

I ran a lot. A lot. – I set a goal at the beginning of the year to run 650KM!!!

Went to Sanya (there’s a post about it) with my girl Jessi and even to the Filipino ballet.

I realized for sure that I wasn’t happy at work … even though I wasn’t happy at work I did my best to work hard at work. If I am honest, I didn’t always work as hard as I should have- but that’s a lot of us, right?

Q4: August 2018-October 2018

WHOA!!! Hey Yall – Q4 means it has been a full year in Shanghai. A full 365 days living in another country. I am so hype that I did it. Somewhere around May I wanted to throw it all in and just go back to Texas – but – if you know me – you know that I am not a quitter. I have worked hard to be happy here, to get adjusted, to make friends, and have a nice life in another country. If I am honest with you… That – Is – Not- Easy – but I have managed to do it. Doing this has been one of the best things ever. I have showed myself and so many others what I am made of. I have pushed through some really tough days and wiped a whole lot of tears living here in China and in the words of Antwone Fisher – “I’m still standing – I’m still strong” – I have made a great community of friends here and I have even managed to find time to have Bible Study via Skype with my girl Kim from home. That has been a blessing.

I planned a great event during September for #MBFF (Monthly Black Folks Function). We had a great meet up at Zapata’s in Shanghai! I was thrilled that so many melanated folks came out for a good time of hanging out and making connections. Living overseas is all about being brave and making new connections.

One of the best parts of Q4 was going back to Seoul, South Korea to see PJ Morton in concert. I like to think I am his biggest fan!!! I bought my ticket to his Seoul show in May and I have been looking forward to that show ever since then. The show was amazing. I had a blast and I was ecstatic to meet him, The Amours, and the band after the show. What a great experience.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Karla Marie, people smiling, people standing

Image may contain: 4 people, including Karla Marie, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

What Can I Say? Life is like a roller coaster and it keeps going and going. Sometimes the ride stops and you get a break, but with life, it starts back up again, you just need to buckle up and get ready for the adventure … There are about 2 more months left in this year. I plan to live each day left in this year on purpose. I hope you do too!

 


What an awesome look back over my first full year in Shanghai – and this calendar year is almost finished too! Just 58 days until Christmas and 63 until the end of the year. Any of you have any fun holiday plans? I would love to know about them.

I hope I have done a good job of keeping you up to date with my life while abroad. I’m doing it yall! I’m really here…and its not so bad. There are many things that I don’t like about China, but I am working of keeping a positive perspective on my life while here.

As always thanks for following the blog. When I started the blog a year ago I told you that there were 3 ways you can support me:

  1. Subscribe and follow my blog – Clearly if you are reading this you are already subscribed, but feel free to share my blog on your social media outlets and with friends!
  2. Pray for me – The prayers of the righteous avialeth much! Thanks for your prayers and support.
  3. Financial via PayPal – godschile7@yahoo.com – someone asked if they can still do this, I am going to say- of course you can! You can always support financially if you so choose!

    I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY! I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

    #FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #BlackInChina #BlackAmericanInChina #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

    “life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

    *I choose ADVENTURE

    …as always thanks for following my adventures abroad ….


teaching a full house!!! this lesson was a lot of fun!

 

Karla and Joan
lots of smiles and laughs in Queen Teacher Karla’s room

 

 

I had to get a picture with this kid! #wakanda and #blackpantherforever

I walked into work and they said “The Queen Is Here” – I have done my job!
#tommiesmith #1968 My Favorite Runner

Halloween was fun and meaningful – Tommie Smith and an African Queen! Couldn’t be any better

last but not least – Ali Girl makes me smile! Shes one amazing teacher

 

hard work pays off!!!!

ever wonder if your hard work is paying off??? i know i wonder about that all the time … this post today is to encourage whoever may need it who is falling off-having trouble being consistent- doesn’t feel like they are seeing the results that they are hoping for – KEEP PUSHING – KEEP GOING! Turn your #beastmode ON AND DON’T STOP UNTIL YOU REACH YOUR GOAL. Know that it is your Journey and you have to hit your milestones your way.

Now on to the good stuff… i just want to share about the hard work of me and my friend Tiff!

Tiff has been working very hard with #HCBF Hard Core Bounce Fitness and I have been working hard with running- and stairs- and biking … Tiff is it yall! Her smile makes you smile and her commitment makes you want to keep going.

During our October National Holiday we went to the beach with some friends and we are just very excited to share our progress pictures. We have both come a long way – and still have a lot more to do – as we enjoy our journey we have decided to celebrate every single step of the way!!!

#HCBF #hardcore #beastmode #bounce #fitness #runner #running #biker #stairs #consistent #dedication #committed #hardworkpaysoff #beachfun #blackgirlwhoruns #bgrchick #solemoments #hitthepavement #magicalmelanatedmoments #chocolategirlswhorock #sistagirlfriends #ourChinalife #shanghailiving #blackinchina #smile #joy #livingourbestlives #loveyourself #beconsistent

Tiff Totally Rocks
ALL SMILES AT THE “BEACH”

I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY! I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #BlackInChina #BlackAmericanInChina #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE

…as always thanks for following my adventures abroad ….

50 Years Later

Before I started blogging I thought to myself … how do these people have the time to sit and blog? Who is reading all these blogs?? Why are they blogging?  …. and now look at me… finding the time to blog… reading blogs… and I love it!

You find the time for what interests you.

I want to share this article that Delois Smith recently shared….

Today someone posted on their FB Wall – “What is the most interesting thing that has ever happened to you?” and in true Karla fashion I responded (since im extra and dramatic) “Nothing interesting ever happens to me” – to which my friend responded “You’re living in China” …. she’s right! Living in China is every single day interesting.

….as I really thought about it many interesting things have happened in my life… it is hard to choose one to share on her post. I think one of the most interesting things that ever happened to me was meeting Tommie Smith!

I have no pictures, but I will never forget that day. 

I was overwhelmed on the inside and super chill on the outside. It was great.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/10/tommie-smith-1968-50-years-later/568294

Check out the above article when you get the chance and if you don’t know much about Tommie Smith here is a link to his site:

http://tommiesmith.com/

#socialjustice #humanrights #1968matters #victory #makeanimpact #olympics #politicsisineverything #fiftyyearslater #sports #tommiesmith #johncarlos #headsbowed #glovedhandsraised #sports #blacklife #culture #theworld #AuthurAsheCourageAwardWinner #ESPY #worldimpacter #influencer #BlackLivesMatter #Kap #WeStandandKneelWithCK #thestruggleisntover

I would love to hear about the most interesting thing that has ever happened to you!

Respond in the comments!!! 

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky and outdoor
The best I can do for having a picture with Tommie Smith – Karla and Althea at SJSU in 2006

I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY! I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #BlackInChina #BlackAmericanInChina #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE

…as always thanks for following my adventures abroad ….


 

 

Months #9 and #10 Update (July/August 2018)

Months 9 and 10


Can yall believe I am actually starting to like Shanghai??? You probably think from my pictures and posts that I love it …. but it definitely has its moments being a Black Expat in China.

For about the first 9.5 months I wasn’t all the way happy here. This is the start of month 11 and its much better now. The adjustment phase was tough. I have met a lot of great people and build a beautiful expat community of folks who look like me. I have made some friends who don’t look like me too, but there is nothing like having people who are from where you from – look like you- and already understand you.

Here are a few pictures from months 9 and 10 – in no specific order from the past two months … this is month 11 wow!

Disney English Celebrated 10 years! 
My team won the team building activity first … our prize??? Getting cake before everyone else. 
Tickets to invite only Filipino Ballet

 

Black folks meet up! Picnic at the park

my running buddy left me for beijing
team building with coworkers
Karla-Joan-Sarah
Just two girls from Hooks living in Shanghai! 
Daniel and Karla – he is a great boss! #Great

 

 

skydiving … they told us indoor – it was outside – but we didn’t jump out of planes
i don’t know how im smiling- i was sooooo scared
…just two colorful chocolate girls…
we both went to Georgia State- small world! 
#BlackInChina #FuxingPark #Friends #ChocolateGirlsWhoRock

 

So happy to see one of my good friends from Dallas! 

 

fun at Disneyland with friends from America

 

 

 


Update on the goals I set in January:

Here are the goals I posted/shared in January-

  1. Complete a 5K: Run in Blue in June!!! √
  2. Read 2 books for pleasure: I have read 6 books and I am in the middle of two right now… and someone just shared another one with me! Ay Dios Mio what is a girl to do??? Read them all? Yep! √
  3. Visit 4 new countries – 3 down and 1 more to go. √
  4. Pay down some US Debt : Yea I have paid down some … totally need to pay down more – but it gets a check mark too, lol √
  5. Play in a waterfall – Le Sigh … I gotta do more research for my waterfall ): not yet yall… not yet ….
  6. BE!!! Just BE. Enjoy each day as it comes. Live. Love. Laugh. Smile. Live a life rooted and established in JOY! #EverdayJOY Yup! Everyday Joy is a thing! Its real Yall! √ – Everyday Yall …. these #BlackExpatDays don’t come without theier moments and challenges but I am managing my way through them with more grace daily!

SO I guess I am doing well with the 6 realistic goals I set for myself in January. I am usually so exxxxxtra with my goals and I have this long list and its kinda – well – ridiculous – but I work my butt off all year to complete it – I don’t complete it and it goes on the next years list … not this time …. if I can check off number 4 I will complete my 2018 list. I will be satisfied with that.


Update on my running goals:

I set a goal to run 650KM (403.9 miles) this year …currently – 87% reached of my goal …not so shabby if I do say so myself with 


….alright yall that was a long post … lots of pics… i hope you’re well!!! i am looking forward to sharing about month 11…. its been a good month so far! 


I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY! I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #BlackInChina #BlackAmericanInChina #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE

…as always thanks for following my adventures abroad ….


Black Expats in Asia

Just wanted to share this article written by, DeAnna Taylor for: www.travelnoire.com 


FIND YOUR TRIBE: https://travelnoire.com/asian-locations-black-expat-communities/


…Just a few of us together for a picnic at Fuxing Park in Shanghai, China …. #BlackinShanghai

#BlackinAsia #BlackExpatInAsia #BlackInChina #BlackInShanghai #Melanin #BlackGirlMagic #BlackFolkJOy #MelanatedMoments #Travel #SeeTheWorld #YOLO #LifeFullOfAdventure #WeOutHere #Culture #MelaninMagic #Joy #Thankful #BlackInVietname #BlackInThailand #BlackInBali #BlackInIndonesia #BeUnapolegeticallyYou #TravelNoire #BlackAndAbroad #BlackFolksTravel #BlackTravel #BlackAndEducated #EducatedAndOverseas #DegreedandAbroad 



I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

(one of my favorites is–Psalms 98:4-Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music) — Did you know that there are over 800 Glad Texts in the Bible?!?! More than one for each day of the year for me to live by.

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE*

Sanya!

There are beaches in China!

Took a trip to Sanya- Hainan Island which is on the Southern end of China. There you can find many bays and beach resorts. My friend Jessi and I were close to Yalong Bay.

I was so excited to find out that there are beaches in China… and not only are there beaches but they are gorgeous! I am not sure if I would put them on the worlds top beaches list, but if you’re living in China, and want to hit the beach, Sanya is a great place to go!

One things I learned is that a lot of Russians go to China for vacation and to Sanya since there are no beaches in Russia. Okay. So I have done absolutely no research on this fact, but I trust it and it sounds pretty factual to me. I will look it up later.

My friend Jessi I decided to take a quick get away to Sanya and it was great. We went over our weekend, which is during the week, but it was totally worth it. Two days on the beach? What more could a girl ask for??? Not much!

I was so pleased with our quick weekend trip. Here are a few pics from Sanya!

 


I will edit and add later the approximate cost of this trip … I will go back and look at my booking information for flight/hotel/what we spent on food ….


I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY! I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #BlackInChina #BlackAmericanInChina #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE