Shannon Martin: Balancing Each Partner’s Needs

January 27, 2016 |

Shannon and her husband currently live in Shanghai, China, where she is a freelance writer and he teaches English and business skills. They enjoy being serial expats, settling down somewhere but being able to travel and try new places after a while. This allows them to balance the needs/career of one partner who is more location independent and one who really needs/wants to do his job in person.

Most Memorable Location-Independent Experiences
Starting out, we were naturally anxious. I’ll never forget arriving in Spain and being greeted by the woman we had rented an apartment from. She proceeded to tour us around town, hosted us for the most delicious (four-hour, of course!) paella lunch at her home and welcomed us with a fully stocked kitchen with all the local specialties. That set the tone for our adventures, and we’ve found amazing people along the way ever since. And she’s become a great friend, by the way!

Biggest Surprise along the Way

  • How amazing people are all over the world
  • How much we both like being “entrepreneurs”—though it’s hard work! (I never thought I had the personality for it and my husband had a 20+ year corporate career)
  • How much more quality time we have with family and friends, even when we’re sometimes so far away
  • How transferable the skill set/mindset is, no matter where you go (people have laughed at me for saying living in Spain prepared me for China; of course the cultures are very different, but living abroad you learn how to observe and adapt, where to find resources, etc.)

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In this episode

  • The winding journey to China (sabbaticals, layoffs, and more)
  • Renting out, then selling, their house in the U.S.
  • Why they had an estate sale
  • Dealing with visas in Spain and China
  • Life in Shanghai
  • Why using a VPN is so important, no matter where you are
  • Handling time differences
  • And so much more
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Resources we talked about

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