As I enter the third cycle of the Chinese Zodiac (this year is my year - the Year of the Rooster!), I have returned to the exciting and dynamic city of Shenzhen.
Based in Nanlian, Longgang, I am running 3 consequetive IT projects for three very different client.
I am dedicating more time and energy to my passion for vegan food, working out in the gym and listening to audiobooks on Audible.
All change! After my work in Beijing came to a close, I decided to move back to the cleaner, warmer climes of Guangdong province, this time to Guangzhou (formerly known as 'Canton'), the capital city of China's mightiest Southern province.
New opportunities, new friends, old friend, new horizons - this is yet another chapter in my exciting story!
A chance to experience the capital city of the fastest growing economy in the World, I relocated to Beijing's quieter and more 'local' Haidian District in the West side of Beijing.
I arrived with my good friend 'Zhuzi' at the tail-end of a wonderful summer and managed to do some typically 'touristy' things, such as visit Tiananmen Square and cycle around the Summer Palace.
Continuing with Cosmosupplylab Ltd., I made the move to Shenzhen to be directly in between their 2 locations: Dongguan & Hong Kong. This led to an overall reduction in communting time as well as an increase in quality of life by moving (back) to this exciting and bustling city.
This time, we were located in the central 'Futian' district in order to facilitate fast access to the Hong Kong border, really useful for the days when I would commute down there.
After a significant change in local policy, Dongguan became a safer and more livable city to live in almost overnight. Shortly after, I had the chance to move to Dongcheng - one of the more livable parts of the city - and join a leading manufacturer of accessories for the electronics industry.
Nearby parks made me fall in love once again with cycling, along with the investment in a secondhand GIANT TCR Advance road bike from my good friend Tom. The workplace was very International and the company very accommodating of the different needs of expatriates from Hong Kong and the rest of the World.
Although I never fully engaged with the wider community here, I could tell there were lots of good and well-meaning people here who simply wanted the best quality of life for themselves and their families.
It was in 2012 that I decided that the pace at which my life was living needed to step up a notch. I headed to Shenzhen - China's high-tech capital and home to over 7 million people.
Over-looking the ever color-changing Universaide, Longgang district was a little more quiet than Shenzhen city itself, but that allowed me to focus entirely on working in an all-Chinese, 2000-strong workforce.
Together, we built a new team, ran an International tradeshow schedule, generated new leads and converted them in to sales. My Chinese language skills improved exponentially during this time!
My first trip to Asia and I really struck gold. Following my Mum who was teaching English here at the time, I quickly came to learn that Zhuhai is a fast-growing, exciting and beautiful town. I quickly integrated into the small but lively expat community and have made many friendships for life.
Surrounding cities, including Macau, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Zhongshan and Guangzhou all revealed fantastic people with whom I am still in regular contact with and derive inspiration from.
Although it was only for 6 months, the time spent in Key Largo with some of the World's best scuba diving instructors will stay in my memory forever.
The lazy pace of life and stunning scenery were perfectly complimented by this global group of professional dive masters - hell bent on making sure that everyone was safe and having the time of their life.
I continued my web development projects whilst here in Key Largo, also helping local businesses to levy the power of the Internet to maximum efficiency.
Sharing a beautiful and newly constructed apartment with a local design creative freelancer, I honed my skills in bridging the gap between highly technical IT subjects and the needs of everyday business people.
I could see people's businesses and daily operations ina way that few others could. I noticed patterns and data, ways to group their habits and interactions with other stakeholders. I had a powerful set of tools to do it and I loved deploying those tools to benefit them.
It was whilst living in Bishop's Stortford that I entered in to the World of Creative Communication. I freelanced as a Marketing Strategist, building websites and e-mail campaign systems for small to medium-sized business locally and developed my skills in database design and management.
I quickly realised that the World was rapidly decreasing in size and that I wanted to see more of it for myself. It was also the first time I lived alone, in a quaint cottage at the North end of this sleepy market town.
I spent a year living with two of the world's most wonderful people - Adam & Kirsty - in Milton Keynes, England. They continue to inspire me and every time I visit the UK I make a point to see them as they are constant reminder of what an amazing thing hard work, teamwork and a strong family unit are.
I had the absolute pleasure of living in the UK's first ever resort town for 4 years while I studied by Bachelor's Degree and subsequent Master's Degree.
A magnet for those that live by the sea since the 1600's, Scarborough is where I learned not only a wealth of knowledge in class, but also about life, looking after myself and the true value of relationships (past and present).
Sawbridgeworth is that place I call 'home', even though only 33% of my immediate family live there now. Most of my childhood memories and all of my closest childhood friends are from here.
Whenever I return to 'Sawbo', I take time to walk across the fields and marvel at the tiny details in the ancient buildings. There is a timelessness to the place that just feels magic.
After my twin brother and I were delivered in Chase Field Farm Hospital in Enfield, we were taken home to our first house on Franklin Avenue, Cheshunt.
My earliest memories of here are of the smell of tuna - our next-door neighbours kept cats, one of those neighbours passing away and my Mum explaining it to me, a really cool playground and playing 'House' once. Funny what we remember...