This journey from Seattle to Shanghai began months ago, when I found my dream job and my dream job found me. It was everything I was looking for in the back half of my career after a marvelous professional halftime!

What makes it the perfect job?

Head: I’m passionate about OMO HX, Online-meets-Offline Human Experiences. I believe brands must design with this in mind in order to be relevant today. And there’s no country better positioned to deliver these experiences than China.

Heart: I love and derive great joy from building into people, helping team members live into their full potential and thrive at work. I can’t wait to lead a team through change during this time of great opportunity.

Gut: The company feels like an amazing fit, because I completely believe in their mission. Their vision is congruent with my own, and my future boss is intelligent, compassionate, fun, and thoughtful.

Now, how do we get to Shanghai , amidst COVID-19, travel bans, and evolving tensions between U.S. and China?

We were amazed to sell both our cars quickly (including Lola, my beloved Tesla). Even more, we sold our house to an adorable family without even having listed it!

Finding ourselves suddenly homeless, we rented a van and drove to San Francisco as we waited for our visas ahead of the flight (SFO-PVG).

We’ve now been here two weeks as the visas trickle in.

We’ve learned a few things along the way.

Our family’s learned a new level of agility. We’ve been living out of suitcases and and have mastered take-out van picnics:

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | blog | Journey to Shanghai | Family in van

Working during the week and planning day trips on the weekends, we learned to seek out new experiences to avoid listlessness and maintain positive energy. For instance, we checked out the Avenue of the Giants

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | blog | Journey to Shanghai | Family redwoods

visited the gorgeous Sensorio art installation…

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | blog | Journey to Shanghai | Family Sensorio

and enjoyed the kitschy Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | blog | Journey to Shanghai | Crazy house

Mostly, we’ve learned that anything’s possible and everything’s an adventure with a joyful attitude 🙂

Here’s to receiving our last visa and embarking on the next leg of our trip… an international flight! Stay tuned for more… #SEA2SHjourney #professionalhalftime