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Even though I didn't understand Chinese, I still enjoyed the shows and rides. The best part was the price. From entry to food costs and even activities like face painting and carnival games, everything was a fraction of the cost of back home

When my father-in-law saw him for the first time, he marveled: “That is the skinniest young man I've ever seen.” Charlie's now trying to change this. He'll lift weights with me, lugging out an enormous vat of bright-pink protein powder afterwards. We make our shakes together, then he dilutes it down with hot water. He shouldn't drink cold things, he says

This is where having the Chinese grandparents in the house will be most valuable. As long as they are around, my daughter will be truly Chinese – speaking the language, loving the food, and knowing how to day trade on the stock market

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While there are ups and downs and mishaps when it comes to transport in China, at the end of the day, the countless options of planes, trains and automobiles make the travel much easier and cheaper if you have time to spare. Plus, sometimes the travel mishaps make for the best stories, because, as they say, sometimes it's not the destination, but the journey

As my friends and I sat outside at a farm in Shunyi in northern Beijing chilling out and enjoying drinks in the sun, we talked about how in the beginning we had all thought of going home, but ultimately realized we were probably in the safest place we could be, and as time has told, we were right

Everyone is kind and sparkling, but I can't shake the feeling we're all star-chasers reaching for something that won't quite match our imagination. All of us expats know why we chose Shenzhen, out of all China, to make our temporary home. Talented and driven, we're here to partake in the next largest economy in the world. Determination glints in these eyes