Expat Life: July

We realised that although we are beginning to share more of our stories now, we haven’t really shared much about ourselves or our expat life!

So, we’ll be updating anyone who cares (everyone, right!?)  on what we’ve been up to in the past month. You can watch our Instagram stories for more up-to-date version too!


July 2017


We finally left China! July was slightly crazy as we had to pack up our lives into a few bags, and cart everything (yes, including the cats!) back to the UK!

We stayed in France for a few days and since then, have been living at our respective parents’ houses.

We are still planning on getting a Working Holiday Visa for Australia but the process can be long-winded, so at the moment we are just bumbling along, waiting for that!

Leaving China

Two years ago, I would never have believed that China would feel like home. But fast forward to saying our goodbyes to children, colleagues, friends, staff in local restaurants and market stall holders, and it got quite emotional!

Our last beer in China!

Our last beer in China!

Ok, we didn’t cry when we said goodbye to the lady we buy used to buy (!) vegetables from, but there was a weird end of an era vibe that we weren’t expecting.

Obviously England will always be our real home, and I have loved every minute of being back, but we do feel sad that we won’t return to Beijing.

Saying that, teaching English there is a cushty job with good money, so we might end up going back in a few years times to top up our house funds!

Flying With Cats

If you are considering flying with a pet, seriously think about all of your other options!

If you are actually moving countries with a pet like we did, then of course you’ll have to do it but be warned, it is very stressful! It was actually really easy looking back, but at the time (and the run-up to the trip, organising paperwork etc) it was manic!

It didn’t help that our airline only let one cat on the plane at a time, so we had to fly separately, and I went first. Noodle was as good as gold, especially considering he was in a bag on and off for over 26 hours – two one hour delays didn’t help my mood!

Flying from Beijing to Warsaw to Paris with cats

It also turned out that airports can be very lax about animals moving in and out of their countries. I flew from Beijing to Poland to France, and not once did anyone ask for my paperwork!

I even begged to give it to the French customs guy as I wanted to make sure everything was set for the ferry back to England, and he refused to look!

Obviously don’t take the chance – always be prepared because you don’t want to have to leave your pet in an airport not knowing when or if you’ll ever see them again.

But it was a very surreal and emotional situation that I am glad we won’t have to do again! Noodle and Dumpling are being looked after by Kev’s mum until we settle in the UK permanently. They seem to be happy there already, which is a huge relief. This is despite trying to figure out how to play with her eight year old outdoors cat!

Losing A Cat and Eating Croissants

Yes. We lost a cat. Well, I lost a cat. We obviously found him, but he got through a tiny hole underneath the boiler in the cottage we stayed in. He just stared at the ham I was tricking him with, which was so frustrating!

This happened in France, where we stayed for four nights. You can’t fly directly to the UK with a pet in the cabin (they have to go as cargo which costs about a zillion pounds) so we chose to stay near Paris and then get the ferry over.

Pain Au Chocolat in France

Kev’s family came to pick us up, and had a mini break at the same time. We all ate way too many croissants, pain au chocolats and bread sticks! And of course bought way too much wine back, but had a great time!

We would definitely recommend staying somewhere as beautiful as L’Ecurie if you’re looking for a short getaway not too far from home. It takes about an hour to get to from Charles de Gaulle, yet we were surrounded by incredibly peaceful countryside.

Our Cottage in France L'ecurie

Next Steps

Our Australian visa status is still pending from the middle of July, which is nerve wracking! We both have to undergo medical checks and a designated hospital in London , which is a pain! Hopefully once those are completed the process will flow a lot quicker.

Our plan is to get visas, then apply for a farm hand or hospitality job literally anyway in the country.

We want to work for around three months, getting our hands dirty and mucking in. Then, we want to purchase a camper van and cruise round Australia for the next six months! If all goes to plan, we’ll look for more work for those last three months.

Know of any decent jobs taking on couples? Send us a message and we’ll buy you a beer!


Here are the posts we wrote in July, just in case you missed them!


Why We Love WeChat
Overnight at the Elephant Nature Park
17 Apps You Can’t Live Without In China


Thanks for reading about what we got up to in July! Stay updated and don’t forget to subscribe!

About Two Tall Travellers

Hi! We’re Jade and Kev, a twenty-something English couple who decided to leave the country to explore the rest of the world!

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