31 Days

7 Jul

When I moved to China over five years ago now, I didn’t know if I would be there three weeks or three years.  This year is come November is my sixth year here.

As my time extended, I started to become aware of a rule that hit during your fifth full year – for tax purposes at some point in that year you need to be out of China for 31 consecutive days.  The day you leave and come back don’t count so it’s actually close to 33 or 34 days out of the country depending on who you ask.

That is a long time to be away from home.

And that is what I have been doing for the last month.

To make things even longer, I had a business trip to Beijing at the front end, so my time away from home has extended even longer.  I can’t wait to get back!

In the last month I have been in four countries, many cities, have been on around 10 flights and racked up thousands of frequent flier miles.  And I am still not home.

I have vacation stories and work stories.  I went on a food crawl in Singapore – tasting the local hawker dishes for an entire afternoon.   I rode the world’s fastest elevator in Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world.  I ate my fill of avocados in Washington DC and sat at the Lincoln monument as the sun began to set.  I learned the secret to entering the back door at our Taipei office and met people in Singapore that I have never seen face to face.

I also have not gone to a yoga class, written a blog post, cooked a full meal or seen my Chinese colleagues, though I am working and have been on more conference calls than I would care to admit.  My husband went with me for part of the vacation time, but I haven’t seen him either for coming up on four weeks.

It is discombobulating to be in so many different places but also invigorating.  I remember last year in the fall when I didn’t travel for about three months how antsy I got.  Hopefully this trip will cure me of my traveling bug, at least for a while.

And I know that every five years I get to do it again.  Not bad.

I am back blogging now, but may be a little sporadic until I make it back to China.  The fluidity of my schedule can be tough to predict as well as uploading photos when I am not    home.  Let’s see how it goes.

What is the longest you’ve been away from home?  Why were you away?  If you could take 31 days to travel, where would you go?


10 Responses to “31 Days”

  1. expatlingo July 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Ha, so it’s taxes that kept you away! Sounds like you’ve been gav

  2. expatlingo July 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    Darn iPhone … I’m typing in the dark as my children sleep. We’re on the floor of my brother’s home office for our ‘home leave’ visit. Meant to say I’m glad you’re having a good time and looking forward to hearing more about your adventures!

    • gkm2011 July 7, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

      Yes, it was taxes – the almighty dollar can be a very strong motivator! Good trip, but definitely ready to be home.

  3. ladyofthecakes July 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Ah, I’d been wondering about your whereabouts! No doubt you’ll have a lot to tell when you get back into your routine, I shall look forward to that.
    I (technically) didn’t have a home once for 12 weeks, that felt a bit weird. I was moving from one city in the UK to another one, while being on a three-month trip round the US (visiting friends). At that point, my new address hadn’t been confirmed.

    • gkm2011 July 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

      Twelve weeks is a long time, though I suppose after a certain point it all blurs together. The tricky part is managing obligations at home – bills especially though that is getting easier now with electronic payments, etc.

  4. Every Day Adventures in Asia July 7, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    Your update reminded me of the last trip to N America – the build up was about a month of travel with a few opportunities to unpack & repack. Then Denz and I were in Canada for a month, extended by the little work blip in NY and back. With 6 weeks away – we were more than ready to get home and promised each other would keep future trips shorter.

    The good news is we figured out how to pay ALL bills except domestic help related online. The bad news was our kitchen and bathroom were flooded thanks to a water pipe break in the apartment above us. So we returned to a mouldy mess! Yuck!

    PS – Hello from Winnipeg! We just reached here last night. 🙂

    • gkm2011 July 8, 2013 at 7:25 am #

      You made it! Your trip starts and mine will thankfully finish soon. Terrible about the flood, my husband has been home between business trips so I am safe in that regard!

  5. Kristin July 10, 2013 at 3:42 am #

    Oh, that sounds like fun, but I can imagine how you’d be looking forward to going home again, too. Looking forward to reading about your adventures!

    • gkm2011 July 10, 2013 at 7:08 am #

      Thanks! Now I just need the discipline to post them all. Good thing is, I don’t lack content!


  1. A typhoon? You have got to be kidding! | 中国 Jumble - July 16, 2013

    […] my previous post, going back early wasn’t really an option, so either I was moving my flight up on Friday or I […]

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