Two Years in Shanghai

Well, here we are. Helene and I have been living 2 years in Shanghai, to the day.

Even though I call Shanghai home now, I still can’t believe it. I remember back in 2002, when I was just dreaming of living in Asia. At the time, my mind was set on making it happen, but at the same time, it seemed an impossible dream.

On July 31st, 2003, when I landed with Helene in Shanghai, I couldn’t believe we had somehow made it, and that I was now a resident of China and an employee of Ubisoft Shanghai. I was trying to imagine my future, and I couldn’t even envision what my life would be like 3 months after my arrival. Me, speak Mandarin? Feel used to the chaos of Shanghai? How could this be possible?

At the time, 2 years in the future was so terribly far, thinking of it might as well been science fiction. Who knew how much I would change in 2 years?

The truth is, two years in Shanghai does change someone a lot, but in many small ways, not in big ones. I still feel myself, and truth be told, many of my pastimes and obsessions are still the same. I look back on my life before I moved to China, and it doesn’t feel like a ‘break’ from that person I used to be. It’s an evolution, yes, for better or for worse.

Anyway, to celebrate this two year ‘Shanghainiversary’, Helene and I went to the Westin Hotel, where we had another expensive and decadent Sunday brunch, complete with an ungodly amount of champagne.

During the meal, we were asked for our business cards for a lucky draw, and Helene won two nights in the Westin Hotel in Macau!! Talk about good luck! I guess this is a good sign for the time we still have to spend in China. And sorry to my family and friends reading this, but we’re not going anywhere soon!

Anywhere else than Macau, that is!

About Daniel Roy

Daniel is a writer, backpack foodie, slow traveler, and endurance runner. He is the author of the upcoming book, "The Way of Slow Travel: A Hands-On Guide to the Best Travel of Your Life."


  1. adèle Beizhang WANG

    Félicitations!! Yeah~~~Do stay more, enjoy more and share more here!

  2. And don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere soon… Shanghai is my home, now! I feel like if I went back to live in Montreal, I would be a misfit who would haunt the streets of Chinatown… 😐

  3. To me, that’s nothing but good news for I’m going there to enjoy good life as well as gooooood food. I seriously can’t wait.

    Brother, please don’t go.

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