Years in China : 11 years
My Name is Bode, I’m an artist, a creative in the sports industry and a former UK National Champion in track & field. Over the past 22 years I have been fortunate to have a career in merging both of my life passions together. Moving to China 12 years ago has been one of the greatest decisions I have made, and I would like to share my story with you.
我叫 Bode，我是一名艺术家，也是体育产业创意师，还曾是英国国家田径冠军。在过去 22 年里，我很幸运，能将我生命中所热衷的两种事情融入我的职业生涯。12 年前移居中国是我所做的最伟大的决定之一，现在我要与你们分享我的故事。
The Journey to China
My journey to China started in 2004 when I first saw the concept illustration of the Birds nest Olympic stadium, where the games were to be held in Beijing in 2008. I was so inspired at the beauty of the image, I was determined to go and know more about China. In 2008 my dream had come true having luckily obtained tickets for virtually every event of the games.
我的中国之旅始于 2004 年，当时我第一次看到 2008 北京奥运鸟巢体育馆的概念图，就被这建筑的美感所感染，因此下定决心要来到中国，了解中国。2008 年，我的梦想成真了，我很幸运地获得了奥运会几乎所有赛事的门票。
Up to then I had been working in the UK and traveling to China on business trips which usually meant clients looking after you and only ever making those five familiar stop: airport, hotel, restaurant, office, and factory. The trip to the Beijing Olympics was quite different in every aspect, the beauty of interacting with locals with the little Mandarin I knew back then, venturing out in going to local restaurants and getting lost taking local transportation all added to this great adventure.
Exploring Beijing at that time introduced me to the Chinese sports brands. I was quite amazed at the connection of powerful integration of the sport, country, and consumer!
With the Olympics being the doorway in opening China to the world, I know something on a big scale was coming to the sports world soon and I dreamed of being a part of that.
On the night before I was due to return to the UK, looked back at the wonderful experience that Beijing had given me from the spectacular events of the Olympic games, the warmth of the people, the cultural knowledge and friends that I had made during this time.
That evening, I stood at the Bird’s Nest Stadium lite in full light and had the visualization of one day living in China.
Decision in coming to China
In 2010 I landed two working opportunities one in the USA and another in China, I remember having a week to make that decision and consulting with family and friends those views veered more to the US side. I already knew where I wanted to go, not only to challenge myself in a new environment, but also because of the growing potential there.
Arrival to China
In March 2010 I arrived at Xiamen airport with just my travel backpack and my determination to make a go of it. Like most expats, I remember the first six months was very challenging for me both inside and outside of my career and I wanted to go back to the UK.
2010 年 3 月，我飞抵厦门机场，只背着我的旅行背包，带着我的决心，要去闯一闯。像大多数外国人一样，头六个月生活和工作上都非常具有挑战性。我甚至想回到英国去。
A realisation came to me as I was walking on the beach near the exhibition centre, and that was I had to adapt and adjust myself a little to embrace, understand and integrate into the environment.
After this four hour long walk on the beach everything went up hill from then. The next few years living in Xiamen were amazing with all what the city has to offer and the friendly people there. Work and life became easier. The convenience of my morning run along the Huang Dao beach really made Xiamen the place to maintain health and fitness.
After three years working for a sports brand in Xiamen, I had contributed creating an iconic product for the Chinese market and living the dream.
Move to Beijing
In 2013, I was offered another an amazing opportunity to head up a department in Beijing in which my family and I lived for 5 years experiencing all the things Beijing had to offer, the history, international community, the night life made it great and again, returning to the Olympic city of my dreams.
2013 年，我得到了一份难能可贵的工作机会，那就是在北京担任一个部门领导。我和家人在北京生活了 5 年，尽情体验北京的一切。那里有悠久的历史、国际化的社区、丰富的夜生活，北京是一座伟大的都市，我再次回到了我梦想中的奥运城市。
Return to Xiamen
My family and I moved back to Xiamen in 2017 to Xiamen a start my own business, one of the factors that influenced this was a three hour talk on the plane with a local businessman that inspired me to brave challenges and start from somewhere with my new venture. Over the next few years in Xiamen my design consultancy business has delivered numerous designs and creative directions for the leading Chinese brand as well as international brands. I had the opportunity to really understanding Chinese consumers through collaboration and genuinely committed myself in guiding young talented designers reach their full potential in creativity.
China has enriched my life experiences, even the challenges along the way have been instrumental ingredients to building character and personal development, as well as allowing me to have a broader mindset and outlook at the world. I Now consider Xiamen my second home, with local friends I now call family. I’ve been exposed to some much great things, from food, music and travelling to over 40 cities around China during my time here.
中国丰富了我的人生阅历，即使一路走来满是挑战，但这也塑造了我的性格，促进了个人发展，同时也让我形成了更广阔的思维和世界观。我已经把厦门当成第二个家，厦门的朋友就是我的家人。在这里，我经历了很多有趣的事情，品尝了美味的食物，聆听了动人的音乐，去过中国的 40 多个城市旅行。
Living here is an experience I believe would be hard to find anywhere else around the world.
If you would like to contribute your story, feel free to contact us.