Like Father, Like Son: Two families forging closer relationships through sports

Brad and Lucas Barron
Originally from the US, the Barron family has been living in Beijing for four years. It is 11-year-old Lucas’ first time living overseas.

His dad, Brad, was always an outdoor guy. Growing up beside a forest called Tyler Arboretum in Media, Pennsylvania, he often walked and hiked in the woods. He also sailed with his own father and participated in school sports such as tennis, soccer, skateboarding, and skiing.

After Lucas was born, Brad encouraged him to be active from a very young age – but not necessarily in a structured way. “Young kids aren’t going to react well to long spells of [physical activity],” he says.“It’s about exposing them to sports in a fun way.”

Split Decision: How one Beijing dad handles long-distance fatherhood

For the Father’s Day issue, bejingkids wants to pay tribute to the Beijing men who love their spouses and kids but live apart from them. Whether for health, educational, or financial reasons, many families elect to stay, move, or return overseas to live. Because of ongoing global economic instability and the wealth of financial opportunities in China, more and more fathers find themselves living here on their own. These long-distance families face unique challenges and pressures.

We spoke to American Wesley Ingram, branch manager of Links Moving Beijing, about his experience of being separated from his wife and son, and his advice for other fathers in the same position.

Keeping the China Connection: Leaving doesn’t always mean saying goodbye

After calling China home for so long, expats – a clan for which impermanence is built into this cultural environment – often struggle with their eventual departure – particularly those of us who have resided in Beijing for many years. Add a family to the mix and the exit can seem all the more dramatic, especially if your children were born and raised here.

However, with so many immigrant communities all over the world, it’s possible to find Chinese culture outside of China. For those of us whose roots go deep into this land, maintaining ties with China is within reach thanks to modern technology and air travel. It’s just a question of making the effort.

Mad about Dad: Four dads discuss the experience of being a father in Beijing (Part 2)


beijingkids dedicated the June issue to the dads for the Father's Day issue. We spoke to four Beijing-based dads about their experiences of parenting. Part two features Richard Liu- Beijing expat for 25 years and father of two- and Michael Crain- founder of Chi Fan for Charity and father to twin girls. Two other days featured in part one can be found here.

Mind Your Mao: Transferring money out of China

While people coming to China on a short-term corporate contract will want to plan in advance for the repatriation of funds, just about everyone working in China will need to address the issue of taking money out of the country at some point.

China’s renminbi (RMB) is not a fully convertible currency. Though welcome in Hong Kong and many Southeast Asian countries, banks in Europe and North America may not readily accept it for exchange or multi-currency deposits. As such, large sums require special handling.
China strictly regulates the export of funds for both RMB and foreign currencies. While the days of only being able to exchange currency at the airport upon departure are over, dealing with current restrictions still requires a bit of advance planning and strategy.

Mad about Dad: Four dads discuss the experience of being a father in Beijing (Part 1)

As the capital of the world’s most populous country, Beijing attracts a diverse group of people to live and work. For Father’s Day this year, we interviewed four dads with interesting backgrounds and jobs about their adoptive, multicultural, and multilingual family experiences. Their answers revealed a lot about them and the love they have for their children, and what a wonderful experience being a father in Beijing can be. Part one of this two-part post features Dominic Johnson-Hill and Carl Setzer.

Pets on a Plane: Moving from China with dogs and cats

Every year, countless pets are abandoned when their owners decide to relocate. The problem is amplified in areas with large populations of waidiren, such as Beijing. However, many people don’t realize that moving internationally with animals isn’t as puzzling as they think; the trickiest part is figuring out the prerequisites for entering your destination country. You should start preparing for your pet’s relocation at least six months before the planned moving date. For the latest entry requirements, consult your destination country’s embassy, department of agriculture, or quarantine bureau.

Get a Move On: How to pick the right relocation company for your family

After the tickets are bought and the bags are packed, families leaving Beijing will be bracing themselves for more than just a plane ride. It will also be an emotional rollercoaster of nostalgia, sadness, nervousness, and excitement.

Ed and Mandy Barlow began the process of relocating from Beijing to Shanghai in 2011 with their 9-month-old daughter, Penny. As they packed their boxes, they realized the bigger chore would be finding a company to ship it all. “It would be good to have a list of top-rated moving companies so that you don’t need to do the research [them] yourself,” says Mandy. In the end, they decided to go with Santa Fe.

Let Your Hair Down: Getting your pamper on in the capital

“To pamper” is defined as “to indulge with every attention, comfort, and kindness.” When we read such a gentle definition, it’s a wonder that we put actively pampering ourselves – or seeking others to do it for us – so low on our list of priorities. Thankfully, with low prices and a multitude of options, finding pampered bliss is easy in Beijing.

Spas are an Asian specialty. They’re much more affordable than in the West and are thus less stigmatized as a playground for the wealthy. Many offer massages, facials, body scrubs, aromatherapy, and reflexology as well as hair, nail, and beauty treatments. Some, like Daisy’s Spa, also offer waxing, intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments, and laser therapy. Others, like The Wellness Spa by Hummingbird, even offer weight control treatments.

Have It Your Way: Being a trailing spouse doesn’t mean sitting at home and twiddling your thumbs

Coming to Beijing without a support system can be tough, but sometimes it’s even worse to have such a network come through your partner. Such is the case for many couples who move to Beijing for a job offer, leaving one half to become the “trailing spouse.” Such a change can be uncomfortable even in a familiar setting, but these feelings are often compounded for newcomers who can’t speak the language, don’t know the city, and are having trouble adjusting to cultural differences. These factors can leave them feeling isolated, lost, and without purpose.

Fortunately, there are many ways to keep busy and stay connected. Jaclyn Dam Laute initially relied on her husband’s company for support, but she adjusted, achieved independence, and even established a dental clinic.

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