One of my goals of living abroad was to stay engaged in American news. But keeping up with the news from home is rough.

I’ve been running around all day every day since my arrival, and most of my downtime is spent cramming Chinese vocabulary. Some news sites are blocked, and my VPN is spotty. The effort it takes to browse the headlines is not worth the exhaustion and apathy it brings.

In my small family of brand new fellow expats, nobody wants to talk about it. If politics pops up they shout “No let’s not”. They shake their heads and say “I don’t want to hear it” or ‘I’m here to get away from that”. Someone dealt a deck of cards, made a passing mention of a “trump card” and everyone grimaced. The Brits in our group are equally disgusted.

It’s easy to slip into that mindset. The news is hardly good, and I am a world away, in a new land full of distractions. The protests and executive orders feel so far away, and I am as powerless as I am disconnected. Ignoring it feels safe.

But even if I weren’t on foreign soil, the American ideal would be fading.I want to know what’s happening. I need to watch as my country disappears and the idealism of my high school government class slips away.

I am in Shenzhen, but my heart marches in Washington.

I’m in China, and committed to my time here, but my mind can visit home.


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