This is me:

I started 2014 in Thailand. At this temple I had a unexpected experience that connected my past and futures self in a profound way.

My name is Becky Ances and I am a writer, traveler, and tea drinker. I am a former magazine editor, current book author and teacher living in China. I spent 10 idyllic years in a small New Hampshire town until the call of the road was too loud to ignore. I never had any special draw towardsย China, but I realized I could teach English here and make money for my true passion: traveling. I came for a 6-month lark. That was in 2009. Iย haven’t left since. Something about the culture and the people attracted me in ways my home country never did.

I lived in Lin’an, near Hangzhou for 5 years before moving to my current home of Xiamen. I’m also single and happily date Chinese guys which I write about from time to time.

Never one to be content sitting at home bored, I am a pretty active person trying to meet as many people as possible and explore as many places as I can and interpret it all through my blog. There’s too much misunderstanding between the West and China, and I hope to bring a unique perspective and hopefully a bit of understanding to it all.

I’ve also recently become an athlete! I fell in love with badminton and have spent the past few years training and playing the sport, all in Chinese! It has opened up a while new world of friends and events and unexpected adventures. Since I don’t want to bore everyone with badminton all the time, I started a new blog at Please go there to check out all the hilarious missteps of an American middle-aged woman trying to become a competitive badminton player.

Got a question for me? Write me an e-mail at chinabecky(at)gmail(dot)com.

RSS feed or e-mail inbox.

Interviews and guest posts at other places around the web:

NPR interview on Only a Game!

Expat Finder Interview about the life of an expat

Featured as a Case Study on Rolf Potts Vagabonding

Radio Interview on China Plus (CRI)

Featured as a Must Know Expat Blogger at Sublime China.

WWAM of the Month at

Guest post at Linda Living in the East: Learning a Language the Sexy Way

Podcast with Stefan McCormick at I talked so much he made it into two episodes: Part one and part two.

Interview with me over at Travis Lee’s blog: Interview with Becky Ances

Interview at Way Away

Interview at Expat Focus


hector flores · May 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Ni hao! Looking through the moo cow fan club and lov’n the concept! I am a Mexican-america who spent nearly 7 years in Suzhou and Qingdao, last 2 years in Oregon and looking to return to China this summer. Quick question: have you ever thought about video blogging about your experiences in China?


Becky · June 1, 2012 at 2:14 am

I have, but that’s a lot of work and maybe I’m too lazy, ha ha. But I actually have been thinking about it lately……

Affira Alexander MP · August 31, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Hey becky ๐Ÿ˜‰ nice to knw ya, im fira from Indonesia! Ive seen all of ur post and i love it! did u knw? i like to traveling but i have no time for spent with it. So, you’re a lucky girl it hink ๐Ÿ˜‰

Linda · December 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I would love to go to China and teach oral english but scard of going alone which is i guess common sense i lived and worked in Hong Kong which happened by accident so are you alone would love some advice as fed up of my boring home life. x England

Becky · December 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Linda, you shouldn’t worry about coming alone. In fact, most of the foreign teachers come by themselves. You employer will take care of you at first, setting you up with a place to love, taking care of the visa etc, and once you start teaching you have dozens (or hundreds) of eager students who can help you if you need it. Even though China is a strange and exotic place, you will quickly learn how to navigate your own area by yourself and you have instant friends with the other foreign teachers at the school. So on’t let that feat stop you!

Becky · December 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm

live. I meant, place to live…not love. ha ha!

Kim · December 11, 2012 at 10:18 am

Hi Becky…can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read your blog. I guess it was the “chinese boyfriend” hook that got me on facebook. At first I thought “chinese boyfriend” in addtion to all the other boyfriends that aren’t chinese? Anyway from the blog I read the whole book list. Great fun. We agreed on a lot but not “City of Ember” which I loved. You’ve revisited a lot of books that I read along time ago including “Hitchhikers Guide” that I remember loving. So I recently started the sequel written by Colfer (Artemis Fowl author). He does a good job.
Nice to see you are happy and doing well.

Kim · December 11, 2012 at 10:21 am

Kim from the Toadstool in case you’ve forgotten.

Becky · December 12, 2012 at 4:36 am

Kim, don’t be silly, I’d never forget you! I’ll admit that I have been reading less lately, just because I’m not sure what to read these days. So I’m reading a lot of non-fiction (like Imagine by something–Tom?–Lerner) and also some re-reads. Like I’m almost done with the His Dark Material series again. Remember when I was first going to china and I took forever choosing the ONE book I would bring with me. And after choosing the one volume thick His Dark Materials, it turned out to be too big for my bag? Ha ha. Thank god for my Kindle. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Glad to hear from you! Miss you!

Kathe · June 7, 2013 at 6:28 am

Turns out I’ll be in Lin’an the month of July myself working with an enrichment summer school. Odd how our lives are crisscrossing. Any place to recommend to chill in a pub-like atmosphere?

Danlee · August 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Hi Becky,

I’ve reading your blog from time to time and I got inspired. I think I should have one as well to share the books I’ve read, the movies I have watched and the life I have experienced.

Becky · August 5, 2013 at 5:21 am

Hey Danlee,

It’s so easy with today’s software and blogging sites. You totally should! I’ll read it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Janice · June 27, 2014 at 10:00 am

Awesome blog. I had a friend who taught in China years ago and she enjoyed the experience too.

Josephzhou · December 31, 2014 at 2:53 am

Bekcy, I’m pretty moved when seeing the pic and your calling this your home in China. You did really a good job !

Lena · October 25, 2015 at 8:09 am

Hey Becky

Just read your introduction. Seems like we have a lot in common. My next project is to convince more people to give China the second it needs. When I meet backpackers on tour around South East Asia, everyone’s like looking in a strange way when I start talking about my passion for China which is why my mission is to show ppl why China is the place to go for a great adventure. The question is just, how to convince them? Anyway, that’s what I’ll figure out before going back to China in August next year ๐Ÿ™‚
Enjoy your time in Xiamen with your tea ๐Ÿ˜‰

Becky · October 26, 2015 at 12:14 am

Hey Lena,

Thanks! Do you get criticized for “drinking the kool-aid” too when you don’t bring up Tienanmen or human rights violations every second? It’s like sometimes people don’t believe your positive assessment unless you criticize the country as well, sigh. I checked out your blog too and it looks great. Really liked the one comparing average Chinese to average Chinese in singapore and KL. I feel like I could have written a very similar post about Taiwan. ๐Ÿ˜‰

John · November 4, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Hi Becky,
I’ve been thinking about travelling to Asia for many years and like you, have thought of teaching english to help finance my travels once I’m there. Are there many schools out there that would hire someone in their late 30s or early 40s, or do most of the jobs tend to go to recent college grads? In other words, would it be difficult for someone my age to get a job teaching english there? Thanks for any advice you can give.

Becky · November 5, 2015 at 9:51 pm

Hey John,
Don’t worry! School seem to be getting picker and have finally realized that hiring recent college grads might not be the best idea as they don’t have experience. So schools actually like older teachers. Truthfully in my experience people our age are the lowest demographic in the “english teacher” world as most people do it immediately after college or after retirement. Not a ton of people drop everything in the middle of their careers and move to another country. So welcome brother! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (And finding a job won’t be difficult at all.)

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