Since I received my Visa, I have been making significant progress on my move to Beijing. I have been researching different options to connect with people here in the states and making sure they can contact me without breaking the bank. I noticed that Skype had a program for unlimited calls to the U.S. and Canada for 2.99 a month or 30 dollars for a year. After signing up for this, I also signed up for a Skype phone number that is local to the San Francisco Bay Area so they can call me toll free.
This takes a bit of explaining so give me a bit here: The number I have now is a 510 area code. That is Oakland/Berkeley, California, where I have lived the last 15 years or so. Most my friends either live in this area or know my area code and are used to it. So, when they call me, they will call the 510 area code and be connected to my phone, even if I’m in China, and there is no delay or extra charge. It is rather amazing and a wonderful use of technology that will end up costing me $60.00 a year to get phone calls, and to make phone calls, back to the U.S. from anywhere that I am as long as I have wi-fi or a 3G connection on my phone. I can also use the video conferencing on my phone or computer with Skype and connect that way. I’ve made a few calls today and there was no delay and the clarity was perfect.
As to closing down: I’ve been shutting down my old phone service, my car insurance, moving bank accounts as needed, changing addresses and information for contacting me so that there won’t be problems when I move to Beijing and have bills or refunds sent to the wrong address. There are a lot of little changes that take time but I’m almost done with them. I’m glad that I decided to become FUNemployed for the last few months so I can relax, have time to make changes without stress, and say goodbye to the people I care about. It has been a wonderful experience connecting with old friends and spending time with them. My family has been very supportive and everything seems to be falling into place.
I have been fortunate to have the friends, family and support system that I’ve had in my life. I know that, in an emergency, I will always have someone to help me out and I believe that is because I have done my best to help and support others in their time of need. My job as a therapist and social worker made moral sense to me because that is how I see the world; I have a willingness to listen and skills to teach that might help you and I believe you can overcome your problems. We all need help and we all need to connect.
As for connecting knowing I already have a phone number and a way to stay connected before I make this move, makes it feel much safer and much more real.