I think it only makes sense that this first post tells you a little bit about myself and explains what this blog is about. I was born and raised in London by two loving parents, one from Hong Kong and the other from Malaysia. Growing up in North-West London meant that the furthest away from home I had ventured without parental supervision was to Nottingham for University (and even then I drove home every fortnight…). Although I am a city girl through and through (living only 15 minutes away from Central London probably has a lot to do with this) I never imagined myself living in any other city other than London; so what happened to me in the last 6 months is as far from predictable as you can imagine.

At this point I want to lay my cards on the table, because I think my honesty will make more sense of this blog to you and although most readers will be friends and family, I hope that it inspires someone somewhere to do something far beyond what they ever thought they were capable of doing.

Having experienced my first real heartbreak (yes yes ‘boo hoo’ typical adolescent girl…but bear with me), I was miserable, hopeless and pretty much lost. I confided in one of my friends that I had known for years and he said “Just go and do something different this Summer, just get away from everything you know and come back fresh. I really think you need it. Just try CRCC Asia in Shanghai, it’s what I did and I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.”

So I spontaneously signed up for a month’s internship in Shanghai, I did it on a whim, without consulting anyone else (very unlike me, as reckless as I am-I tend to value other people’s opinions too). This is the *life lesson #1* by the way, when you feel yourself plummeting into a big black hole of misery and disorientation, it is time for a redirection, channel all that sadness and deflation into something new, something that is going to take you in a totally different direction. Although I wasn’t going to Shanghai for a good 2-3 months, just the thought of what this new adventure could bring kept me going. Each time I found myself slipping dangerously back into a state of melancholia, I had visions of myself setting off on this journey for a month.

Fast forward 6 months, and I am still here. (Well, technically I’m not there, I’m back in London for the Christmas holidays but I am going back in a few days to continue working.)

This blog documents why I ended up staying after a month, my adventures in Shanghai and it is intended to be a way for my close friends and family to be with me on this journey as staying in touch with an 8 hour time difference is harder than you think. 

Having said that, I will include photographs and details about the city in the hope that those who have just moved there or plan to visit Shanghai will also get a taste of the city. As I explore and document the life of an expat in Shanghai I hope that it will in someway help someone out there to find their way too…

Marina Vincci Lai
Born… on 10th September 1990
Graduated… in English Literature and Philosophy from the University of Nottingham
Likes to…read fiction, write about everything, chinwag with friends, shop for leather and diamonds & try new food
Dreams of…owning my own business and being happily married with many many kids
Vices…wine, music and movies
Regrets…abso-fucking-loutely nothing.
Believes…in making things happen, there is only one life.
Hates…narrow-minded people
Guilty Pleasures…trashy reality shows (real housewives.)
Inspired by…those who are fearless and determined.



§ 2 Responses to About

  • Fiona Woodfield says:

    Awesome blog so far, I love your quirky sense of humour and style of writing! So nice to read a blog for once from an actually literate + intelligent writer! I’m heading to Shanghai at the end of Jan to do the 3 month internship with CRCC (found your blog through their FB page), so the info you’re giving is super helpful for me, thanks so much, keep it up! 🙂
    Fiona xx

  • Marina says:

    Thank you so much for the encouraging words Fiona! I’ll drop you a line on FB now so you can contact me at any time when you’re in Shanghai if you have any queries. I’m very excited for you to start your internship, let me know if there is anything I can help you with 🙂


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