My name is Howard Hampton.  My family and I recently relocated to Shanghai, China from Detroit, Michigan, USA.  It’s been a massive life change for my wife, two daughters, and myself.  It was a difficult decision to make the move, but we are all glad we did it as Shanghai is a wonderful city.  Before, during, and after the move we learned many life-lessons and my goal with this blog is to share some of them with friends, family, and possible strangers who may be planning a relocation to China. I will try to pass along interesting stories and photos about our new life here in Shanghai, as well as provide resources that either made our move easier, or would have if I had known about them at the time.  I hope that this blog provides a window into the lives of a Western family transitioning successfully to its new life in one of the fastest growing, most dynamic cities on the planet.  I also hope to provide a window into Shanghai, and other parts of Asia, that gives readers a true sense of what day to day life here is like.

54 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi! Came across your blog as we are an American family moving to shanghai in the next month! It’s great to read your stories as it helps prepare us! Tnx!

  2. Hi Howard – great blog, have really enjoyed reading it! I’m getting ready for 4 days in Shanghai with my husband who will be working during that time – what would your top sight seeing and eating recommendations be? Thanks!

  3. Hello.. I just discovered your blog and have found it VERY reassuring as we may be put on a 2 yr expat assignment starting in January to Shanghai.. I see our girls both have love for horses. Could you please tell me where in Shanghai they took lessons and if you recommend them? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Cathy. If you do get the Shanghai expat assignment, you will love it, trust me. Our girls ride at a place called Meadowbrook Stables and it is wonderful (http://www.meadowbrookshanghai.com/home.aspx). They are very Western focused and ride strictly English style. It is outside of Hongqiao at the far western edge of Shanghai. We live in Pudong and it takes us about an hour to get there. They have several riding rings, good, english speaking instructors, and take good care of their horses. My kids love it. Hope that helps.


  4. Hey Howard, I’m from Uber, which is a US company that recently launched in Shanghai – would love to get a couple bloggers giving us a shot (we’re actually in Detroit as well 🙂 ping me if you’d be up for it — email is part of the post – you can read a bit at http://www.uber.com/cities/shanghai

  5. Hi Howard, great blog. I have been asked to relocate to Shanghai from London and whilst some may say why from london, Shanghai seems like a great adventure. I will be moving with my wife and 2 year old.

    Would love to touch base for tips on where to stay and other great tips!

  6. Hi Howard! I am considering an expat assignment in Shanghai from Seattle! I am interested in any tips for moving our beloved golden doodle… Please email me… Also any tips on mail forwarding!

  7. Hey Howard! I hope to move to Shanghai in a few years, and I’ve loved following your stories every month. I’m in Shanghai right now working on a new digital media brand called DiscoverWish (over 10,000 users in SH!). Just wanted to reach out to you; email me if you’re interested in collaborating–we’re very flexible!

  8. Hi Howard,

    How are you? This is Line from Yasmine’s in Jinqiao where I believe you used to be a regular – I’m not there anymore so maybe you still are a regular (:
    I just had a quick escape back to Denmark to finish my Master’s thesis but I still live in Shanghai now in the center of Puxi. And I blog – about Shanghai from a healthy perspective, that’s how I just came across your blog again. So cool I’ll definitely remember to follow it again. My blog is http://www.shanghaihabits.com

    Let’s catch up soon!

    Best to you and your family

  9. Hello,

    My name is Amanda Roberts and I am the author of the blog Two Americans in China. I found your blog and contact information through Expats Blog. I am the author of Crazy Dumplings, a fun food fusion cookbook that was funded through Kickstarter. My dream, though, is to write a cookbook written specifically for expats about how to cook foods and dishes from their home country in their new adopted country using ingredients that can be found locally. However, I know my experience in China isn’t the same as everyone else’s, so I thought it would be a good idea to reach out to other China expat bloggers and ask about their experiences. I would love to hear about your experiences cooking abroad. Please click the following link to take my survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3DKT52R (Works best if using Google Chrome.) I will include a link to the blog of everyone who responds and helps me out in the book.

    Thank you so much for your assistance, and I look forward to hearing from you!

  10. Dear Howard,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in China, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,

  11. Hi David,

    This is Jason from A2satv Satellite TV. I like your blog about Shanghai and we do wireless HD satellite TV (No Dish) for expats living in Shanghai. I would like to check if your blog can accept advertisement for our product? This is our AD on Shanghaiist: http://shanghaiist.com/2014/09/09/a2satv.php You can check.

    Let me know if you are interested. 🙂


    Best Regards
    – Jason

    Web: http://www.satv.icoc.cc
    Email: satv@foxmail.com
    Mobile: +86.135.0172.3760
    QQ: 2317564271
    WeChat: a2satv

  12. I’ve been offered a great job in Shanghai but my husband and I have been very skeptical, due to all the usual reasons – pollution, culture, etc. Your blog is the first website I’ve come across that’s provided a different (but very real and humorous perspective). It might just sway our decision to go there. Thanks!

  13. Hello Howard,

    How are you?:) I was searching for Mandarin leaning information this morning and found your article https://lostinshanghai.com/2012/12/12/an-unspeakable-language/
    (Thanks for sharing the Mandarin learning story:)

    It’s funny. We are now making an infographic about Mandarin learning. We are asking 30-50 bloggers the Top Three Resources they use to learn Mandarin. A short feedback is good enough.

    Is it OK I send you an email for a bit more details?

    Either way, thanks Howard! Love your blog and have a great day:)


  14. Hello Howard,

    How are you?:) I was searching for Mandarin leaning information this morning and found your article https://lostinshanghai.com/2012/12/12/an-unspeakable-language/
    (Thanks for sharing the Mandarin learning story:)

    It’s funny. We are now making an infographic about Chinese learning. We are asking 30-50 bloggers the Top Three Resources they use to learn Mandarin. A short feedback is good enough.

    Is it OK I send you an email for a bit more details?

    Either way, thanks Howard! Love your blog and have a great day:)


  15. Hi Howard,

    Aloha from Maui! I love your blog. Thank you for sharing your adventures. I am half of a travel enthusiast couple ( some say obsessed, but I’m picking the adjectives here), that is moving to Shanghai on expat assignment in June. We have done very little research on where to live, or tackled any of the logistical issues of relocating to China. Instead we have planned a trip to Siem Reap, Bangkok, Bali, and Maldives, while frantically protecting our already planned vacation to Lake Como in the fall. As soon as we figure out our travel schedule, then we will work on the little things like where we will live. Your blog really struck a chord.

    My sweetheart goes out to Shanghai the first time on March 23rd, and I think we get a “look see” together sometime after that. I was hoping to maybe bribe you with a great double IPA from my hometown in exchange for some tips and advice.

    Thanks for Sharing.


  16. Hi Harold! My name is Sandy and I have enjoyed your blog. I am finding myself in a very similar situation as yours was a few years back.
    My husband and I have the opportunity to move our family (kids 13,11) to Shanghai. We too are from Michigan (Ann Arbor), husband works for Ford, and are a bit of an adventurist family.
    We are all in except for the concern of pollution.y kids live to be outdoors, are heavy in sports and I would like to continue with our busy/active lives. My fear is the air pollution.
    If you had the opportunity to move your family to Shanghai now would you? Do you feel the pollution has gotten worse? If you were us, would you let it stop you from coming?
    I appreciate your advice and time,


  17. Hey Howard! Cynthia Oxley-Rude here! I have a co-worker moving to Hong Kong with his wife this summer. Just sent him your blog. So fun to see the adventures you and your family are on. Let’s catch up! Cyn

  18. Hi Howard – Fellow GPP. We met a couple of years ago and I come to Shanghai a couple of times a year. Just happened to be spending time in China on Holiday and back to work here in Shanghai this week. Love your blog!! Love to buy you a beer!!

  19. Howard, I enjoyed your post and I am interested in speaking to you more about your move. Is it possible to contact via email so that I may get my questions answered? Thanks. -Heather

  20. Hello Howard, I have enjoyed reading your blog and have learned so much. My husband and I will be moving to Shanghai early September and are now looking at different areas/districts to live. My husband will be working in Anting but from what I have read it is pretty deserted. I was hoping you could give us some recommendations on districts we may want to consider. We are also from the Detroit area (rockwood) and our children are grown (at least they think they are) so it will just be the two of us. There will be no need to be close to schools. I would also appreciate any other advice you could give on mail forwarding and other tips you may find useful to us.

    Thanks! Love your blog,


  21. Hello,

    This is Stephanie from HelloTalk(www.HelloTalk.com)-a language exchange learning App, we want to reach our APP to people who want to learn Chinese. So I’m writing this letter wondering if you can review/recommend our APP on your blog.

    HelloTalk is an app which has over 1.3 million users worldwide and is similar to WhatsApp but has more features on language learning. Such as in-app translation, text-to-voice, voice-to-text, transliteration, and grammar correction, etc. With HelloTalk, one could learn and practice a language with native speakers.

    Recently, a famous polyglot has written a review about our APP(http://www.fluentin3months.com/hellotalk-review/), possible your readers are looking for an APP like HelloTalk.

    Please let me know your thoughts, I’m looking forward to your reply.




    HelloTalk Media Kit

  22. Hello,

    This is Saul at GPSmyCity.com. GPSmyCity is interested in sponsoring a giveaway on your blog for mutual benefits. If you are interested in learning more about it, please reply to this email at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

  23. Hi, Howard! My husband and I are going to Shanghai for a pre-move visit next month. We are still in the ‘not so sure about this’ phase. Hoping that this visit will help us in making our decision, but wanted to let you know that the information you have provided has been entertaining and extremely informative. I will be my hubby’s trailing spouse and we will have our elementary-aged daughter in tow. (We have 2 adult children who have settled themselves in the US.)
    On our visit next month, he will be at the corporate office for his company several days and I will be on my own to explore. Do you have any suggestions? I will not visit Carrefour on a Saturday! LOL! I would like to see Western neighborhoods, parks, and things that would impact our daily lives there. We will sight-see if we make the move. Any insight is appreciated!

    Mary Ellen WIrkus

  24. Hi Harold! My husband and I are relocating for 7 months to Shanghai mid December. He found your blog and it is really great. Thanks for sharing. We are craft beer folks and look forward to following your recommendations. We are originally from near Kalamazoo & Cleveland (We don’t talk during the Ohio State/Michigan game), so your blog feels like advice from someone at home. Thank you so much for sharing….you have helped our pretrip anxiety a great deal. Perhaps we can find each other in the city and share a beer!

  25. Hi Howard

    My name is Joyce, I am a marketing executive at expatfinder.com which is a leading expat information and services website.

    I saw on your blog that you are and expat. I wish to interview you to further share some of your tips. The questions are mainly about the housing, the daily life etc.
    It just takes 5 minutes (or more depending if you have lots to say 🙂
    Of course, if you accept we can add a link to your blog or some of your website. 
    If you are interested to participate at this project, please send me an email at interview@expatfinder.com.

  26. Hi Howard. Several people have suggested I reach out to you. I am a trailing spouse as well. I have been in Shanghai for about five weeks now with my wife and two boys (8 & 10 years old). I live near Concordia where my kids attend and was wondering if we might meet and chat some day. Thanks.

  27. Hi Howard, great blog! I’ve been reading parts of your blog over the last couple of weeks, in preparation for a possible move to Shanghai. So exciting. We’re in contract negotiations now, and we’re looking for a source of a ‘cost of living’ overview (housing, school, insurance, the standard stuff). I’m curious if you know of a reliable source? Thanks for sharing all your brilliant adventures 🙂

  28. Howard, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. I direct the Business of Craft Beer Program at The university of Vermont and I’m in the early stages of planning a craft beer tour of Beijing and Shanghai, perhaps next October. I’ve reached out to some of the folks at Boxing Cat (Michael Jordan) and Great Leap but am also interested in connecting with people who have a good feel for the craft beer scene in these cities (and China in General). Recently I connected with Rick Green. Do you know of people in Shanghai with expertise/knowledge of this sector? We’re interested in casual discussions involving marketing, branding, trends in craft beer, history of beer in China, etc. (I spent 8 years running a “Doing Business in China” course for the University, based in Qingdao. I’ve visited these locations a number of times.

  29. I hope things are going well for you. It’s a great blog that were you doing though I see that you are now out of Shanghai. I thought you could do a feature on our new consignment shop. I think your readers would be quite interested.

    Here’s some information:

    Last year, I launched a secondhand fashion shop in Shanghai’s French Concession (TimeOut’s New Shop of the Year!) and wechat platform called Pawnstar. We are bringing a new definition of secondhand to China that gets beyond imported vintage and promotes re-use, a recycling economy. Beyond the core business of consignment – reselling fashion items from people here in China – we also do upcycling.

    New this year will be a focus by Stylites on photos and introductions to Pawnstar customers – the pioneers embracing this more eco-friendly way of being stylish. Click here to read more about this! Pawnstar will also construct the secondhand program for leading e-commerce website Mogujie.

    Please contact me to find out more information or if you need photos – also if you would just like to stop by the shop!

  30. Hi Howard. I stumbled across this blog as I was searching for information to help me figure out how to move to Shanghai. I have read several posts and am really enjoying it! We were just offered a position ther through my husbands work. I think you’d be a wealth of information for us just venturing into this! I would love to correspond and benefit from all your experience! We’ve travelled quite a bit but newer to Asia so there is a lot of unknown there for us. So glad I found this blog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s