This week's guest has seen it all. 99 year-old Eleanor Liu might very well be the oldest foreigner in China, who's been living the #ExpatLife since the early 1980s. Born in Tennessee in the days after WWI, she came of age in the American South during the Great Depression and WWII. In the years that followed she would graduate from university, get her Masters degree and meet the love of her life, John Liu, a decommissioned Chinese solider who had been stationed in The U.K. during the war. Their mixed marriage, raising of their family & opening one of the first Chinese restaurants in Indiana would be amazing enough, but that's just where her story begins. Eleanor and John eventually found themselves in Taiwan, and then Mainland China, within a few years of Deng Xiaoping's opening of the country in 1979. They built a home in what was then the outskirts of the city, and spent the next 20 years splitting their time between Beijing and the US. Now they're in Beijing full-time, where 4 generations share the courtyard house that they built so many years ago.

Through it all, Eleanor's love of teaching has driven her and helped her make a meaningful impact, no matter where she's lived. She taught English to the first crop of Chinese students who were chosen to travel overseas for university after Deng's opening, and she's taught Tai Chi at a YWCA back in the US. And in this interview she teaches me that home is where you make your mark and where your loved ones are.

Buy Eleanor's memoir, The Red Thread, here: 

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