Jen Knight says that she "won the in-laws lottery" when it comes to her Chinese husband's parents. But luck wasn't on her side this past January, when a day after she arrived in her husband's hometown just outside of Wuhan for a Spring Festival celebration, the Chinese government started shutting down all transit links into and out of the area, effectively trapping her at Ground Zero of what would soon come to be known as the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. She was, as she easily admits, "terrified" and felt isolated, but what helped her feel less alone was participating in a study that asked China-based expats how they were feeling during the crisis. And through 2 months of lockdown in Hubei + 2 weeks of self isolation in her apartment in Shenzhen, her notions of "home" have shifted- or maybe she was just being made aware of a shift that had already taken place.

If you missed it, be sure to go back one episode and listen to part 1 of this series where I speak with Chris Barnhart, who designed the survey that Jen assisted on. You can also read a summary of their findings on our blog here.
And scroll back one more episode, to #057, to hear my impromptu conversation with a group of China-based expats who found them themselves trapped in Bali just as the outbreak began spreading across China.
To learn more about Jen and her work as a life coach for women living abroad, check out her website,, or follow her updates on Facebook and Instagram
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