Elliott Ng, Google, China, Family Meet

April 07, 2014

Elliott Ng and jeanne Dee of Soultravelers3  in China

Elliott Ng is a great guy, the head of Google in China, and I have known him through Twitter for many years ( 2008) where we were both early adopters, interested in travel, China, doing good, education and financial trends.

Elliott is a Harvard educated geek and I am likely one of the biggest "ungeeks" on the planet, but we both were on Twitter early when it was new and exciting way to connect and enjoyed communicating.

I got on Twitter because of our travel lifestyle ( to use it as a quick communication option), so was one of the first in travel blogs using it and met fantastic people through it.

In this post about twitter in the summer of 2010,  I recommended Elliott Ng as "Great heart, dad of three & smart guy plus my go-to-person for everything China!" I met Winser Zhao (who helped us so much on our China trip), through Elliott...small world.

Elliott Ng and family with Soultravelers3 in China

The Ng's are from Silicon Valley area like us, but living in Shanghai now. We planned this Chinese play date with the kids on Twitter before they moved to China in 2011!

We had a fabulous time meeting at the legendary luxurious  Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai.They live in the suburbs and Elliott does an unbelievable amount of transcontinental flying for his job, so it was super sweet of them to make this time to meet with us.

happy expat family from California in China

I won't mention his wife and kids names online as I am not sure if they do that or not, but it was fantastic to finally meet them in person. So funny how social media makes you feel like you know people well even when you have not met them in person.

I've never been disappointed by any friendships made online when we do meet. Earlier on our trip to China, Elliott went out of his way to catch my speech in Beijing at Good People Helping Good People/贵人相助 and we also met at an expat hangout in the Hutong area of Beijing where he had a huge crowd waiting to connect with him. This guy is the epitome of a "people person" and connector.

California kids in China

His eldest son loves Chinese chess and was kind enough to give Mozart a game as a gift and taught her how to play. These two seemed to make an instant connection - California kids in China, straddling two worlds!

Yum! Great food at Fairmont  Peace Hotel  in Shanghai

We all enjoyed munching on the amazing spread at the Peace Hotel executive Floor, then half us a rode and half of us walked the short distance to a beautiful Yunnan cuisine restaurant called Lost Heaven a few blocks away where they treated us to one of our best dinners in China.

The little ones are energetic 3 and 5 year old boys, so I had to admire how good their mom was at keeping them occupied with books and drawing etc like I use to do with Mozart and laughed to see the organic milk cartons that they "self- import" with Elliott's travels. Expat and travel families always find ways to make things work!

Elliott Ng, Mozart and family walking The Bund in Shanghai

It was very enlightening to talk to them about their experience of living in China and I will be doing an interview for those of you wondering what the experience is like for a family.  They have lived in both Beijing and Shanghai and I was intriguied when they said it was very comparable to living in Silicon Valley.

The beautiful Bund in Shanghai

I enjoyed the walk back to the hotel taking in the awesome Shanghai skyline as we talked and meandered along the famous Bund and will never forget the wisdom of their astute 5 year old.

He pointed out, "There is old China on this side and new China across the river!". Some things you can only learn by being there.

Mozart and new friend in Shanghai

What a joy to finally meet Elliott and his wonderful family and complete that playdate promised so long ago.

Do you have any specific questions for me to ask them in my interview? Are you as surprised as we were about how luxurious living in Shanghai can be?

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Mrs. D

Sounds like a great time. Looking forward to the interview.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Mrs.D! Do you have any specific questions you want me to ask?

The easiest way to expat in China is to teach English for a year or two at a school.

PS - I love your homestead ways!!


Looks like you had a great time in China with your friends! Maybe I should say that in Chinese...
看起來像你們在中國跟你們的朋友一起見面有很好的時間。That wasn't a direct translation, but that (roughly) means"it looks like you had lots of fun meeting your friends in China."

Hamish Healys

Lucky you! It’s not often that you get to work out a special friendship with special people like the Elliott Ngs!

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