This past month, I visited a country that I always wanted to see. Since I was young, I have always been involved in learning the culture and the language. I bet you already know what country I’m talking about. You guessed it, CHINA!
The first four days of the ten day trip, were spent in Beijing. What an amazing city! We saw the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, shopped at flea markets, and ate at so many different restaurants. I can’t even begin to describe how surreal it was to see these monuments, but I’m going to try anyway. Talking about these magnificent and ancient places since my late elementary school years was a main reason behind the result of my happiness here. To think that hundreds and hundreds of years of very eventful history were beneath my feet, while being on the opposite side of the world is absolutely amazing to think about. During the trip, I found myself saying “Wow! I’m actually here. The place I only heard stories about and saw pictures from. I’m actually here!”
The next six days of the trip were spent in Xi’an. Compared to Beijing, I found more of “the daily life in China experience.” This is because I stayed with an amazing exchange student and a great friend, Chen Yuhang. He welcomed me into his home with open arms and so did his family. I attended classes with him, went on a field trip, ate with him and his family, and so much more. In total, it was just an amazing experience to soak up all the culture. In contrast to my experience in Beijing, Xi’an really gave me an opportunity to meet new people and figure out what their lives were like on a day-to-day basis. I was also able to practice and improve my Chinese more than I ever could have imagined. On top of learning some new vocabulary, my ability to communicate became more fluid. Using what I learned in the classroom and being able to apply these skills in a place where I really had to use Chinese to get around, gave me a newfound appreciation for the real life applications of the language.
All in all, this a trip that will really stick with me for the rest of my life. I met so many new friends that, some day, I really hope to see again, especially Yuhang and his friend Cao Yiming. Going almost across the world to a place that is completely different than mine, was eye opening and inspiring. It gave me a new perspective on our life that I will constantly use to compare to my daily life back home.
If you want to learn more about what we did everyday in China, please check out these amazing articles below that give you insight into the amazing experience we had.