It is hard to come up with words that adequately describe to people why I am so excited about traveling to China with a bunch of strangers. I can hardly contain my excitement when I think of the day I will get to board the plane and finally be on my way to a brand new journey on the other side of the world. People just don’t get it. Why China? Why go by yourself? Aren’t you scared? I am met with a lot of puzzled looks when I share my plans for this summer.
I am going to China because it has always been a dream of mine to travel by myself to some distant place. I want to get completely lost in a different culture, immersed in different scenery. Flip my world upside down so that I may find some aspect of myself that I have not been able to tap into in the safety of my home. I have noticed that every time I go away on a trip I rarely come back looking at things the same way. There is always something valuable taken from going somewhere new.
I have been blessed enough to have gotten a good job right out of high school that has paid for a good amount of traveling. I have had great memories and learned so much from myself in each of those trips. The free time I get for myself allows me the clear mind needed to reflect on things that often gives me a fresh new take on things. There is also something about knowing you are on vacation in a foreign place that just causes a reaction within that allows me to act way crazier than I ever would back at home. I let my hair down, relax and realize we only have one life and I want to make sure I get the best out of it. I get to know I different side of myself and I like that.
In a couple of months, I will realize the dream that has both excited and scared me the most. To travel to the other side of the world on my own. Well, technically I will not be by myself. I will be going with a bunch of college students as part of a tour group but I know none of them. I wont meet them until I am in China. I would not feel hard core enough being a first time solo traveler going off somewhere on my own. I like the fact that I know I will be safe. I don’t feel anxious about researching every last bit of the cities I will be visiting because that is already taken care of for me. All that I am doing is reading up on the history of China, learning about the culture and watching Anthony Bourdaine No Reservation reruns.
Twelve days in China. Twelve days to visit Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The trip is jam packed with activities that include visiting the Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, the Temple of Haven Park, Lantau Island and the Po Lin Monastery. I am ecstatic. Taking this trip means not letting the fear of the unknown get the best of me. It means making one of my dreams a reality despite how much the anxiety of often deal with wanted to scare me away from it at times. In a way, I feel like I have to be grateful for the anxiety because it also pushed me to do it. I was more anxious about regretting not fulfilling my dream of traveling abroad on my own than I was of what could happen if I did it.
Now, I am 37 days away from departure. It’s time to pack, get my shots, and get ready to leave. I am excited beyond belief. I can’t believe this is actually happening. I can’t wait to see what I will discover about myself on this journey. I can’t wait to see what life long memories I will make on this long awaited trip. I feel like a bird about to set flight for the first time. I am oh so ready!