Arriving in China
I’ve been in China for 2 weeks now, and I just finished my first week of classes 🥳. I’ve had the best and most wild time. I spent a week in Beijing and came to Shanghai this past Sunday. It has been such a big jump into cold water that I now feel like I’ve been in China for much longer than I have.
The day before my flight to Beijing, I was pretty sick (I blame nervousness) so I started to second guess myself and my decision. I slept off the headache, and when I woke up at 2 am to catch my flight, I was ready to go. The 18-hour travel time was literally the worst thing ever it felt like an eternity, but once I landed in Beijing, I knew it was worth it. I ended up on the same flight as a girl in my program and met another USAC student in the airport during baggage claim, so it was pretty cool that I got to share the big moment of arriving with others. We got a taxi together, and the ride felt more like a roller coaster than a car ride, he was driving on the shoulder and swerving into lanes left and right. When we made it to the hotel, we met a few more students and just had enough time to shower and get dressed in order to make it to the group dinner. The dinner was interesting, they played it safe but still provided us with local dishes, and there were vegetables that I had never seen.
We had a pretty tight schedule since we were going to just about all the major tourist spots in Beijing, so we only ever really got to dip our toes into each location. The destination that I liked the most was The Great Wall, we went to a less touristy section of the wall, and I really liked that since I got to truly enjoy the views without a wall of people or umbrellas in the way. Few things took me off guard, the biggest one being people taking pictures of me, very openly at that. I began to appreciate the people who came up to me and asked, even if it be by just pointing at the camera.
Some of my best memories were actually made on the bus from destination to destination. Everyone was so much fun, and getting to know them was the best thing ever. Some of the people on the tour are in the Chengdu program, so had I not gone on the optional tour I would have never met them. We have already made plans for the next trip in Xi'an and plans to visit one another during our breaks.
I took some video and a lot of pictures, so I will be editing the video when I have time and uploading images from my Beijing trip into my gallery 😊.