Two weeks ago I boarded an airplane and flew fourteen hours away from everything I have ever known: my family, my friends, even my language. The moment that we started descending into Beijing and I saw the Great Wall from the sky is the moment that I knew I made the right decision. During our stay in Beijing, we visited the Great Wall at Mutianyu, the Summer Palace, the Olympic Stadiums, Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Lama Temple, and the Confucius Temple. The sights were all breathtaking, but I experienced a change in perspective about halfway through our visit at the Great Wall. As I complained how painful it was to climb all of the steps, I paused because I realized how much history surrounded me. I realized how much pain the people who built it went through, that I was standing on their bones. Above all, I realized how little I actually knew about this world. My experience had only just begun, and I was already a new person.
We are settled into Dalian now, but I will save the rest of the stories for my next post.