D-Day: To China!-

I have approximately two hours until I get on the plane for a grand 13 hours and 45 minutes. …not quite sure how to feel about that? I mean, I’ve been anticipating this for a while but now that it’s actually happening, surprisingly I feel almost nothing. Is this indifference or am I rather suppressing everything?-

One thing has surprised me, though. As I was waiting to go through security, my mom and my brother were watching me for a bit. When I had only two people in front of me, I checked back to look at them again and saw that they were gone. Okay, I told myself, well it’s not like they’d wait forever, they have to go to Peoria anyway. But then I turned around and saw my mom right there, behind the security line waving at me to smile for a picture. And so I did, holding up my passport. But then for some reason, a huge wave of emotion crashed over me. Tears threatened to spill from my eyes and after Mom waved goodbye, I quickly turned around so she wouldn’t see me cry. Stop it, I scolded myself. You’re stronger than this, don’t cry it’s not like it’s the last time. Plus, it’d be embarrassing to cry in front of the security officer. So I stared hard into the lights and pulled myself together right before I stepped up.

I didn’t see that coming. I mean, even when I went to university, I didn’t get emotional when my family left. If anything, in that minute moment I felt a huge wave of homesickness that I never felt when I was at university…weird. Even as I’m writing this, I wish that I could have at least another hug. Geez, why am I getting emotional now?

(thank goodness I brought Frankie, my teddy bear, with me so I can at least hug something…)

I’m trying hard to examine my present mental state of my situation but I can’t even seem to figure myself out. Parts of me are excited and scared but then there’s some of me that’s like “Please, you’ve traveled the world before.” But this is my first time completely on my own, which means that it’ll be a big adventure but also a bit scary.

(Ah, geez, I wasn’t planning this to be a sad post…)

Okay, positive things now!

I’M GOING TO CHINA! I’m going to get to eat like legit Chinese food IN CHINA! Okay, okay, I know that’s super obvious but still! And new people to meet and a new culture and the language and just…

On second thought, that’s a bit scary itself. I didn’t learn as much Mandarin as I could have before this. I have a feeling that I’m going to feel a bit handicapped when I go there because it’ll be Mandarin everywhere. But, then again, that’s part of the adventure. And if anything, I have almost 14 hours to study Mandarin, haha.

I’m slightly worried about how I’m going to handle the jetlag, though. I’m going to arrive at Beijing at 8:00pm and then the next day I start on a three day tour of Beijing bright and early at 6:30 in the morning. Hopefully, this time it’ll be easier transitioning to the time change than when I was in Korea. And also, adrenaline will be helpful too…

I’m not quite sure how this blogging thing will work, though. There is the great firewall in my way but I can always use a proxy to update things. But a part of me wants to unplug from that. I’ll still be writing daily, but most likely I’ll be mass posting them when I get back.

I wonder how it’ll be when I come back. One thing’s guaranteed, I’ll be darker, ha. I’ve been checking the weather in Beijing and I’m worried about how I’ll deal with 90 degree Fahrenheit (!) weather daily. And of course, how I’ll deal with the air pollution. If I get sick, my mom will completely flip out. So for her sake, I shall do my best to stay in a healthy state (love you 엄마~).

But more than just that, I wonder how I’ll mentally be changed. This experience will really stretch me beyond just the two classes I’ll be taking. I’m going to meet students from around the world and be fully exposed to the Chinese culture. How will that change how I think, how I view the world? Will this trip give me more direction for my life? Will I be inspired? What will be the first difference my family and friends notice?

I guess I’ll have to wait and see~

GAH I STILL HAVE AN HOUR AND TEN MINUTES UNTIL I BOARD. And it’s not like I can just waltz around on the Internet because O’Hare offers free WiFi for only 30 minutes. Poop. It should be a law to make WiFi free at every airport, seriously. Why do they want to suck even more money from us -.-

Okay, I think I’ll try to figure out how my phone works perhaps (I switched over to Android so it’s an interesting endeavor to try to make it cooperate with my Macbook…).

I’ll see everyone, well…I’m not quite sure when, actually. I might end up using the proxy randomly during my stay or the next time might be on July 31.

Zaijian! 🙂

~ajc

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