#DailyWings: “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you – it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you…hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
Almost every summer ever since I can remember, I have made a month-long trip to China to visit family, travel across the country and embrace the culture and heritage of my ancestors. You could say that China (particularly Shanghai, where I am based) is my second home.
Early tomorrow morning, I will be taking a 15-hour flight from NC to Detroit, and then from Detroit to China. I’ve had barely enough time to recover from my busy weekend to and from Ohio, but I couldn’t be more excited. You would think that after years of traveling to the same country I’d get used to it, even tired of it – the same old city with steamed pork buns. And to a certain extent you’d be right. I am afraid that half-growing up in China has led me to take these trips, and thus my own unique culture, for granted. It is deeply ingrained in my daily lifestyle and my values, whether or not I fully realize it. I don’t experience the same marvel and wonder and culture shock that another American college student would while traveling abroad in Asia.
I may not be able to look at China through new, searching eyes or develop a raw perspective of the culture I grew up with, but I can still keep an open mind and see China for what she is. Experience all that China has to offer. And that is exactly what I intend to do when I step foot into Asia come forty-two (or so) hours.
Thus, during the month of July, I will not be here at The Red Angel blog. Instead, I will set up camp at TRA: Overseas Chronicles and document my travels in China once again. (Blogs are blocked in China, as are social networks, but a friend of mine will update the OC for me.) The Overseas Chronicles is a branch off of my main blog (this one here, TRA!). At the OC, you can follow me whenever I travel – photos, stories and culture, you name it. To the right of the OC blog, you can view my different travel chronicles under Categories. You can read about my Late Nights in Shanghai from last year as well if you would like.
I return to China this July to carry out my own investigative journalism research project.
I will be doing research and conducting a sort of unofficial “case study” at a local hospital in Shanghai. My project aims to find out what life at the hospital for a chronic patient is like, and what sort of social support services this medical center provides its patients and their families. As a Journalism and Psychology double major, I love how this project is able to fuse two of my passions together along with the research aspect.
I would love for you to come follow me as I conduct my research and bond one-on-one with China. It’s going to be one heck of a ride – and a long one too! I will return to the United States (and thus The Red Angel blog, here) at the end of July. Until then, 我们去旅游吧!
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One last thing – weeks ago, I signed up for the Poetry Pact Blogfest! This is going to be a short one due to my lack of time (I still haven’t completely packed! Yikes!).
At The Word is My Oyster, Lydia Kang
introduced us to the Poetry Pact
group, which comprises of individuals who have promised to write poetry on a regular schedule – which varied from member to member (sort of like ROW80
, I suppose).
I added my link because y’all know I love me some poetry even if I’m not a great poet myself. Thankfully, this blogfest doesn’t require any poetry-writing. Instead, we are supposed to write about a secret pact we had with our friends or a secret group that helped us through tough times.
Back in 5th grade, I had three best friends. We were silly and talked about boys, makeup and other important 5th-grade topics. We named ourselves The Key Club, and each of us had our own secret charm, or “key.” Together, the charms formed a bracelet when hooked onto the same chain. Pretty cool, huh?
Well The Key Club didn’t survive past 5th grade, but I remember the club always made me feel like I had a group of best friends whom I could count on. The club made me feel included and secure.
Check out the other participants’ entries here!