An Update from the Road

Hello from Brussels!

I know. I can’t keep track either. The fog that is jet lag (who wants to be my BFF) doesn’t help much, either.

A quick update:

I finished my internship for the Institute of Psychology this past Monday! After a few more days in Beijing, I flew to Europe to meet the Boyfriend for two glorious, is-this-real-life weeks of vacation.

I am currently sitting in the Brussels airport, waiting for his flight to arrive. I am sitting in the Stella Artois Cafe, arguing with myself about getting a beer. It is Belgium, after all. However, it is barely 11 a.m. and I’m certain a beer will not help me escape from the fog.

Even though I have left China behind me, it feels like an unfinished experience. Not only because I have a lot to update on the blog–including pandas (!) and the Great Wall (!!), but due to the fact that I barely dipped my toe in the ocean of China.

While traveling, you can never see everything you want to (or at least, I never can) and it’s something I’ve grudgingly learned to accept. However, when reflecting on past traveling experiences, there were one or two more places I would have liked to have seen, one or two more places I would have liked to  linger.

In Peru, I would have enjoyed seeing the Nazca Lines.

In Thailand, Phuket remains on my list.

In Ireland, I never did get to see Dublin.

You get the idea–you see some, you miss some.

I was not expecting this to happen to me in China, however. I went into China with few expectations, other than seeing a panda and the Great Wall, because I knew I would be devoting most of my time to work. I also mistakenly believed that the China of my imagination would be right on the surface.

Instead, you have to hunt for it. China is in the midst of an Industrial Revolution of sorts, and the China you expect to see has been buried under this progress. It’s not impossible to find–I found it on the Great Wall in a thunderstorm, in a small mountain village, at an old temple in Beijing.

Another thing about visiting a new places is that, within that place, there are all sorts of new places you have never heard of, and once you do, they get added to your list, as well.

sorry for the repeat. it's a good one, and I am in an airport, after all.

sorry for the repeat. it’s a good one, and I am in an airport, after all.

So, China, I’ll be back. It may be awhile, and who knows how much you will have changed. But, as my translator informed me, “China will still be here, even if you come back as an old lady.”

Well, I hope to be back sooner than that, China, but either way, it’s not a forever goodbye.

Weekly Ten: May 10, 2013

1. If my diet ever ends (who ever thought I would be “shedding for the wedding” as a bridesmaid?) I am eating most of these.

2. I recently purchased this beautiful, useful camera bag. A wonderful travel accessory! I’m in love.

3. A hilarious Mother’s Day mug, and some other gift ideas for the mamas in your life.

4. Prince Harry is coming to Denver! It’s okay, you can be jealous.

5. I just found out my Chinese visa is good for one year. Maybe I should go back and visit the Venice of the East?

China

6. Speaking of Venice, the Boyfriend and I are visiting the Venice of the North on our mini-European adventure. Maybe someday I’ll see the real Venice…you know, the one in Italy. For now, this will do.

brugge

7. I kind of adore Elizabeth Smart. Don’t you? Here is her opinion of abstinence education–it’s worth a read.

8. This blew my mind! Disney villains turned beautiful.

9. Top baby names of 2012 released by Social Security’s annual list. For some reason I always love reading this list and not finding my name on it. Also, I’m pretty sure Emma and Isabella have been in the top ten for decades! But, probably not as long as Elizabeth has been on that list…

10. Speaking of dieting, these are some of the best tips I’ve ever read for living healthier.