lifestyle, Travel

Soon to be Summer in Shanghai

Woah woah woah, slow down there pony boy. Shanghai? China? Communism? Sticky rice? Chopsticks? Air pollution? An extremely complicated language named after tiny canned oranges?

The rumors are true. I am departing for China in FOUR DAYS. And I’ll be there for 8 WEEKS.

I, don’t even know how to feel about it. I thought moving five hours away for college was weird. Talk about a 14 hour plane ride to a country so foreign that I’ll need to carry around a business card with my hotel’s address like I’m some type of lost puppy wearing a collar engraved “fuzzy”.

I’ll be kept busy working, which is good for my health because otherwise I’d probably spend way too much time eating noodles. But also I’m so excited to meet all of the people I’ll be staying with/ working with. They already seem like they’ll be some of the smartest people I’ll ever meet.

It’s hard to stay in the present moment here at home when there is so much I am looking forward to this summer. But I will really miss having the comfort of my family nearby. I still feel like a baby bird that shouldn’t really be leaving the nest so often but is anyways, so it’s hard. I feel like I’m always leaving.

People don’t tell you about all the leaving you do when you grow up. You leave to go away to school, you leave your new school friends behind to go home, you leave your family to go see the world, you leave the family you forged abroad to return home and then you leave again to repeat the whole process. It’s a sucker punch to my heart every time. The only thing that makes it easier is the promise of return. But the hard part about that is feeling like sometimes you are making a promise that you won’t be able to keep one day.

Life, man. Sometimes it’s so complex that I feel like the four-letter title doesn’t suit it. It should be one of those incredibly treacherous and obscure long words that only those annoying kids that would correct your middle school teachers grammar can spell correctly. Like, “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis”. (Thank you copy & paste).

So, as I am embarking on this trip soon and leaving yet another time, I figure I will start to document it all to try and make the distance between me and the comfort of my nest seem significantly less vast.

But hey, it’s a big world out there, and if you don’t go out and see it while you can it will always remain that way to you; as this big impersonal vast place and not a beautiful home with far-reaching corners where you find yourself loving and living and belonging.

Until next time,

Ashley

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