I am moving to China today.
It’s kind of crazy because I always knew that this day would arrive. I have been telling people since middle school that I wanted to live in China for, “one to three years,” and here I am, leaving for one to three years. I never really doubted that my dream of residing in the middle country would come true and here I am, with my ticket in hand and a pile of luggage at the front door.
Saying good-bye to my grandparents last night was the hardest. The sobs were the uncontrollable and somewhat embarrassing, (though I am not an advocate of emotions being embarrassing, this was). Next to my grandparents, the saddest thing for me is leaving my dogs and my full closet of clothes. I’m scared that my dogs will forget me and I am sad that I can’t take every single one of my earthly belongings with me.
Today I feel a little numb, but mostly excited. The way I see it, I could be moving to Washington or California or Texas and would still have to leave my family, pack my things, and see them only on major holidays. Moving to China only has some different communication logistics like the time difference and lack of free speech. For me, today is just another step in the growing up process, clichÃ© as it is: it’s time to spread my wings and fly. Only I am flying around the world.
My flight pattern is: Tampa-LA-Beijing-Hangzhou and will take 29 hours. I am scared out of my mind to fly Air China, but I am hoping that since the Olympics just happened all of the rumors about their service aren’t true. I have been brushing up on some “in-flight” mandarin necessities since most of the flight attendants don’t speak English, and I am bringing a roll of toilet paper since China runs on a BYOTP (Bring Your Own Toilet Paper) system.
I really hope that every person at some point in their life gets to feel this feeling of anticipation and elation, of apprehension and excitement. It’s a rather fun emotion. Finding your dreams as a reality is quite a joy, and I hope it for all of my friends. You really can do it; whatever your “it” is.
I guess this is it; I am really leaving my family, friends, pets, things and lifestyle.
I’m nervous. I’m scared. I’m elated. I am incandescently happy. I’m ready.
Bye, bye Land of the Free, see you in a year!