So, I'm finally going to visit my "motherland", though any of those who know me would laugh if they hear me say that. No, I don't have any relatives in China. No, I don't speak any Chinese. And no, I've never been. My parents were born and raised in San Francisco, CA. My mom speaks fluent Cantonese, but my dad can only understand the language. Hence, my brother, me and my whole generation can speak better Spanish than Chinese, which isn't saying much.
I've traveled all over the place, so what took me so long to pay a visit to the land of my ancestors? Well, honestly, I never really had any desire to go nor any connections, both physically and emotionally. But recently, one of my good friends, Lynn, moved to Beijing on a Fulbright Scholarship to study Chinese dance. At last I had motivation and a good reason to go - to visit my dear friend. And I always love trying to get on the inside of any country and understanding the daily life of the people, so this will give me a closer opportunity than if I just traveled by myself.
I leave this Wednesday with my plane ticket, passport displaying the appropriate visa, my Lonely Planet China book and no set itinerary. I fly in and out of Beijing, with 15 glorious days in between. The one place I want to see outside of Beijing is the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an. But, my number one priority of course is to hang out with Lynn, travel if she wants to travel, and explore her Beijing life. China will always be there, but Lynn will not (hopefully!).
My only restrictions from my professor is "don't do anything I wouldn't be proud of and don't eat toys." No lead poisoning for me. With that said, I'm off to the other side of the world yet again. This seems to be the trend. Japan 2004, SE Asia 2006, and now China. I get to fly through Narita which is always a treat. I'm looking forward to fun times with Lynn, eating incredibly yummy and cheap food and exploring new territory!