Location: Air Canada 7:50pm flight to Toronto, Canada
Time: 9:00 pm
“China is exactly what you needed, that way when you get back, you’ll have a fresh new perspective on everything.” That’s what Steph sent to me in a text right before I flew out of Detroit. Before I left for China I was going through some of the toughest times for me personally. I made choices that would be difficult for anyone to make, but for the first time, I did things for myself. I won’t lie; it was an agonizing and emotional few months. I was placing so much on this trip and that it was going to be one of those adventures you need to really come to some understanding to some parts of your life. From organizing everything to taking care of all the paperwork necessary to make this trip happen, I did it all on my own. I’ve grown up so much within the past year that I somewhat lost track of who I really was. I depended on everything else to make me happy: going to shows, going out, and even work. There wasn’t anything wrong with what I was doing, but I wanted to be in a situation where I could look at my life and find true happiness by myself. I didn’t want to be doing things to make me feel better. I want to be happy all the time. This trip was it. I went to another country with 19 complete strangers and I took on everything that came my way. I stayed true to myself, did things my way and never had any fear of anything. As Kate was telling me today at the airport, “19 strangers placed in a dorm. This what happens when people stop being nice and start speaking Chinese, This is Real World: Beijing.” I thought that was pretty hilarious way to putting it. I might actually use that when I edit all the footage I’ve recorded from the trip.
I want to thank all the wonderful people I met on this trip. I have so many new great friends across the country and one especially that lives only 3 hours away from Providence. I also want to say a huge thanks to our interpreters for the duration of our stay. Tom, Stephanie and Jessica were the greatest and I thank them incredibly for the patience, especially during those late night phone calls from the subway station asking if they can tell the cab driver how to take us home. They were so patient with our needs and hopefully they had as much fun with us as we did with them.
For out last day in Beijing we decided to unwind and relax. Dr. Tiell, Kimmy, Lana, Liz, Leigh, Derek and I decided to spend the morning before a 16 hour flight at a Hot Springs Spa Resort. I got 3 different types of massages for $20 each! It was exactly what I needed to get ready for the long flight home. We packed up our yellow bus for the last time and said goodbye to what was our home for the past 10 days.
A few of us in the group are already in talks of planning to attend the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010. I warn anyone who wants to attend the Olympics for the first time: It’s addicting. I’m already planning a trip to London for the Summer Olympics in London in 2012. I hope the plans were out and if they do, you can definitely expect a blog on that adventure as well. Maybe you guys can give me some ideas for a cute name? A Chilly Endeavor: The Winter Olympics? Haha that’s lame.
Mom and Dad, thanks for making this trip possible. I still cannot believe how blessed I’ve been to have parents like you two. Your support in this whole process has made this one of the most memorable things in my life. You guys are really freakin’ awesome. Thanks Mom for the idea of the blog, this was the best way to commemorate such an amazing trip. Thanks Dad for spell checking my blog..all the time. J I love you guys so much and I know that you weren’t asking for too many things just that I get as much as I can out of this trip, that’s exactly what I did…and I got you guys lots of awesome stuff too. All I ask is that can we please have some Rudy’s when I get home? I’m craving some brisket and potato salad.
To everyone that has been keeping up with this blog, especially my butt-kicking family, I’m glad you were able to share this life-changing experience with me. Even if you just carelessly glanced at it a few times for the pictures or my crazy adventures, I want to thank you. You all were my inspiration to record my experiences as I experienced them. I look back at these posts and cannot believe how fast time has flown by. Day by day I looked forward to sharing the little observations I made with you all in hopes that you could visualize what it would be like in this country during such an important time. Beijing Summer Olympics 2008 has definitely made its way on my list of great things I’ve done in my life. Just closely behind? Perfecting the hollandaise sauce in culinary school and beating my awesome little brother in Madden 08’.