Celebrity Status - My Family Travels

The flash of a camera, the screaming of fans, that moment when you know you’re alone in front of millions of people and cameras…Needless to say, the lives of celebrities are hectic ones, but many of us wish we could take a walk in their shoes, and for a short while, I did. In October of 2006, I, along with my family, traveled fifteen hours by plane to Beijing, China. Upon arriving, we discovered our luggage was lost somewhere in the Netherlands, which is where all luggage seems to end up. My sister and I had not known that our blonde hair, blue eyes, and stature would attract so much attention. Everywhere, people stopped us and asked to take pictures of us or with us. Heads turned as we walked by and once, someone even shouted a phrase equivalent to “how beautiful!” according to our translator. I was one autograph short of celebrity status.

While most would be attracted to famous sites and traditional culture, I found myself enamored with the people and modern culture: the clash of East and West in stores and people, the struggle of the city to keep up with rapid modernization for the upcoming Olympics, and just everyday lives of students my age. I learned “double-eyelids” are considered attractive – something I’d never given any thought to beforehand.

China powered my drive to become more involved in eastern culture and become more global. I enjoyed experiencing life in a different country, and was saddened when it ended after only a week-long visit. It was an experience to remember and I just can’t get enough of China.

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