My face was tear-streaked as I faced the dreaded crossing into the security check area, not wanting to say goodbye for the last and final time. We were already backing up the line with our prolonged delay, but the continued goodbyes and hugs only made me want to stay longer. In fact, I didn’t want to leave at all. At last the line moved forward forcing me to move along. I gave Qing and Grace, my new Chinese friends, a final hug, let my hands slip out of their loving grasp, walked passed the glass barriers, and placed my things onto the security scanner. The step over the metal and glass threshold brought instantly a new wave of tears. As I made my way through, I looked back to see Grace and Qing, and managed to smile as I waved goodbye yet again. Finally, I started my journey home. The trip had been long and exhausting at times, but my despair at leaving and desire to remain in China made me realize that this trip really did have a lasting impact on my life; more so than I ever could have imagined. Any doubt I had enquired before the trip vanished gradually as I found comfort away from my life in
I was intimidated at the beginning thought of the trip, but what I discovered when I pulled back the curtain to reveal the other side of the world was not a mixture of temples, incense, crowded streets, tai chi, or calligraphy, as one would assume. Instead, behind the curtain I saw another reality, a parallel world to my own. I was instantly consumed and captivated. Absorbed in this new and exciting reality I felt myself taking everything in, processing it, and molding it to be a part of me. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the people, of my new reality in
The tears that fell and the sadness that consumed me as I left the airport in
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