About a year and a half ago I traveled with my school to China. We started our journey on April 16th, 2008. I was leaving my friends and family for 16 days. It all started our with a 14 hour plane ride to Hong Kong, China. I knew that what felt like a dream, was really the reality when all I could hear was hundreds of Chinese people talking in Mandarin. I felt like I was on a totally different planet. Everything was extremely different from the United States.
For the first time in my life I was the only tall blonde, well other than the few that traveled with me. I was constantly thought as a “movie star” to the natives. The Chinese boys would come up to me and ask to take a picture with me. One funny thing was, they all do the peace sign in their pictures just like us Americans. One of my biggest difficulties I had in China was dealing with my Asthma. China has a lot of pollution in the air, and because of the altitude their air is really thin. If I were walking for long distances I would have to stop and use my inhaler. And all the stairs I had to climb everywhere did a number on my lungs.
My favorite part about my trip to china was being able to climb The Great Wall of China. It was truly an experience I think everyone should have. Climbing 500 hundred steps up to this little stone house. The steps going up were all different heights. One step would be 2 inches tall and then the next one would be 2 feet tall. By the time I made it down 2 hours later my legs were shaking so bad I couldn’t even walk.
One night in Beijing my best friend and I were in this little cart being pulled by a guy on a bike down all these ally ways. It was the scariest time of my life. We were on our way to eat with a native Chinese family for dinner. We couldn’t really see where he was taking us since there was a tarp over the cart because of the pouring rain. I wasn’t too sure if I was even going to make it to my last meal. After a half hour of being terrified we finally made it to the family’s house. It turned out to be a wonderful meal and a good time. A whole bunch of us were sitting on these chairs maybe a foot off the ground at a little table laughing and telling stories.
China really opened up my horizon. Before I went on this trip I was under the impression every developed country was like the United States. I had no idea the other side of the world was so extremely different. I always saw pictures and read about it, but its true you never really understand fully until you witness it for yourself. I was able to try new food and see so many attractions that would take your breath away. I could not even begin to explain how unique and amazing their buildings are. Usually at home I never try anything new, and in China I even tried raw jellyfish. I was so fortunate my father worked so hard to get the money to send me on this trip. This was a life alerting experience that made me want to travel the world.
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