In the past three months, I’ve visited six countries, at least eighteen cities and I’ve been on seventeen airplanes. I’ve been so busy traveling that I’ve barely blogged at all, but rest assured, I’m back and badder than ever, with millions of stories to tell.
In January, I spent two weeks traveling China before 5 weeks of exploration in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia. At the beginning of March, I flew to New York City to surprise my cousin at her bachelorette party and I finished my travels in Florida with friends and family. After eleven weeks of paid vacation, I’m back in Yongchuan, China to finish out my work contract.
I almost didn’t come back. There were many factors in favor of terminating my contract early- convincing arguments from friends and family, having the time of my life in South Florida and the fact that my situation in Yongchuan is far less than ideal. It would have been extremely easy to just throw in the towel, find a job and plant roots somewhere in the US. But then I’d be prematurely giving up on a dream I’ve always dreamt.
To the surprise and (almost) horror of some family members, I happily returned to the insane adventure that is China and I can’t wait to see where the next half-year takes me. Every day I laugh at the ridiculous scenarios that come my way, whether it’s the old man walking his pig outside my apartment door, the mother helping her child urinate in the middle of the street or the chicken feet I’m served when I ordered pork. Life at home is certainly much easier, but it’s also much less exciting. I’ll be using this semester to research and plan my next steps. Will I move back to Florida? Somewhere in South America or Europe? Maybe I’ll end up staying in China, but only time will tell.
One thing I know for sure is that one year in Yongchuan will be enough. Looking back over the past seven months, it’s amazing how clearly God has had his hand on my life. If it had been up to me, I would have never selected this place for myself, but my time here has been transformative. The things I’ve seen and experienced have been more than I ever hoped for. It’s been the best year of my life and it’s not nearly over yet.
Coming back to China wasn’t easy, but here’s the good news about keeping our commitments. The more difficult it is to keep a commitment, the more difficult the challenge, right? And the more difficult of a challenge we overcome, the more we prove to ourselves and everyone else about what we’re capable of. By surviving and thriving through an entire year by myself in a remote Chinese town, I have proven that I am literally capable of anything. There’s something about finding your way through a foreign country where you don’t speak the language that gives you a life altering confidence boost.
You know that typical question you always hear on job interviews, “Can you give an example of a difficult situation you’ve faced and how you overcame it?” I’ve got one hell of an answer now.
A photo posted by Kate W 魏可兰 (@the_kateland) on
Over the next few months, I’ll be catching up on posts about all of my travels, so stay tuned. I have some amazing stories to tell!