My Year in China

My Year in China
(I started writing this three months ago, and have only just finished it now.
Better late than never?)

One thing I can say for certain is that this past year has changed me. Challenging my independence, patience, and maturity, so I think it’s safe to say I have grown from the whole experience. I don’t think enough people emphasise just how testing a year abroad is. Of course, I am glad I went, I learnt so much! However, it was likely the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. At the beginning I wasn’t even sure if I could do it. I have always known I could do anything I set my mind to, but in the back of my mind there had been this doubt that a year abroad would just be too much. Yet here I am a year on, and I am coming out the other side stronger for it.

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Six Weeks Left in China

Six Weeks Left in China

Only six weeks left in China, and I’m starting to stress about all that comes with reaching the end of term, with the addition of figuring out how to get a year’s worth of things in one suitcase that must weight less than 35kg… It will be a great feat to say the least! Especially after visiting the Disney Store in Shanghai, I’m quite concerned about how much I will actually be able to fit into it. I’m also trying to fit more adventuring in before I leave. Since I last posted I’ve been to Shanghai and Tianjin. Both cities were amazing, though I have to say Shanghai was far more snazzy (snazzy? I don’t think I’ve used that word in a long time) as it had so many tall and beautiful buildings, and who doesn’t get wowed by seeing The Bund for the first time!?

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Back in China and Back to Work

Back in China and Back to Work

It’s been a few months since I’ve written a blog post, mostly because every few weeks when I start writing something, I end up deciding it isn’t good enough or just isn’t right. I may return to a couple of them and see if I can make anything from them, but for the moment I think I’ll just reflect on the past seven weeks back in China.

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GBP to RMB

GBP to RMB

So one question my friends and I keep asking ourselves, and each other, when going to pay for anything is “how much is this in pounds?” The constant mental calculation from yuan to pounds to figure out how much we’re actually spending is slowly becoming easier, but for those of you who don’t know, and are ready to go for a shopping spree in China, here’s a little guide!

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Facing Challenges

Facing Challenges

The three main things I’ve found myself struggling with since I arrived in Beijing are food, temperature, and the language barrier. These things can sometimes make my day just that bit more difficult than I feel I can cope with. So finding new ways to cope in this foreign environment are more than quite important. I have started finding small pieces of solutions to the culture shock of being on the other side of the world, however I’m still trying to work a fair chunk of it out.

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Homesickness and Learning to Live in a Whole Different World

Homesickness and Learning to Live in a Whole Different World

On my third week in Beijing now. A few more days and it’ll be the longest I’ve stayed in a foreign country. It’s so strange to think about really, how far away from home I am. Flying doesn’t help with that I think, you don’t really comprehend how far you’ve traveled, it’s all sort of a blur of films, sleep and plane food. Even so, here I am 4,928 miles away from home, just a bit further than my usual 268 miles when I’m back at uni… And, of course, with such a distance comes homesickness. I’ve always gotten quite homesick because I tend to spend a lot of time with my parents when I’m home, whether we are just watching movies, going on dog walks or late night chats, I always enjoy spending time with them. I told my mum last night that I was missing her and my dad a lot, her reply was exactly what I needed to pull me out of my little bout of sadness “That’s perfectly understandable. We’re awesome parents. Xx” She always knows how to make me laugh, even if I’m miles and miles away.

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The Beijing Storm

The Beijing Storm

So it happened. Our first storm arrived only eight days in, and God was it amazing. The storms here are just such a beautiful thing. The crashing noise of thunder setting off every car and scooter alarm in the city, the laughing cries of those caught in the drenching rain, the odd scream of fright after each rumbling crescendo. I love it. I love the way the flashes of light cascade across the tall buildings and brighten the dark clouds.  The air gets colder, roads become rivers, and people splash through the streets to escape the heavily falling rain. Standing in one of these storms truly makes you feel alive, and all you can do is smile. Some may not like thunderstorms, but if you’re not afraid of a little lightning and rain, then it’s one of the most amazing experiences, even though it’s just nature reminding us who’s really in control. I could sit on the window sill and just watch it all night if I wasn’t so tired. I just can’t express how amazing it is to watch.

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