I wrapped up my first year in China a few weeks ago, just before the end of June, and immediately dashed to a joyous wedding and some glorious camping. The lack of wifi and cell service was wonderful and allowed me to do some reflection on my first year.
By the end of June, perhaps because I knew the end was coming, I felt ready to be home in San Francisco, to speak English, to see my friends and family. I was and am excited to relax this summer and to see loved ones. The end of my first year didn’t feel too monumental (beyond the breaking up of my wonderful flatmates) because I know that I will return to teach many of the same classes in fall. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet that I am halfway done with my time in Nanjing, and that much of next year will need to be devoted to thought about what to do afterwards. That is exciting and scary (senior year of college all over again). I am hoping to use this summer to seek the council of everyone I meet over the age of 25.
I am so grateful to all of the people that I met this year (most of whom I will also see next year). Before I left, I went back to the home of a friend, in a small town in Anhui province. I felt so lucky to be invited! It was such an interesting experience, it made me excited to travel and see more next year, whether in large cities or small towns. I have a list of places I am hoping to visit before I leave China/East Asia.
In the meantime, I’ll be in California soaking up the sun and likely won’t post again until August. I am also aiming to be more regular next year, so keep checking back!
Before you go, here is a list of some of my favorites, consumed over the past year from China.
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life (book)
An Artist of the Floating World
The Sound of Waves
When Breathe Becomes Air
Death in Ice Valley (podcast)
2 Dope Queens
Stranger Things (television show)
The Great British Bake-Off