Shifting Out of Park

QingdaoLocation

3 days out from my next adventure, and it’s still so surreal! I keep expecting it to hit me any minute now. I’m flying solo to CHINA. To live and study language at Qingdao University until mid-JULY. I’ve been waiting for this for years! Now if only my consciousness could comprehend it… I blame the life of a professional bum I’ve been living. The semesters in China start after the New Year festivities, and this year that will be the first week in March. This means that since my last final way back in December I’ve not had much to do except binge Doctor Who on Netflix at my parents’ house. Sure, I’ve been studying the language, getting a good run in every now and then, and researching some professional opportunities - but a girl can only take so much! My mind may not be able to shift out of park until I land in Beijing.

I better figure it out soon though, because the next week will require me to be fully engaged. To start with, I will fly Kansas City to Denver to LA in the wee hours of Saturday night, followed by the roughly 15 hour flight to Beijing, where I’ll land Monday around 5:30am CST (China Standard Time). I’ll then be Couchsurfing for two nights, but have about 12 hours to kill before my host is ready for me. Sometime in the day I’ll be navigating the Beijing subway system across town to her apartment. It seems pretty straight-forward, but my limited experience with public transportation of any kind still makes the task a bit daunting. I’ll be interestingly jet-lagged and probably in need of a shower by the time we meet, so hopefully I can still make a good first impression! Wednesday I will again navigate the subway to meet up with the rest of my group. The next several days will be super-touristy and awesome as we hit all the sights in a Beijing tour. THEN we will fly to Qingdao and get down to beginning our studies. Whew.

Beijing Subway

I’m excited. Although it's becoming more and more common, not everyone gets the opportunity to study abroad. I know I can’t even imagine half of the ways the next five months will impact me.

In addition to general life updates, I hope to touch on many subjects regarding travel, living, and studying abroad in China. Posts will be regular, so keep checking in! It’s go time.