The story of my crazy quest to get to China and what happens when I do.

So many people said I was crazy from the start. Maybe that is part of the drive that has pushed me from a small town in the mid-west to the other-side of the globe. Lesson to everyone: never call my dreams, or any ones dreams crazy, because we are liable to prove you wrong.

So this crazy quest officially began in 2008 when I read Eat, Pray, Love while at a dead-end job with a boss that I hated and I life I was participant in but not actually living. I loved the work I was doing but being a secretary forever wasn’t going to get me up the food chain enough to make money so I could do the work that I wanted.

Beijing Olympics stuff was everywhere - 2010
Beijing Olympics stuff was everywhere – 2010

Also, my addiction to the travel channel made me realize I wanted to travel. And not just to anyplace, but to China. They were showing the series with Samantha Brown in China before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At first glance of that beautiful land I was in love with it.

Because of the Olympics there were countless hours of Chinese culture and history programs on television, and I couldn’t get enough. So when I decided return to school in the fall I will take a class on China just to calm my appetite.

Before the school year can begin and not too long before Micheal Phelps won many gold medals, I lost my job. Funny thing was I was relieved. I had a clean slate to start school. 

In August, when classes began I wasn’t able to get my Chinese culture class I wanted until spring so I jumped at the chance to take some interpersonal communications class, because after all communicating with others was the foundation of building relationships.

During my semester I began to meet so many amazing people from other countries, back grounds and religions. It began to open my eyes to the beautiful world we live in.

Spring came and from day one in my intercultural communications and World Civ: China classes I was so full of energy. I was like a sponge trying to absorb everything I could about Chinese culture. Thanks to to amazing teachers who saw my passions, I gained knowledge and support. But most of all I now had the want to go to China.

My amazing teacher of my World Civ class, whom I can now call good friend, saw my wanting of more and told me in many things to do with China and Chinese. Including a yearly trip the university takes to China and South Korea. My first thought was YES! But reality that I was not a 20 something college student crashed some of my enthusiasm. I mean what almost 40 year old  mom and student goes on study abroad trips?

 

In my immersion into everything chinese, I met two wonderful visiting faculty from Henan University in Kaifeng, China. Through them I learned about the Confucius Institute and the new Chinese language program. Hmm, well I couldn’t do the study abroad at my age so why not give it a shot? Its only one of the hardest languages in the world, but i dont need a language for my degree so if i failed it just dropped my 4.0 GPA.

When fall came around and I purchased my text books, i took one look and thought what am i getting myself into. But then the first day of class arrived, and this spunky and full of energy red headed girl change everything….

to be continued….