China Diaries: Learning, Observing, and Soaking It All In

China Diaries: Learning, Observing, and Soaking It All InChina Diaries: Learning, Observing, and Soaking It All InChina Diaries: Learning, Observing, and Soaking It All InChina Diaries: Learning, Observing, and Soaking It All InChina Diaries: Learning, Observing, and Soaking It All InChina Diaries: Learning, Observing, and Soaking It All InChina Diaries: Learning, Observing, and Soaking It All InChina Diaries: Learning, Observing, and Soaking It All In

As I spent my last few moments in the states, I couldn’t help but find myself savoring the faces of the Americans around me. I knew once I exited the plane I was about to board, everything would be different. I took note of the guy across from me in the camo jacket reading a book. I noticed a girl with bleached blonde hair walk past, wearing a shirt that said “wifey”. I smiled as a little girl in a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt trotted by holding hands with her mother who donned a Disney sweater.

I can still hear the last few English phrases I heard, “Have a good one.” A bored looking flight attendant said as I debarked my Dallas flight.

“I like your purse!” A chipper woman in the bathroom complimented as we washed our hands.

“It sure is cold today!” A smiling security guard commented on my chattering teeth while I walked down the frigid terminal to the plane.

Those words ring in my head as I sit among throngs of Asians brushing past me, speaking in tones and words that couldn’t be more foreign.

I sit here, and I soak it all in. The Asian faces that I first thought all appeared so similar, I now see look so different from one another. I study the symbols on the signs that throw my brain into a frenzy. I take note of the officials standing at every corner. I can’t help but notice all of the pastel clothes, the serious faces, and the hurried paces of those around me. I soak it all in and allow myself to feel the excitement running through my veins. I’m finally here. It’s finally time.

I feel so lucky. So fortunate to be able to wake up in the morning and go downstairs and here “Nǐ hǎo ma!” as I exit my apartments.

It’s a privilege. It’s exciting. And I can’t wait till the day I can speak to them in fluent Mandarin perfection.

Until then, I’ll keep learning. Observing. And soaking it all in.

Do you feel privileged to live the life you are living?! Do you feel excited about what the future might hold for you?! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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Hey ya'll! I'm Courtney, and I'm a Florida-born gal learning to live in East Asia. You can find travel tips, fashion inspo, and my daily adventures right here on my blog. My hope is that this blog will help inspire you to live your best life! Make sure to check out my book, The Smart Girl's Guide to Surviving Her Twenties, for more tips on how to survive, and thrive, throughout the most transformative decade of your life.

39 thoughts on “China Diaries: Learning, Observing, and Soaking It All In

  1. That is a wonderful post Courtney. Reminded me of the first time I left India to come to US. The language was not as foreign to me as is the case with you, but the faces, the familiarity, the sense of belonging, I did miss, for the first few months in this new country. (I guess anyone would)
    But then I do consider myself lucky to have been surrounded by nice people who helped me along the way and still do. And I learned that as long as I can accept, embrace and celebrate the new ways of a new place, I can make any place my home. (There are still some good days, some bad days but on most days that is true :))

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw I’m glad I’m not the only one who has gone through this! I like your outlook – as long as you can accept, embrace, and celebrate the new ways of a place it can become home- that is so true, and something I try to remind myself of. And yes, there are both good and bad days! But that’s bound to happen anyways. 🙂


  2. In 1986, my late wife and I left the comfort of Arizona and soon found ourselves in the comfort of – South Korea. I was impressed with the efficiency and industry of the people. It was quite similar to what you have found in China, although Koreans use an alphabet, Hangul, that is unique to their language.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All of the pictures are so pretty – China does seem like a place I would like to visit for sure, it is so different to the world we live in in the West but that makes it incredibly interesting. So glad you are having a good experience!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I definitely feel privileged for the life I live too. I’m lucky to have to occasion to travel often and to take care of my baby (my blog!) full time. I’m so grateful for that!


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