Monday, June 7, 2010

my semester abroad

Some photos from Zhongguo

China's side of the world

Stone Lion at Sun-Yat-Sen Park

The yingwen laoshi (English teachers) from Southern Virginia University

The guards of our apartment complex, neighborhood and local middle school

Racing home from karaoke 

Impromptu dance party in the stairwell!

The downtown of the city I lived in, Zhongshan

This is my favorite mannequin I saw, but they were all strange & amazing

An ad for Converse shoes- they're huge in China

My chinese flash cards on my iPod. The least necessary word

Chinese translations to English are always beautiful and off a bit

Chinese checkers are for real! Unlike sesame chicken and fortune cookies

If you found numchucks you would battle too ;)


Weekend trip to Guiyang. We got on any random bus and ended up out here,

and it was beautiful

My entire stay in China I never saw any churches. To stumble across this little one in the middle of nowhere was beyond cool. It was under construction but the priest happened to be on site and unlocked it for us and showed us around,

He was so cool!

The horror! (and eventual yumminess). 

I just love this photo. I was in China for the elections and had to fill out an absentee ballot. Every foreigner I met LOVED Obama. I had so many interesting discussions that opened my eyes a lot to different cultures

It's the same in every language

They don't call it the People's Republic for nothin'

Have you had your daily dose of dictator?

Mao's memorial in Beijing. The pavilion went as far as I could see and there were thousands streaming in to see him

I love her style! what a cutie ♥

The forbidden city

The temple of heaven,

a stark contrast of old a new

Our group hiked up to the "unrestored" great wall. Which crumbled beneath our feet and is still the most dangerous/ incredible thing I have ever done, in Ugg boots or otherwise

This reminds me of the labyrinth, one of my favorite movies

Our guide was impossibly old and could leap around like a goat. in slippers. 

Our crew from the youth hostel. Australian, German, American and Finnish. 

Delicious food after our 5 hour trek! 

I didn't post any photos of my students, I would need a whole entry for sure! China was incredible, I couldn't be happier I went and learned all I did. I fell in love with travel, hostels and meeting all sorts of people. Hopefully I'll go again soon, and maybe to Japan as well. I desperately want to see Japan! Then Egypt, France, Scotland, Switzerland . . . 

As for my relationship fiasco, I've been so thankful for everyone's kind words. I've had so much good advice to just stick by my choice and I'm really grateful! It's so hard to leave someone you've loved so much no matter what they do to you. I guess it's one of life's paradoxes. It makes it that much harder when they will do anything, no matter how destructive, to stay in your life and keep your attention. My advice if you face a similar situation is to understand what they are capable of and accept it as collateral damage. Freedom and happiness is worth whatever price! I'm so lucky I have such good friends, and I've been going out more which has helped me so much. I'm going to be more social :). Kimberly I don't know what I would do without you ♥!!! In short, I am well and keeping busy, and I am so so thankful for everyone's advice. 
So where have you been? What's your favorite place? I'd love recommendations, and travel stories are always the best! Hope you're well. Love,



  1. Very admirable travel destinations, your a very blessed soul;
    Fu Lions, lions of Buddha, or sometimes stone lions, The male lion has his right paw on a ball, which represents the "Flower of life" The female is essentially identical, but has a single cub under her left paw, representing the cycle of life. Symbolically, the female fu lion protects those dwelling inside, while the male guards the structure. Sometimes the female has her mouth closed, and the male open. This symbolizes the enunciation of the sacred word "om"...
    You found a nice little mission on your travels it is a little known fact: Some Buddhists, including Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama regard Jesus as a bodhisattva who dedicated his life to the welfare of human beings. The 14th century Zen master Gasan Jōseki indicated that the sayings of Jesus in the Gospels were written by an enlightened man.

    oh, and your completely right about freedom and happiness, their hard to come by I confess, spread your wings become the social butterfly but beware the flame! For with freedom also comes ill reputation and bad names, life is so increasingly complex yet simple at times...if that makes any sense?!?

    I hope it's helpful and I wish you well friend.


  2. Ahhhhhh the Imperial City & Temple of Heaven. <3 <3

    I'm planning to hopefully make it to China in a year or two. I've been talking about this country for 4 years figured I might as well see what I'm talking about LOL. But I want to take a long trip because I want to see the wall, Xian for the soldiers, Beijing for the Imperial City, and make my way to Shanghai for Suzhou. & also since I'm out that way maybe make a stop in Japan to see the country & visit some friends. And, and GODZILLA! <3 Sorry I have a love for the giant lizard Lol

    I want to travel out of the country. I love any chance I get to go somewhere. I want to go deeper into Mexico & also visit Spain to see my roots. Egypt, France, Scotland, & Switzerland are also on my list of places to visit. As well as Africa, South American, Greece, England, Russia, Germany, Sweden, and others! I'm positive my future husband will either have to love to travel or at least be ok with me leaving the country so often Lol.

    But First! I want to see what's in my own backyard. When I was younger my parents took me & my brother on a road trip straight up north & all over the western part of the US and we hit EVERY state on the western side :) I want to visit some of those places again now that I'm older and can better appreciate it. Also travel to all the states on the eastern side. Make another trip to Canada & possibly have my revenge on those birds LOL (that's another story :D )

    & glad you're doing better since your break -up. While yes it is difficult to leave a long time love, in some situations it is necessary. I remember you mentioned you were afraid of the single scene because it seems so vicious and dramatic and petty. Won't lie, at certain times it is, but use this time to grow more into yourself. :) When you're in love with life, life send you love. I love being in a relationship with someone & sharing that loving feeling, but right now I'm enjoying the single side of things.

    I leave you with words from Gaga, which I know you've been doing ;) "Just dance, gonna be okay"

    -Kristina <3

  3. Have you tried dumplings and roast ducks? They are the famous and traditional Beijing dieshes. And also bird's nest soup? Its a delicacy in China.

    Enjoy your days~~~