I hit a major milestone today: 365 days ago I arrived in China (I'll call it my China-versary). It's been one year since I said "zai jian" (see you later) to America, boarded a plane, and headed overseas. And what a year it has been.
I've learned more and experienced more than some people do in their entire lives. Engulfed in a culture vastly different and foreign to my roots in Pennsylvania's Coal Region, I've established myself as an expat and not a tourist.
I came -- like so many explorers and travelers of old -- looking for adventure, something to break free from the mundane cycle I'd fallen into in the last four years at college (class, eat, drink, drink, sleep, repeat). I wanted to experience something great before finding a job and officially rising to that status of "adult". A two-month internship in China would provide two things: the chance to work at an international publication and give my resume a boost; and essentially a summer vacation in a country I'd always wanted to visit. Work and play at the same time, who could beat that?
And one year later, despite running into numerous challenges in terms of breaching the language barrier and feeling comfortable in Beijing, I still love this country. So, here's to year two!