Infatuation with immersion
As I’m writing, I’m flying on the plane back from Shanghai to New York. We’re about halfway through our flight now and I can tell the group is in pretty good spirits, despite the long flight.
No one’s really gotten that antsy yet that I can see.
This adorable little Chinese girl in front of us is entertaining Michelle, Arianna, and me as she hops around in her seat and coos from time to time.
A few of us are passing time by working on our blogs, reflecting on memories from the trip. There sure are plenty of them.
I’m remembering our initial flight to China. My hopes and anticipation were so high, only to be faced with a massive delay. Though it may have damped my flame a bit it certainly didn’t put out my fire.
I was so happy when our plane finally took off. It was thrilling to me to be seated around all those Chinese people, being unaware of what they said or the seemingly odd teas they drank.
Now as I fly back surrounded by about the same number of Chinese people, it’s as if I’m I’ve changed in a way. Though my curiosity about people and the world is unlikely to ever die out, I now know things I didn’t.
I am now able to speak a few Chinese words (poorly!), I’ve drunk many of their teas, eaten many of their exotic dishes, and have a new understanding of their culture.
These things may seem small and mundane to some, but in my eyes a different me is returning to America than the one who first set out. There’s something in traveling the world, experiencing a new culturing, and seeing life from the eyes of a different people that can alter a man.
It humbles him, makes him appreciate what he has, and sometimes even makes him want to become better than who he formerly was.
Leaving China was a difficult departure. There were things at home that of course I missed. My family, friends, certain foods, and differences in ways of living were all things that, I cannot deny, I longed for at times.
Yet despite the occasional longing for the norm, I was infatuated with immersing myself into the Chinese culture. Learning a different perspective, to me, was one of the most exhilarating things I’ve ever experienced. This last month is one that I will never forget.
— Dan Copes, a junior health sciences major