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This tag is associated with 42 posts

Heart of China

We took a high speed train out of Beijing to Xi’an, one of the oldest cities in China. The transition from metropolis to countryside was very quick. It goes from workers commuting to their jobs to farmers tending their fields. But throughout the countryside you would see pockets of high rises, products of China’s rapid growth. Once we got to Xi’an, we went straight to the hotel and got some much needed rest. The next day after class, we went and visited the terra cotta army at the tomb of the first emperor of China. It was incredible to see … // Read more

Beijing Blues

We didn’t do much on day three besides going to some marketplaces, but day four was a totally different experience. Yesterday, we all went to the Great Wall of China. It was so incredible being there. I’ve seen pictures of it my whole life and have always wanted to go to it, and now I was finally there. We went to a section of the wall that was out in the middle of nowhere and it still hadn’t developed much for tourism. It was perfect though, because there weren’t many people there. Sometimes it would just be us at certain … // Read more

Hutongs and Skyscrapers

Day two began with a great start. We first went to the 798 Art District and got a real taste of the Beijing artist scene. Traditional Chinese art might be the first thing that pops into your head when I say that, but most of it was modern art. Wang Ning, a Chinese native who works for the Business Department at UNA, and I tried to interpret some of the work, making us feel like professional art critics, if only for a moment. Next we visited the massive Olympic Park that was constructed for the 2008 Olympics. After that, we … // Read more

Journey to the West

The flight west towards China was very long, but it was also productive and somewhat exciting. Most of the time I was either reading about China or looking out the window. At one point I saw the breathtaking northern lights. Also, a tip for future travelers: try to get up regularly during the flight! Arriving in Beijing was a surreal experience. It didn’t look extremely different from other big cities, but all I saw and heard was Chinese. I didn’t see much that night since we went straight to the hotel, but the next day was eye opening. I first … // Read more

The Long Stretch

We have already done a lot of traveling today and we haven’t even left the country yet! If you plan on traveling abroad, you’ll more than likely take one or two connecting flights before you actually leave the United States. For us, we went from Birmingham to Dallas, then from Dallas to Chicago. We all had to be at the airport in Birmingham at 4:30 am, so a lot of us are already pretty tired. Now we just have one flight left. The long stretch. The flight from Chicago to Beijing, our first destination, will take thirteen hours. THIRTEEN! It … // Read more

And so it begins

The fact that I’ll be across the world very soon hadn’t hit me until I began packing my suitcase. This trip I’ve been preparing for the past few months is suddenly becoming tangible. It is no longer just a conversation piece, but now it’s evolving into a real experience. I’m packing very lightly for this trip. Over the next three weeks we’ll be traveling to various cities in China, staying in each city for a few days before moving on to the next one. So the lighter our luggage is, the easier it will be for us to move about. … // Read more


Arriving at the Dallas airport in America was such a wonderful feeling. I had never been so proud to be an American or so proud to be back home. I had missed the freedom and the food more than words could express.   After waiting in line for over an hour to recheck our bags, a few of us sat down and had a phenomenal Mexican meal. I followed that meal with Starbucks, and it was filled with sugar and love. I was so happy.   The plane ride to Huntsville was short and sweet. I loved flying at night! … // Read more

Silk Market Hagglin’

The silk market was beyond what I even imagined it to be. There were thousands of shops on the many floors of the huge mall/market. There were clothes, bags, scarves, jewelry, accessories, and so much more.   I was on a mission for purses, along with several other girls. We haggled and argued with some very rude ladies, and some very kind ones, before we got our prizes. I got some fabulous purses and they were at a price I was pleased with.   The women and men in the stores would yell, “Hey lady! Hey pretty lady! Come get … // Read more

The Great Wall

The Great Wall absolutely lived up to its name. It was the most gorgeous piece of work I have ever seen. The history, the beauty, and the spirit of China were all surrounding the entire wall. Our tour guide told us, “You are a hero in China if you climb the Great Wall.”   I was beaming the entire climb. It was a difficult climb and it took me back to the fond memory of Mt. Tai. I climbed the wall with Will and stopped for many pictures along the way. It was so incredible just to be there.   … // Read more

Farewell Tianjin

Our farewell dinner was so lovely and so bittersweet. I was not ready to leave China at all, especially the university.   The people were so kind to us and I had made such good friends there. They served us a huge feast similar to the one served at our welcome dinner. We all laughed about memories we had made while in China and heard the final words from the university president.   The food was delicious and the friendships were so very warm. Tianjin Foreign Studies University treated us like royalty and I am forever grateful.