It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. In the meantime I traveled for our longest travel weekend to Shanghai and Hangzhou, and this past weekend, climbed the Great Wall! My favorite part of Shanghai was seeing the iconic skyline lit up at night, even though it was smoggy, it was still awesome! It was one of the moments in my experience where I went, “Woah… I really did come to China after all! It’s easy to lose fact of how exciting this fact is when I’m in my routine of going to classes and doing homework, but its just a privilege to be here!
Hangzhou was the next stop, and it is my favorite city that I have been to in China. It is absolutely beautiful! Beijing hasn’t had much in terms of trees and natural beauty, and Hangzhou’s main attraction is West Lake, a gigantic lake surrounded by trees, hills, and lots of tourists. The best choice we made was to travel to an island in the middle of the lake by boat where it was much more peaceful. I realized something important, that I need nature in my life. It is a simple and uncomplicated reminder of God’s beauty and who He is. My soul needs it. China is awesome but it is very developed and there isn’t always a huge amount of attention to aesthetic beauty.The weekend in Hangzhou was exactly what I needed!
Now to one of my favorite experiences of study abroad so far- climbing the Great Wall. It was another one of those “woah China!” moments. I’ve started to realize how much I’ve learned and grown this semester and it was cool to reflect on that in a place as stunning as the Great Wall. We were blessed with gorgeous weather and great company! We hiked along the wall during the first day, then stayed overnight in a Chinese village. We got to see so many stars, away from the lights and smog of Beijing. It reminded me of many great memories of mission trips in high school and working at camp for a summer.
My favorite part of the experience came bright and early the next morning, when we hiked up to the wall to watch the sunrise. It was a grueling hike, made more challenging by the fact that I wasn’t feeling too well, but with the encouragement of friends I made it! And my goodness, it was so worth it! Watching the sun rise over the edge of Great Wall was literally unreal. God’s creation is seriously so cool! And the fact that it is only a taste of how awesome God Himself is, even more so!