“the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”
Yes this is from Mulan.

Brb, going to China

Funny story. I decided to spend a month in China this summer. Anyone who knows me is probably thinking, “What? Maddie is going to a country where she can’t tweet about everything she does? That probably won’t end well.” I can’t say I haven’t had that very concern, but honestly, I think exploring China will distract me from the lack of social media access.

But… What are you going to do in China?

Initially, I thought that I’d just dress up as Mulan, befriend a small dragon, and fall in love with a soldier while I pretend to be a man and become a war hero. That seems like a lot of work, though, so instead I think I’ll just stick with the itinerary that’s been set up for me. Primarily, this is a study abroad trip. I, along with 24 other students from around the world, will be learning about the politics and economy of china. We will be meeting with entrepreneurs who work with major businesses, as well as visiting companies such as Hyundai and Coca Cola (I’m hoping for some free Diet Coke). Beyond that, I’ll have the opportunity to visit the Great Wall, hike through some incredible scenery, and even hold a BABY PANDA*!!!!!!!!

Photo courtesy of someone on Pinterest. (pls don’t sue me it’s just a blog post)

Okay, I guess that sounds neat, but why?

I don’t know, do you not think going to China will be an incredible learning experience? Don’t doubt me! I like to think of myself as this adventurous, outgoing person, but really I tend to stick to activities with which I’m already comfortable in a group of friends I’ve known forever. This trip provides none of that. I’m spending a month with complete strangers, going places I hardly even know about, in a country whose language I don’t even speak. How’s that for throwing myself into the world?

At this point in life, I am thoroughly confused as to where the future will take me, so I figure I might as well take as many opportunities as possible to see what all is out there. I’m not cliché enough to say that I’m going on this trip to “find myself” because if you know me, you know that the real true Maddie Stuart would not be hiding in China, of all places. I only want to see what the world has to offer, and while I do that, I might as well teach myself to function in new and uncomfortable environments. If anything at all, I just hope that through this experience, I learn to be more self-sufficient. If when I return home, I don’t get anxious at the thought of calling to order a pizza, I’ll call the trip a success.

*I’m actually only going on this trip because of the baby pandas.

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