Today marks the halfway point between my arrival in China and my departure, which is simultaneously exciting and sad. It's hard to believe how far I've come since the first few days when I was so homesick I made this countdown, how many experiences I've had and unexpected encounters, and how fast it's gone!
One one hand, I'm really, really excited to go home. I'm loving China, but I miss the quiet of Montana and Chicago, the lack of people, and especially the food. I'm looking forward to being back in a place where I don't have to carefully consider my interactions with people; living in a foreign country can be tiring, because you have to think and be aware so much more than at home. On the other hand, I'm really going to be sad to leave China. I've loved getting to see a culture so completely different than my own, and I've had a ton of experiences I never could have had in the States. I've gotten to meet so many people, even some other UChicago students that I might not have met otherwise. I've loved getting to try authentic Chinese food, and I love that Chinese is beginning to roll off my tongue a little bit easier.
I think it's safe to say my departure will be bittersweet- I'm so looking forward to being home, both Montana and Chicago. But leaving will mean saying goodbye to Beijing Roast Duck and Hot Pot, too, and will mean my study abroad experience is over. Though at this point, I'm still only halfway, and talking about saying goodbye might be putting the cart in front of the horse. I've had a lot of great experiences, but a lot more still to come. What's that poem about miles to go before I sleep? :)