I have such great memories of the many trips that I have made to China. And being the adventurous type, I often ventured into the surrounding areas to connect with the local people.
During one Chinese holiday, I strolled down the street to the Qingdao Olympic Park. I was quite surprised to see thousands of local people and families congregating at the park. I felt somewhat uncomfortable being the only blue-eyed caucasian in the mix, but I soon forgot about it and enjoyed being the spectacle for everyone, especially children…some I think never having seen a foreigner from the US. Two young girls approached me and asked me if I would pose with them for a picture. They were from the local college, spoke English, and it seemed that this was the highlight of their day. We ended up spending the entire together talking and walking in the park, then having a really nice dinner afterwards.
I suggested we go to the area where the Olympics were held so I could see the area. I was shocked to find out that they had never seen it nor had they ever seen the ocean. The experience was likened to the enjoyment your own child has when going to the beach for the first time. It was one of the most memorable days I had in China. We’ve since adopted these young girls as our daughters, and we hope they will visit the US as soon as they have graduated.
Traveling abroad provides a unique opportunity to explore the world and how it differentiates itself from yours. If you have the opportunity, take it! It will change your world!