A word on experiencing the new…

Liam R. is currently a junior at SYA China and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. He comes to SYA from The Bishop’s School in California.

A word on experiencing the new...

The second you land in a new country and step on foreign soil, forget your name.
Clear your mind and literally absorb the air that surrounds you.
You are no longer you— Don’t worry, you’re not worse. But you definitely aren’t any better.

Walk the boulevards of the new land and shake a stranger’s hand.
Feel the memories of a local vibrate through your veins and warm your heart.
Say “Hello” in their language. Forget everything you think you know about the person in front of you;
Dig into their eyes and learn what is there for you to discover.

Don’t forget to look up when you stand at the base of a mountain.
Are you someone that will want to move it, climb it, or mine it?
Assess the peak and see what you can get out of it.

You can move it, put it in a better place, maybe give it an ocean view. That would be nice.

You can climb it, give yourself a good ride and see the rainbow fields of Mother Earth beneath you.

Or, you can mine it. Carve into the bowels of the stone bulge and excavate the richest minerals.
But never sell them. Store them deep in your mind and hold on to the power that they emanate.

After stepping off the plane clicking my heels onto Chinese concrete, I described myself as an emperor-
Looking at his newly conquered land.
I am no ruler.

I have noticed one thing about assimilating in a land where you are the minority, the population will never assimilate to you.
I am stared down, photographed, videotaped and treated like a king.
But through being pampered, I have only learned humility.
Let me speak Chinese, let me do the dishes, and let me sit with good posture and use chopsticks.
I am here to thrive, not to survive.

So here I am, roughly eight months to go, and I don’t know yet.
I don’t know if I am destined to move, climb, or mine the tender meat of China,
But I do know I am here for adventure, and I am here to find a plethora of new.
If I am to mine this mountain however, I can already reach into my pocket and touch the stones I have collected.
However, I don’t quite know what they represent yet.

  • Campus Reporters
  • SYA China