Oh The Places You’ll Go


Oceane C. is currently a junior at SYA China and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Orange County School of the Arts in California.

“We can try to see if there will be less people at 王府井 (Wangfujing) today. A little exploration of the rest of the mall would be nice”

“Or we can go check out the recent movies that just came out! I know Venom is totally worth seeing but we can also see an actual Chinese movie if you guys want to!”

“Yeah but the weather is too nice to waste the day staying inside. I also want to save my money for future activities. Why don’t we just go to the 奥森 (Olympic Park)? I’m sure we can find something to do there!”

“Beihai Park is more interesting though, if you want to check that off of your list of Things to do in Beijing.”

“Ditan Park would actually have an Earth Temple that we can go visit.”

“Did we already mention the Olympic Park?”

“Oh! Or better yet we can go see if we can get inside the CCTV tower in Chaoyang District. After, we might even have time to walk around the city. I want to see how modern it really is compared to Xicheng District.”

“How about Tianjin Province? I haven’t had the chance to go yet and everyone has been telling me that it’s worth the trip.”

“Wouldn’t you want to save that for independent travel though?”

“I wanted to use my energy organizing a trip to Fujian to spend the weekend near the shore. But I’m not 100% sure yet.”

“Does anyone have any actual independent travel plans for next semester? I’m trying to see what I want to do.”

“Well, I mean, I was planning on going to Xi’an province to finally go see the Terracotta Warriors, but there are so many other places I want to go see in different provinces too!”

“Exactly! I wanted to go to Shanghai but I also feel like I know so much about it already that it might be better for me to go some place a little more foreign to me, like Inner Mongolia.”

“Inner Mongolia?!?!”

A sample of a text conversation I had with a group of really close friends. Wednesdays and Fridays are the worst as we realize we didn’t spend as much time as necessary organizing an outing. Time is fleeting fast, meaning that each student wants to make the most of their time left in China. But no matter how dedicated we are to immersing ourselves in Chinese culture, the process of organizing an outing still remains to be strenuous and a little bit tedious. Over these past couple of months though, I’ve learned that there is literally nothing more rewarding than being able to venture out into the expansive country, known as China! Just the other day, I was able to hail two taxi cabs in Taiyuan, Shanxi, a city I had never stepped foot in before. Never would I have imagined that I could do that back in the United States, as simple as it is, but the truth is I took advantage of not being independent without actually realizing it. So compared to my life in America, Beijing has been a breath of fresh air. The independence here is liberating, and allows me to formulate my own experiences that will fabricate my future. It’s relieving to know that I am the one conducting this ride of a lifetime; I can’t wait to see what my next destination will be this month!

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