I’m a dreamer, that is clear. How does one become practical and logical and realistic? I have never figured it out. Honestly, I’m not even sure I care to. I like to dream and dreaming has taken me on this journey I call my life. I think I will keep on doing this until it no longer works.
I also love to read. Reading gives me the subject matter for my dreams. In the case of China, I cannot even remember what I read as a child, but surely it must have been something that set my imagination on fire.
My father was building a fence around our backyard, probably when I was about 9 or 10 years old. He had this tool called a post-hole-digger. It grabbed the earth out of the ground, kind of like a two-sided shovel, and made a hole for the fence posts. I decided this tool would be useful for going to China. I asked him if I could dig my way through the earth to this exotic & colorful land that I somehow held in my mind.
He laughed and said, sure, if you’d like to dig your way to China, feel free. So I took that post-hole-digger and I started digging in the backyard. In one afternoon, I may have dug about 2 feet. That night I went to sleep and dreamed of what I’d find when I got to China.
The next day, I went back to work. Within an hour or so, I hit water. Water! It gushed into my hole. What was happening? Did I hit the Pacific Ocean? I showed my Dad and he said, oh, you must have hit the water table. Huh?
I was never to get to China, of course. It was a small girl’s dream of a big endeavor. But when I lived in Korea, one of the advantages of living there is that I could travel to places in Asia. China was right next door; it was no longer on the other side of the earth.
I ventured to China on September 21, 2010. I went only for 5 days and I saw Beijing and The Great Wall. China was not a repeat of Korea. It was more exotic, more chaotic, more full of character. It transported me to centuries past and to new experiences. It knocked me off my feet, surprised me in ways I couldn’t even imagine.
Now, I’m going to live and work in China for a year. I’ll be teaching English at a university in Nanning, Guangxi Province. It’s a southwest province, bordering Vietnam, and not far from Guilin and Hong Kong.
I couldn’t dig to China all those years ago. But I can & will fly there now, arriving on September 1, 2014.