As you all know, I went on my "Return to China" Voyage in the middle of April. I have already posted a couple things about what an amazing, life-changing trip it was. Now I have for you, the rest of my pictures and adventures from that trip!
First, here are the places I stayed at during my adventuring!!!
...the Bell Tower Youth Hostel! I payed $6 for this room, and I stayed here for one night. Then I stayed here:
Here is the first hotel I stayed at during my trip to China. It was a big beautiful room, and it only cost me $25 a night! I stayed there two nights, then moved on to the next place...
| |If you are thinking of planning a trip to Xi'an, you definitely need to stay at this hostel! You can find out information through Hostel World, which is the BEST place to find hostels and hotels while traveling the world!
| |The Xiangzimen International Youth Hostel. This place was WONDERFUL!!! It was $5 a night(!) for a dorm room (above), which I shared with seven other people. It had a beautiful open-air courtyard with extremely comfortable couches (left), perfect for cuddling up and reading (which I did!). They also had a weekly dumpling party (below)! They provided the ingredients, then showed you how to make traditional chinese dumplings! Then we got to eat them! It was really cool!
Right beside my Hostel, was this BEAUTIFUL Buddhist Temple. I went in it almost every day, to look around, and just soak in the peace and serenity that filled its walls.
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Well that's it for this post! I just have sooo many pictures, so stay tuned for the third and final installation of my Trip to China Series!!!
Peace Love and China(Pt 2)
Before I left on my latest globe-trotting expedition, I promised you guys that when I returned, I would let you in on my money secret. Well, I have a confession: I do not have just ONE, brilliant money secret that will magically change your life. What I DO have however, is a lifetime of money saving secrets, that I have been taught by my parents, learned from countless books and podcasts, and figured out for myself over the course of my life!
You might be thinking to yourself, "Who does this chick think she is? Trying to tell me how to save MY money, what to do with MY money!" You're absolutely right. Why SHOULD you listen to me, and trust me with your money? Well, let me give you a little introduction to me, and tell you why I think that I am worthy of giving you money advice!
When I was just a wee baby in my mum's tummy, my father learned that if you talk to woman's tummy, the baby will hear, and it will have an influence on the baby as a person. So, every day, my dad talked to my mom's tummy saying, "Buy low, sell high (I'm not even joking)." And ever since I could remember, I have been amazing at handling money, and I chalk it up to my dad for hammering it into my head, even before I was born, the basis of business, "Buy low, sell high!"
Now, on to why I think I am capable of telling you what to do with your money. And in saying all these things, I am not trying to toot my own whistle or anything, but just letting you know that I DO know what I'm talking about, and to show you what can happen if you apply the tips that I will be telling you over these next few weeks!
-In 2010, at the age of 23, I bought a car for $2,000. In cash (above).
-I have a Roth IRA I started in High School that I yearly put money in to save for my retirement.
-In 2011 I bought a brand new laptop in cash.
-This February, me and my mom took my sister on a 3 day, 4 night cruise to the Bahamas for her Graduation Present. I paid for my ticket, and all my expenses, plus half of all my sister's expenses, and half her ticket! I did not use a credit card (I don't even own one). I had all the money in my checking account!
-We drove my car to Florida (where the cruise left from), and on the way home, my engine blew up (oil leak) *super sad face*. When we got back home, I had $300 dollars saved in my emergency fund, that I used to buy a new (used) motor.
-The beginning of March (just one month after the cruise), I bought a round trip plane ticket to China (for $1,400). And once again, did not use a credit card, and didn't borrow money from anyone. I saved the $1,400, plus over $200 for my Visa, visa pictures, and almost $400 for hotels, trains, food and shopping when I was there!
-The end of March (half a month after I purchased my China plane tickets), I went with some friends to see Michale Graves in concert. I paid for my own ticket, and drinks! That's right, in cash!
-In one week from now, (soon after returning home from China!), me and a bunch of people are going to Kentucky for the annual Abbey Road on the River Beatles Festival. I paid for my tickets for two days, gas money, hotel room, and spending money!
-After all of that, I still have over $1,000 in my Savings Account.
-I did all of this while working 2-3 days a week, 4-6 hours a day, as a waitress!!!!!!!
Sound crazy and insane and maybe like something you would like to learn more about?! Thought so! This is why I am so positive that my Money System works, because I am the proof! So come to the site every Monday for "Money Management Mondays!" (Kinda cheesy, I know, but I don't care!:P ). Some posts will be little things that you might think are stupid or just very miniscule, but believe me, if you implement even HALF of these tips, they WILL change your life! I am SO excited about this series, because I know that it is completely life-changing, and SO important! Because if you never have money, you can't afford to live the life you want to! I'm not saying that money will make you happy. If you're not happy with yourself, money (and nothing else for that matter) will ever make you happy. But not stressing out about money will definitely make anybody's life a LOT easier and a LOT more enjoyable!!!
As of right now, I'm not even sure how long this series will last. As of right now, I have enough material for at least two months, but as I'm writing, I keep thinking of more things, so we'll see how long this lasts! So stop by every Monday, and pass it along to your friends, co-workers, and anyone else you think could use some tips to save money!
So finally, after that very long introduction, I now introduce to you my Money Saving Secret #1 (these tips are in no way in order of importance at all, since they are all important, and all play a part in how I am able to save money and do things I want to do). Enjoy!
Money Saving Secret #1 . I don't own a smart phone.
Well actually, I DO own a smart phone now. BUT, it is my boyfriend's old smart phone, that does not even have a phone number to it! I use it ONLY for taking pictures, and using the internet when there is Wifi available. Which is all free!
I still have my faithful little flip phone, and I use THAT for all my calls and texting! I know most of you think I'm crazy. How can I LIVE without a smart phone you might say? VERY easily! I have my laptop at home (which I prefer to use anyway), and my flip phone is capable of sending and receiving texts, and pictures, so I'm SET! And, my cell phone bill is only $24 a month-Gasp! That's only $288 a year!!!
Compare that to the average person's $50-100 a month, $600-1200 (yikes!) a year cell phone bill! By not owning a smart phone, I save anywhere from $312-912 a year!!! For me, DEFINITELY worth it!
What to Do: After reading this, you need to decide for yourself, if having a smart phone is really worth it. Imagine, what could you do with an extra $1,000 a year?!
So that is my first secret on 'Money Management Mondays'! Come back next Monday for my Money Saving Secret #2!
*Did you enjoy this topic, but feel that you might need a little extra help? Don't sweat it, most people need a little extra push to get started! So, I have decided, that in addition to my 10+ Money Managing Secrets I will be handing out each week, I will also be offering private financial coaching! It only costs $25, and includes: A sneak peek at all my Money Managing Secrets, me personally helping you figure out your own personal monthly budget, helping you figure out and identify your financial goals, and then keeping you accountable to those goals and your budget for two months! Most people agree that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well, I will be with you for sixty days, helping you form good budget and financial habits! Only $25 to put you on track to Financial Freedom! This is a very small amount of money to invest in yourself, and your future! And if you need any proof that it works, just look at me! If you would like to sign up for this, or have any questions about it, please fill out the form below! Just fill in your name, email address, and in the comment box, either write your question, or just say that you are ready for your private financial coaching!
*So what do you think about My Money Saving Secret #1? Do you think that is something you could apply to your life? Leave comments below and let me know! And don't forget to like this post on the facebook link below, and don't forget to come back next Monday for My Money Saving Secret #2!!!*
Peace Love and Money
I love clothes, and I love traveling.
Usually, it is very hard for these two to go together.
Especially if you're going somewhere that isn't an all-inclusive resort, and that's off the
beaten track (which are the most fun places!).
I am here to tell you that these two CAN go together!
So listen up for my advice on how to be a fashionable traveler!
When I go places, I usually take waaaay too much with me. Because I need different shoes for different outfits, different hair accessories for different moods, and about a MILLION different outifts for any kind of weather, mood, or occasion! You fashionable gals know exactly what I'm talking about right?!! For example, for my 3 day, 4 night cruise, this is what I packed:
THAT is how I like to pack!
I feel comfortable knowing that I have everything that I need, and have numerous different outfits for numerous events and occasions!
The reason I could pack so much for that, was because we drove down, so I didn't have to worry about airline restrictions, and we went on a ship, where I could just leave all my things in my room, and not have to worry about carrying it around anywhere!
But when I'm actually traveling around, I pack light! Because when you're traveling multiple places, and not doing luxurious traveling, you NEED to pack light! You pretty much just need to have a backpack to carry with you, because you can't be pulling rolling suitcases through dirt roads in villages, or carrying a giant akwardly shaped suitcase through a train station!
If you do pack very heavily for these kinds of trips, you will be MISERABLE. This is why, when you see the typical 'backpackers', they have one (very large) backpack, and they are always dressed (no offense to backpackers) very plain (and in my opinion) very ugly! You know what I'm talking about, they always wear plain t-shirts, those horrible cargo pants that zip off into shorts, and ugly sneakers! The girls wear this too, and don't even bother wearing any sort of makeup, or doing anything to their hair! Now obviously, I haven't seen every backpacker everywhere, but this is the majority of backpackers out there!
I know that a lot of people will take offense to this, and say that I'm just vain and judging people on appearances, but let me explain myself! I have 3 reasons, why when you travel, it is better to take the extra time and effort to look nice!
The first reason is, when you take a once-in-a-lifetime trip, you will definitely be taking pictures! Loads of pictures! And everyone knows, that the best pictures, the pictures you are going to treasure forever, are the pictures with YOU in it! You on the great wall of china, you with local villagers you met, you on the beach, you in front of the Eiffel Tower, you get my point! Well, my thinking is, since you are going to be treasuring these pictures forever; putting them on facebook, blowing them up and putting them in frames, and showing all your friends and family, then wouldn't you want to look your best?!! Of course you do!
(^^^Me at the Big Goose Pagoda in Xi'an, China^^^)
Reason number two. People are nicer to you when you look good! I am dead serious! I know you probably think I'm crazy, but trust me, this is true! Let me explain; Most people (in Ohio anyway, I'm not sure about the rest of America), don't ever really dress up. They dress up nice for weddings, and maybe one or two other events of the year, but the majority of the year, it's jeans and t-shirts, and even sweatpants/yoga pants and t-shirts! Now I admit, every once in a great while, if I'm sick or just really tired, and need to run to the store for two seconds, I'll go out in sweatpants and a hoody, but for the most part, I look good! Going to the movies with the boyfriend, hanging out with our friends, and even just getting groceries and doing errands, I dress up! And you know what I discovered in all these years of making an effort to make myself look nice, and presentable in public? People treat you different! A GOOD different! Not only do I have people (guys AND girls), actually walking up to me (all the time!) and telling me that they love my hair/outfit/shoes, but I get special treatment! People are polite to me, smile at me, are nice to me, and go out of their way to help me! When I go to the grocery store and look nice, if I need help finding something, people are HAPPY to help me! I can notice a CLEAR difference when I just throw on something comfy and rush out the door, to when I put on a cute outfit, and do my hair and makeup! I think a lot of it has to do with how I feel when I look nice; I feel happier, more comfortable, and more put together, which makes me more approachable, pleasant, and makes people want to be nicer to me! And of course, all guys (and a lot of girls too!), just want to be nicer to a good-looking person!
Still don't believe me? Go out and try it!
So, I said all of that to say this; the second reason to look good when you're traveling, is because people are nicer to you when you look nice, and when you're traveling, you DEFINITELY want people to be nicer to you and help you out! I have saved so much money at the airport on overweight bag fees, and changing of flights last minute, simply because the combination of a pleasant, good looking lady can't be beat! People always think that airline workers, and just people at the airport are mean and don't help at all, but I can't even TELL you how kind and helpful people are to me at the airport, not to mention all the friends I've made at the airport! I have made so many great connections and contacts jut meeting people at the airport, people are always offering to help me carry things, giving me helpful hints, and doing everything they can to make sure that I am happy! So looking nice is a MUST for travelers!
(^^^South Korea Airport, who wouldn't want to be nice to THAT?!! :) ^^^)
My final reason for looking good when you travel, is that when you LOOK good, you just FEEL good! Try it today; take a little bit of effort and invest in your looks, and you will feel so much happier!!!
So there you have my 3 reasons why you should want to look good when you travel! And here is me telling you that it is possible to both look good, and travel light!!!
For example; When I took a two month long trip to Fiji, Australia, and Vanuatu, I took with me one backpack that weighed 12 pounds! This China trip, I took one backpack, and a purse!
(^^^This is what I took with me on this China trip!^^^)
The clothes I took with me on this China trip; This should give you a good idea of the amount of clothes you can survive on. Hardcore backpackers would probably take less than this, but I'm not writing this for the normal backpacker, I'm writing this for the fashionable backpacker! I took these clothing articles with me, and I looked good, and only had one backpack and a purse to carry!
-1 pair of jeans
-1 pair of yoga pants (for sleeping)
-2 sweaters (I'm always cold.)
-3 pairs of socks
-3 pairs of underwear
-2 pairs of leggings/tights
-1 pair of comfortable shoes (Vans)
-4 pairs of shorts
-3 tank tops
-1 Bandana and 1 Scarf
(^^^What I took with me to China!^^^)
The Fashionable Backpacker's Essential Packing List:
-A pair of cute sunglasses
Super fashionable, makes any outfit cuter, and keeps the sun out of your eyes! I looove my sunglasses!
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(^^^At my Youth Hostel the other morning^^^)
(<<<The South Korea Airport<<<)
-A Bandana, Scarf, and Hair Accessory
They're super light and take up barely any room! These things are a must for traveling! They're super cute and easy to use in your hair, especially good for when your hair needs washed! You can also tie the bandana around your bag if you check it, to help your bag stand out so no one accidentally takes your bag thinking it's theirs!
A bow, flower, bandana, or scarf in your hair INSTANTLY make you look cuter! And with very little effort! Click here and here for super easy headband tutorials I did!
-Two light sweaters
Even if you're going somewhere warm, you will always have at least a couple times where you wish that you had brought one! Airports, airplanes, windy days, unexpected cold days, rainy days, or even on the beach at night! Bring one plain, and one patterned, so you can wear one with any outfit you have!
-A pair of really comfy shoes
Because you are going to be walking a lot, and nothing can ruin a vacation more, than blisters and sore feet.
Normally I looove wearing high-heels and super cute shoes, but that is one cute thing that I have to cut from backpacking! At least my Vans are still cute!
It dosen't have to be a lot! And it dosen't have to take up a lot of room!
My makeup bag fits very neatly into my toiletry bag, and takes up hardly any room! You don't have to take a lot, but at least take SOME! I took; chapstick, foundation, mascara, eyeliner (you can use it for your eyes, and eyebrows), and brown eyeshadow. That's it! And I looked great! And for my hair; bobby pins, elastics, and a comb!
-One zip up hoody
More if you're going somewhere cold. But one is fine for anywhere else.
-A couple pairs of socks, and a couple pairs of underwear
When traveling without the luxuries in life (a nice hotel, the knowledge of where you're going next, a wash machine), you have to learn to wash your clothes in sinks and showers, or else you'll be carrying around 30 pairs of socks and underwear!
So those were the basics. Now for the actual clothes, follow these steps!
-Start with your bottoms; Skirts, Shorts, and Pants.
-Pack a couple of each, making sure that you have a variety (example; pack a couple pairs of plain bottoms, and a couple pairs of patterned!).
-And then pack your tops, making sure that you have a variety of those too!
-The most important part of packing light is to make sure that almost every top you pack, can be worn with almost every bottom you pack!
-My advice is to pack a couple of dresses (I only packed one this time and regretted it), because then you don't have to worry about it being patterned or plain, or trying to match it with anything! Plus they're super cute!
-And I always pack a couple pairs of tights and leggings (some plain, some patterned, and some that are patterned but can be turned inside out and become plain!), because they're super light and easy to pack, and really frickin cute under shorts, dresses, and skirts!
So there ya have it; my knowledge that I've acquired over years of being a fashionable traveler, passed down to you! I hope you liked it, and can use it!
*Leave comments letting me know what you think, and how you plan on using these tips on your next trip! Like and share on facebook! Thanks!!!!*
Peace Love and Fashionable Traveling
Hey everybody, this month My Peace Love Life is One Year Old!!!
It is SO hard to believe that it has been a year already! Time has completely flown, and I have LOVED every minute creating and running my baby! I want to say a HUGE thank you to everybody who has read this blog, posted comments, emailed me, and shared it on facebook! I would be nowhere without you guys! You have helped make this blog's first year of life a success!!!
Right now we have an average of 5,000 views a month (which was my goal!), and I think that is AMAZING numbers for a site that is only one year old! Going into the second year of running this wonderful site, I have set some more goals for myself. I want to DOUBLE the number of monthly views I get, that's right, I am now aiming at 10,000 views a month! And I also would like to start selling my handmade clothing and crafts here! So I am VERY excited about this!
Thank you again, so much, everyone for being faithful readers, and showing a genuine interest in what I'm writing. It brings me SUCH joy when I get an email or comment from a person telling me that they love my site, or that something I've shared has changed their life! I pour my heart, my soul, and my emotions into this blog, and so hearing that makes it SO worthwhile! After all, the goal of this website is for you to "Join me in making this world a prettier, funner, better place to live!" And I believe that we are doing just that! So for those of you that have joined me in this journey, THANK YOU SO MUCH! We ARE making a difference! And I promise to you, that I will continue to pour myself completely into this blog, making it a continuing source of fun, knowledge, beauty, and passion for you to read every week!
To those of you who have just joined us, AWESOME! I do hope that you will stay with us! Bookmark us, like us on facebook, and come back every week for super awesome and exciting posts! This website is a part of a journey, so please join us in this journey!
Peace Love and One Year
Hey guys! I hope you enjoyed my video post, and my post about my life-changing epiphony, but today I wanted to post something just for the fun of it! So here's some pictures of the incredible things I've got to see and experience on my trip so far!
I got to see some of the world's most beautiful cars in the world! A Lamborghini, and Lotus Elises! *Droool!!!*
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The Big Goose Pagoda Fountain and Light Show is DEFINITELY a must-see! I got to go watch this after walking around town drinking beer for 5 hours with my new British friend Olly!
I got to see a Chinese Fashion Show!!! Oh my word, I couldn't believe it, it was SO incredible to see! The models were all just breathtaking, and the clothes were awesome! I am SO stoked I got to experience this!
And this is the wonderful market that I am absolutely in love with! I walked through here almost every day when I lived here, and so of course I had to return! It has food vendors right out on the street, with some of the best food I've ever had, and tons of shops with the cheapest clothes, shoes, and anything else you could imagine!!! It's called 样家村, but I always called it the Cool Market! This is one of my favorite places in China!
Well, there is just some of the great things I'm experiencing in China! Come back in a couple days and I'll have some more pictures for you (:
Peace Love and China Trips
Peace Love and Video from China
Right now I am sitting here trying to decide how to start this post. Should I start by telling you all the things I've done since I've been here? Or about all the food I've eaten, the people I've met, or the different places I've stayed at? Hmmm, I think no. I'll save all that fun stuff for later. I think I'm going to let you guys have (yet another) peek into my soul. I have only been gone for 12 days, and already this trip has changed everything. Take a peek into what I wrote in my journal after only 4 days of being here. "I could not have imagined that coming back here would be this hard. I knew it would be emotional for sure, and it has been-but what I didn't think about, was how difficult it would be to be back in this place, knowing it is no longer my home. I walk the streets, ride the buses, eat the food, and speak the language, but all of that feels completely different when you don't live here. When this was my home, I had an apartment. I went to school, went to work, went to band practice. I hung out with friends, had daily chores and duties to attend to. Now I feel like a tourist. Most of my friends have moved away; moved on to other cities, other countries, other lives. This city is full of 8 million people, but to me, it feels like a ghost town. Nothing here has changed, but everything has changed. It feels like the same place, but it no longer feels like home. To me, this realization is both a blessing, and completely heartbreaking. For three years, I have been pining for this place. So much so, that I have missed a lot that has been right in front of me while in America. I now realize, that this chapter in my life, is closed. And it has been closed for some time, but I have just been unable, or unwilling to accept that. I realize now that this trip was not just for fun, and to see Xi'an again, but to help me get closure. Closure that until right now, I didn't even know I needed! Yes, I miss this place greatly, but I realize now that I need to let it go. Acknowledge that it was an incredible 2 years that I am eternally grateful for, and then let it go. I will always have the memories, and the love, but I need to move on. I don't know what the future holds, but I don't want to live in the past either. I need to just worry about enjoying the present. I no longer live in China, and I don't know if or when I will again, but I now know that I can't spend my life worrying about that, or living in the past. I have a wonderful family, amazing boyfriend that I can't live life without, great friends, and a life in America. So that is what I will be focusing on now. It is sad that it took me three years to figure this all out, but I will forever be grateful to this trip, for helping me come to this realization. I will forever treasure this city, and the time I had here, but I am now ready to move on."
Peace Love and Epiphonies
(^^^Some of the amazing food in South Korea^^^)
Hello everybody! Greetings from South Korea!!! I am quite excited, as I've never been to South Korea before! I won't be leaving the airport today, but *hopefully* on my return home I will be able to!
Right now in SK it is 3am, which means that it's 2pm in Ohio. I am going on 37 hours of traveling now; Akron/Canton to Atlanta, 4 hour layover in Atlanta, then my 15 hour long flight to Seoul Incheon Airport, and now I am waiting out my 15 hour layover in Seoul before heading to China!
The 15 hour flight from Atlanta, Georiga to Seoul, South Korea was not too bad! Everyone thinks I'm crazy, because I actually enjoy flying! I love having the time to myself, to do whatever I want; read, watch tv (I watched the Life of Pi and Friends this time), and I love airline food!
I flew with Korean Air, and it was spectacular! The stewardesses were all ADORABLE (I even found a Chinese stewardess, so I got to talk to her), and the food was great!
As you can see above, I was SUPER excited about our own personal tv's having Pac Man, Street Fighter, Tetris, and Solitaire! They also had as much free wine as I could drink, and to me, that is always awesome!
I arrived in South Korea at 5pm, and have now been in the airport for 10 hours, and Iam loving every minute of it!
The Seoul Airport is INCREDIBLE! Free WiFi, a full food court, and SHOWERS!!! For free! Ohh my goodness, I can't even begin to describe how incredible it was! After over 30 hours of traveling and feeling gross, this was HEAVEN!
And since I had about 5 hours of sleep in the last 44 hours, I took a very nice little nap on this recliner in their relaxation lounge! Let me tell you, I haven't slept that solid in months!
And yes, those two bags are the only pieces of luggage I brought with me!!! I am sooo proud of myself!
Here I am just chillin on my chair before my nap (I could barely keep my eyes open)!
Thanks everybody so much for being so interested in my travels and for staying in touch with me! It means a lot! My flight to China leaves in 5 hours, and I will write again in a couple days! 안녕히 가세요!
Peace Love and South Korea
Six years ago when I first started telling people that I was moving to China, I got all kinds of mixed reactions, but the most prominent one, was that of worry. People told me that I was crazy to move to such a dangerous place; I was only 20 years old, I didn't speak the language, and I had never been there before! But I knew what I wanted to do, and told people just that. So fears, doubts, and doubters aside, I went. And as you all know, I fell head over heels in love with the country, and would name it as one of the best decisions of my life.
This post is about fear, and not letting it control your life. We have such a short time on this earth, that if we don't do certain things just because of fear, then we WILL miss out on so much!
^^^No, I'm not talking about THIS kind of fear! Hehe^^^
The reason I wanted to talk about fear today, is because apparently, I picked a very bad time to visit China! All the panic about North Korea has been surfacing lately, and I have a 17 hour layover in South Korea, and am going to try to venture outside of the airport to explore! And just this morning, my Uncle was telling me about the new outbreak of Bird Flu in China! It has JUST surfaced about a week ago, and has killed a couple of people already.
So with all of this ringing in my head, and people telling me they can't believe I'm going to go there, I have two options; 1. Go. 2. Stay home. And I think all of you know that I am choosing option number 1. You might think I'm crazy, you probably do! But that dosen't bother me. What WOULD bother me, is sitting in Ohio the rest of my life, never going anywhere, never doing anything, because I am so completely paralyzed by fear. Yes, of course I am a bit anxious about the bird flu. Yes, I am a little worried about exploring South Korea by myself (especially not knowing the language), and yes, I usually get a little nervous about flying, but I am NOT going to let my worries and fears stop me from doing what I want to do!!! And you shouldn't either!
I am not saying that when you push through your fears, and live out your dreams, that scary stuff won't happen to you. IT WILL! For example; When I moved to China, I got stranded in Beijing! My flight from Chicago got delayed, so I missed my connecting flight from Beijing to Xi'an (the city I was moving to), and couldn't get a flight out of Beijing until the next day! I did not know the language, had never even BEEN to China before, and I had to somehow find a hotel, transport myself, and all my belongings I was moving with, to that hotel, and then make it back to the airport in the morning to catch my flight. I was TERRIFIED. But somehow, and to this day I don't even know how, but somehow, I managed to do all of that. Was I completely scared out of my mind? Yes, I was! But when situations like that happen, it shows you exactly what kind of a person you are, and thanks to that scary situation, and plenty of others, I know how strong of a person I am, and I love it!
During my time in China I also survived an earthquake, had a man try to force his way into
my apartment, and was living there when the Swine Flu outbreak hit China. All of these things, and more, I survived. They were terrifying, and several times I thought I was going to die, but I survived. That is what I'm trying to say here. Fear is a part of life. Scary, life-threatening situations, are a part of life! Whether you go backpacking across Europe, or stay sitting in your house doing nothing, bad things can happen! So why not go out and enjoy life?!!
(^after the May 2008 Earthquake that hit China, people (including me) slept outside because the aftershocks were so bad^)
Now, after saying all that, I do not want you to use this as an excuse to go out and be stupid! You HAVE to use common sense! You HAVE to be smart and be careful! Know your limits! Do research before you go and do something! This world IS a VERY scary and dangerous place! So do NOT go out into it thinking that you are invincible and nothing can happen to you! It CAN and it WILL! You just have to be prepared as much as you are able to!
It may seem like I just go out and do whatever I want to, not worrying about what could happen, but that's not true! I try to be as prepared, and safe, as possible! I always do research before going anywhere, so I know kind of what to expect. It also helps to know some self defense, or even just common sense, quick thinking, and the willingness to stand up for yourself (when a man tried to break into my apartment, he followed me up to my apartment, and when I went inside and tried to close the door, he stuck his foot in the door and then tried to push it open. I let go of the door, letting it open, shoved him as hard as I could, and when he stumbled backwards, closed and locked the door). Sometimes you just need to have faith in yourself (and carrying a pair of brass knuckles [like I started doing after that], helps too!:P)
(^^^The face mask I wore to protect myself during the Swine Flu epidemic^^^)
If I had listened to my fears, and the fears of others(!), I would have NEVER gone to China! I would have just stayed in Ohio my whole life, feeling bored and restless! I never would have discovered my passion for the Chinese language, and for the country of China! I would have never got to work in an orphanage, visit The Great Wall of China, modeled, rode a horse up the side of a mountain, or seen the Olympic torch being passed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics! I definitely wouldn't have traveled to 15 different countries! And lastly, if I would have let fear run my life, I would never had experienced the freedom, joy, love, friendship, and LIFE!!!
(^^^The 2008 Beijing Olympics passing of the Ceremonial Torch. The man standing in the middle of the road was the one receiving the torch^^^)
I want all of that to inspire you. What I want you to do right now, is get out a piece of paper, and write down this ONE question.
1. What do I want to do SO BAD, but haven't, because of fear?
Now answer it. Sit and think. If fear were not an option, what would you want to do? Write down your answers.
(^^^Me in Waihai, China, on one of the best days of my life. This picture perfectly captures how free and happy I felt^^^)
Next, I want you to take a good look at your answer.
Now GO DO IT!!!
*Please let me know what your answers are! I would looove to see them! Leave them in a comment below!*
Peace Love and Courage
Hello everybody! Today I am just ECSTATIC beyond all levels! My mind is twirling, and my stomach is jittery. I feel like throwing up, and dancing all at the same time! All of this, because I am FINALLY returning to my beloved China in exactly one week. ONE WEEK! One week till I step foot on the land that I have missed so dearly for three years. One week till I get to smell the air, taste the food, see the people, and speak the language.
While I am gone, I will not be on my Facebook (as Facebook is blocked in China), and as of right now, I'm not sure whether or not blogs are blocked. I am trying to find out before I go, so I can let you guys know. If it is not blocked, then I will be writing and posting pictures of my adventures as I go (probably not as often as I do now). I will also be posting pictures to my Instagram! So if you're not following me already, follow me @china_barbie_
I will be writing to you before I leave, to let you know whether or not my blog will be blocked, so I will talk to you guys soon!
Peace Love and One Week