Travel Journal #16 – Outer Limits

It’s here, folks. The week I’ve simultaneously been dreading and praying for the last three months. In two days I’ll be on a 14-hour flight home, and bittersweet doesn’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling right now. I’ll be frank; this semester has been one of the most challenging of my entire time at Centre. The most valuable thing I’ve learned during my time abroad has been the extent of my limits—how much time I can study, how much pollution I can breathe, how many small victories it takes to make a good day, and how far I can be from everything I know and still appreciate home. I’ve learned that I can stretch my limits far more than I assumed.
The Great Wall of China
I finally had a chance to visit Beijing. The trip was short, just a weekend, and jammed with activities and sites that couldn’t be missed like the Forbidden City (photo above) and the Great Wall of China (photo right). We didn’t have time to stay very long, but we spent a good part of the morning walking the wall and taking in the view. I expected the Great Wall to be similar to a highway, cutting straight through the land; no variation, just stone. Rather, it was more like a river, flowing through the mountains that cradled it. I was amazed that despite being a thousand years old it could still support itself. Sure, parts of the wall were in ruins, even impassable for tourists. Just like me, it had its limits, things that needed to be repaired, but it still stood. The Great Wall has seen a thousand more lifetimes than I can even imagine; it’s seen many wars and many winters, but none of those things have been able to completely destroy it. Somehow, knowing this helped me remember that everything that has happened this semester, all the good, bad, remarkable, and unfair have had a purpose. Not only have they made me a better person, but also they have helped me become more aware of my own worth. Resilience is a trait that can only be admired in time and in struggle. I can thank my time in China for an appreciation of mine.
by Morgan Whitehead ’15, currently participating in the Centre-in-China study abroad program. Learn more about study abroad in China.

By |2014-01-02T11:13:01+00:00January 2nd, 2014|News, Study Abroad, Travel Journals - China|