The Other Classroom – Qingdao University: Departure

Some places are hard to leave.  This was one of those experiences.

I lived in China for almost three months.  That the longest time I’ve been abroad, but I don’t foresee it being the longest amount of time in my lifetime though.

It’s hard to say goodbye.  Especially with people that I had grown to enjoy their company and enjoy everything I had learned.  I felt as if I had just broken through something major just as I was about to leave and there was nothing I could do to stop my leaving.  Life was calling me back to the U.S.

The day before I left we all went to lunch together as an office, and I might be slightly responsible for the entire group arriving late to the office after lunch, and a portion of the group being slightly intoxicated.  It was quite an interesting day.

I had become accustom to this life in China.  I had become accustom to the food, the people and the culture.  I had almost become a part of the place that had seemed so foreign.  My Korean roommate which had seemed like a stranger was now a friend that I was going to miss.

I had packed my bags to the brim with souvenirs for my family and took my last photos before I left, of people that I might not ever see again.  My life that I had been striving to understand so strongly was now changing drastically and changing quickly.

Right before I got in the taxi outside of the university gates to take me to the train station I was standing there with my supervisor who said to me some very strong words about how everyone in the office enjoyed having me there during the summer, and was going to miss me.  In a culture where expressing your true feelings and emotions is often not done, this was the most emotion I had seen out of him the entire summer.

I knew he was sincere.

I was going to miss this place.  I was going to miss these people.  For all the frustrations and crazy things I had been through that summer, it was time for me to go.

Life was calling me back to the U.S.

I took a taxi, which took me to train, that took me to the subway that took me to the airport that took me to another airport that took me to a final airport, that took me to a car that took me back to my apartment where my entire existence had changed over a period of 48 hours.

I was back in the U.S., but my mind and heart were back in China.

I feel that someday, maybe sooner than later.

It will happen again.

Life will call me, but this time Life will call me back… back to China.

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