We are now in Kunming after one month of travel. One month doesn’t sound like a long time, but each day feels like a week when you are in a country you’ve never been to before. Every restaurant is new, every town a surprise, and things that you thought were universally the same – like train stations or convenience stores – turn out to be completely different. As a student here in China who has never studied Mandarin, I’ve come to adapt to living a place while being one-hundred-percent illiterate and for the most part, unintelligible to the locals. Within each of these experiences and challenges are opportunities to grow and learn, opportunities to see and hear things that are extraordinary and exciting (herding yaks during sunset is not something you get to do very often). They have given me the chance to connect to a place, and to hold a visceral experience of what a certain part of the world is like. Photos can only do so much, after all. Needless to say, I have found such joy and beauty in the different regions we have visited, from alpine plains to low, humid mountains, small towns to cities home to millions, from yaks to motorcycles. I am excited to be settled in one place, in this bustling city of Kunming, and in this next month, I hope to get to know the ins and outs of my new home.
All the best from the other side of the world,Alex