Wow, I cannot believe I’m already leaving Shanghai tomorrow. How is this possible? It seems like just yesterday I was packing to come here, or even when I was reading other travel blogs about study abroad, trying to imagine what my experience would be like… how does it all happen so quickly? It is amazing how quickly experiences flash before your eyes, in one moment you cannot fathom yourself in some future situation, and in the next you are already leaving.
Now in the middle of packing my bags and finishing up finals, I’m already thinking about my next big adventures… thinking about exploring Beijing with my dad and sister, heading to India with my boyfriend, finally seeing my mom again in New York, and settling into my new studio. But what hasn’t really hit me is that my time here in Shanghai is over, and I may never return.
I think I will spend a few minutes properly understanding how much I will miss Shanghai. Although I’m eager to get back to my life in New York, as my time here has felt like simply a pause on my life back home, I need to think about how much has happened here, how much I have changed, and how much I will miss.
I won’t be able to practice my Chinese anymore, this will probably be the best I ever am at speaking Chinese, I know I will lose it with time. I won’t be able to get steaming hot dumplings and rice right off the street or drink alcohol wherever I want. There will be no more crazy construction stories, no more silly times in the cab trying not to get ripped off, no more smile of “I have no idea what you’re saying” almost anytime I speak. I won’t be able to speak loudly on the subway about anything, and I probably won’t be back in China for a long time, or maybe ever.
Although I’m looking forward to heading home and experiencing new things, I just know one day when I’m trudging through New York snow feeling miserable and cold all over, I will miss China.
And it is so friggin awesome to know that I have all these memories earned and lessons learned here that I will never forget. I went to China for four months!! That truly is an experience I will have for the rest of my life. So thanks China, for taking me in, showing me an amazing time, and keeping me safe. Thank you for the times I will remember forever. Goodbye Shanghai, hope to see you soon!
- Shanghai Skyline at Night: Miranda Burnham