If Shanghai is the city that mixes New and Old (Bleeding edge modernity with ancient tradition and culture) then Hong Kong is a city that clashes its hyper urban development with towering mountains and nature. The breathtaking beauty of the mountains surrounding the Po Lin Monastery vs. the bustle and vibrancy of Kowloon’s nightlife. The modern office buildings of Central vs. the towering Victoria Peak right behind it. I saw Hong Kong as a mix of natural and human landscapes in jarring contrast to one another- in a way that made my short three day trip there unforgettable.
It’s been a few weeks since I last updated- I’m working on a post that’s taking far more research and work than I initially thought it would, so I’m delaying it. I’ve also been struggling with a lack of motivation to write, as no other topics seemed super exciting to me, but since it’s been a while since I last talked about how life in Shanghai was going for me, I feel like this would be the perfect time to give a short update.
If you recognize what these letters might stand for, you’ll have a great hint at what the topic of this post will be.
Note: This article has been a few weeks late. First it was writer’s block, then general busyness, then laziness. It seems to be that the most important things to write about are the things I put off most.
Growing up, my mom always used to say, ‘Whatever you do, don’t become a teacher.’
The Wall in the North
On the second day, we woke up early to catch a bus to The Great Wall of China. A modern wonder of the world, The Great Wall of China rested atop my list of things that I needed to see during my time in China. I was definitely most excited about this trip, so I arose at 5 in the morning with no problem.
With a year in China, you must pick and choose your experiences. Why?
Well, because China is big. Like really big.
Act 1- Complete
Weathering the initial storm required flexibility, resourcefulness, peers, and more than a little luck.
The past couple of weeks have been pretty hectic, as I spent my time taking my TEFL certificate training with my company. For those who don’t know (I certainly didn’t until I arrived in Shanghai), TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and taking the certification course means that I’ll be officially licensed as a ESL teacher. While usually a pretty costly course, EF (my company) covered it for me, for which I’m grateful. It’s a great opportunity to leave this journey with something tactile like a certification which might open doors for me in the future.
Last week marked the end of my company’s summer course session, meaning that we all got a week off. Having five days to unwind, explore, and familiarize myself with more of Shanghai was a great opportunity to take advantage of.
Let’s talk goals.