Shanghai Life Lately!

Well folks, life is back to my normal non-tour guide self. I would say it’s less busy…but it’s not, it’s just more routine than bopping around Shanghai. The next day after I sent my mom back home, my friend Josie from Germany stopped by on a layover to Australia! I showed her a quick glimpse of Shanghai and we sat around the Starbucks reserve reminiscing about our days in Malaysia. Can’t believe it’s been six years since we lived there!

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Sheryl in Shanghai Part I

Well, this is one of the first few extended moments I’ve had to sit down and do some writing on what I’ve been up to since my mom arrived last week! It’s really been a whirlwind and I give her major props for keeping up the the crazy long days and excursions I’ve planned. I met my mom at the airport, shuttled her back to my apartment and told her to pack for the next day! What a trooper. I wonder where I get my go go go attitude and lifestyle…..for those of you that don’t know me that’s a joke. I got it from my mom, the original energizer bunny.

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Beautiful Beijing Part II

This was by far my favorite part of the trip and an experience I will treasure for some time to come! It was so special! I’ve been to other parts of the Great Wall and this one was the most special. Not to mention that it was lightly snowing with ominous clouds that added to the beautiful morning. You take the cable car up the wall and can walk the section before either taking a chairlift down or as we opted, a toboggan! I really enjoyed this day so much and it’s part of what makes Beijing and China so special.

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Beautiful Beijing Part I

Happy Chinese New Year! For three days of my break, I went to Beijing with two friends and had a great time in the freezing cold! We visited all the tourist spots, had delicious food and the highlight was going to the Great Wall! I have been to different sections of the wall and this without doubt the best one so far! Loved it. This post is broken into three parts because even though I was only there for three days, a lot happened!

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The New and Latest from Shanghai

Life lately has been a lot of the same with teaching and my daily routines here. There is something so lovely about a routine! My semester is wrapping up before Chinese New Year. I will have two intensive sessions in February before the new semester starts in March. I am so proud of all my students and every single one of them has made so much progress in English and coming into their adorable personalities. Last week I was told that I am now a real chinese person because my hair is black. They are the funniest little humans. So here’s to the old, new and exciting plans for the future!

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Where Have I Been: Vietnam 2015

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“Adventure is worthwhile.”

– Aesop

As a break draws closer (Thanksgiving break can’t come soon enough!), I wanted to reflect on a trip that I took almost a year ago to Vietnam. I was hired as an adult adoptee mentor for a travel group that takes adoptees and their families back to their birth countries. As an adoptee myself who has gone back to China, it was a very moving experience where I learned a lot. While a large part of the trip didn’t go as I planned or expected, that’s part of life; learning to accept yourself, adapt to unexpected situations and learn from every experience.

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Looking Back: China and Inner Mongolia

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A trip that I will remember forever and had enormous impact on me was my trip to China in 2008. It was my first international trip without my family or friends from back home and really inspired my future travels and helped me reconnect back to the country I was born in and one of the many places in the world that I call home. I went on a three week trip throughout China and Inner Mongolia with four other Chinese Adoptees, a guide and a driver doing various activities…mostly having fun and exploring the country we were all born in. It was such an amazing trip and I feel so lucky that my mom trusted the universe enough to send me out there and let me learn from experience independently! Adoption is so special and I found some forever friends on this trip and cannot wait to go back! Hopefully ASAP!

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Trent C.

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While in Hanoi, Vietnam I had a morning off from work and decided to meander around the city and see where my feet took me with no conscious plans in mind other than writing and enjoying the day. My feet ended up taking me through the twisted streets of the Old Quarter and up a floor to the balcony of a vegan restaurant where I sat perched outside writing and drinking a blended green  juice. Wanting to capture the moment, I went back inside and asked the first person I saw (there were only four people there) if it would be okay if he took a picture for me. Here enters Trent. Trent was one of two bearded men in the restaurant (the other one was wearing plaid) and had he been there a moment too late or soon, I would have gone with the other lumberjack. I’m so glad Trent was there when he was. We soon discovered that we were one of the same and had kindred souls. I have never had a conversation with anyone ever where we immediately were thinking and conversing on the same wavelength. It was inspiring and a unicorn moment to say the least. After realising that Trent was a fascinating and compelling person after a hot minute, I asked if I could intentionally interview him.

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Walt J

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You know when someone shows up to Vietnam in cowboy boots, blue jeans, a leather hat and button down shirt, they are a Republican…I mean a character and are going to have great stories. That first impression remained true as I got to know Grandpa Walt the last two weeks traveling through Vietnam with him, his daughter and granddaughter who is adopted from Vietnam. Grandpa Walt is the kind of person that wakes up at six in the morning every day to go walking just because he can and would feel to stagnant if he wasn’t moving. Everyday he carried his go pro with him while photographing every moment with his other fancy camera. He sees life through a lense, literally and figuratively that is his own unique brand of Grandpa Walt.

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