On The Great Wall (Nadine in China)

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“Not all those who wander are lost.” I posted this picture with that caption on Facebook while in China and I cannot hold the words anywhere but close to my heart. I cannot explain the feelings I had when reaching the top of my long journey up the Great Wall of China. The world just seemed so large and I just seemed so small. One of my favorite things about the world is mountains, and I also for some reason really enjoy cloudy days. The day we went to the top of the mountain it was very gray and cloudy and the fog was filling the air. I looked around me and was immersed by clouds and trees and I could not help but feel so miniscule in the grand scheme of life. From that moment I just realized that traveling was for me. Understanding the world and all it has to offer was not much of an option when you’re kid; until you’re in college it is unlikely to tell your parents that you want to travel half way across the world. But when I stepped on the top of that wall I realized that something in me changed and so many doors were opening. I started making plans to bring my parents back to the wall; I wanted people to feel the feelings I had from the top. I wanted to conquer the world and do big things and I wanted to mark the earth like the wall marked me. I cannot really explain to you the Great Wall of China because it is something you just have to experience and it was even better because I felt so peaceful and sleepy in the grayness of the day. The earth was enveloping me and I was in love with the very thing we often take for granted- nature. Take a moment to think about the wall and to think there was a time and a day with no machines where people with their hands made such a master piece. I complain about organic chemistry and calculus, but there were people who endured the pain and hard work of putting together a wall that did not just save China, but also saved me. Before I went to China I was struggling a lot internally. I had conflicting views about myself, my future, and my aspirations- but I kid you not on the top of that mountain I thought about only two things- my parents and my future. The wall was some sort of boost in me and some sort of catalyzer for me to do huge things in this world. I was motivated and empowered and I take the wall with me everywhere I go. I want to go back one day and remember the feelings; I want to go back and feel so renewed and refreshed and I want to share this piece of my life with my parents one day. I hope you all get a chance to visit the Great Wall of China, because it was honestly something that made me who I am today and I hope you all have a place or feeling like I get when I look at this picture.

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