from Chinatown to China

I came to London because London was calling. I stayed because I love it. I'm leaving because it's time for the next adventure. Every time I have previously sat down to write about that next adventure, what comes out seems platitudinous. It's always so cliche--to write about traveling and life and the metaphors that seem to exist within each. 

I've been away from the U.S. for over a month now, and the larger portion of that time has been spent in London. A city that is so intricately woven into stories from my childhood. A city that I have had the luck of falling in love with time and time again in my adulthood. 

The whole time I've been dabbling in London and Europe this time around, I've been preparing for the next big move: back to Asia. Specifically, China. Which is still something I don't know how to articulate my feelings about. 

All I know is that soon I'll no longer be wandering around London's {somewhat sad excuse for a} Chinatown.

I'll be in China. The real deal. 

It won't be like Laos, where I knew what I was getting myself into for the most part. It's going to be it's own beast. Where I'll be living specifically is void of a large expat community. But if expats are what I wanted, I would have taken the job in Seoul, aye? 

In the span of a few years, which has felt more like a few days, the trajectory of my life has changed dramatically...

and repeatedly.

I was recently talking with a friend who said," We always think moving to the next place will create a big change in life, but it never does what we think it will." Every time I've gone and moved somewhere, I've known change was inevitable, but it never happened like I would have guessed. It happened bigger or better or quicker! 

That's why I picked China. Because I know change will happen as it does with any big move, but this time I don't have any kind of estimation about what kind of change or what size the change will be. I'm going into it without a clue.

Just a thirst for adventure and a need to try something different. 

As for plans once I'm in China, I have none and also many. I'd like to hike the Great Wall, since I'll be "nearby" anyway, right? But, as I've said before, I don't have any real idea where to start in China. And I'm sort of thrilled by that. Recommendations are always welcome! 

While in China, I'll be in close enough proximity to India and Mongolia {places high on my 'Bucket List'} that visits are in order. I would like to re-visit Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan because repeats aren't the bad guys they're made out to be. The Philippines and I have yet to build a relationship. I'm still saving and scheming to hike Mount Kilimanjaro with my friends in 2019 {that's 2-years away, so basically 20 in Tara time}. While on the yet-to-be-explored-by-me continent of Africa, I'd like to see South Africa, Uganda, Malawi, the Seychelles, and Madagascar. And, hey, there are still a few bullet points on my Central and South America list that I'd like to knock off.

It's a big world, and I'd like to experience most all of it.

But, first, I have to get from Chinatown to China.