This is where travel and education collide.
Hi, I’m Addie.
As you will see, I’m a teacher with an inconsolable longing for far-off countries; as such, my blog’s purpose is two fold: to archive my cultural travels and to share best teaching practices in higher education. Find something to read and drop a comment!
With love for writing,
In early October, I traveled to the quiet village of Kulun Yinshawan, located in northeastern China. Although the name is deceiving, Inner Mongolia is actually in China. It’s the region which includes most of the length of China’s border with Mongolia.
College instructors have the best jobs, but the idea that it’s the perfect job is a myth. It’s not all cargo shorts and Birkenstocks. No. It can be quite stressful. An instructor’s time is spent doing a heavy mix of grading essays, teaching lectures, creating lessons, working with students, and working in committees. It’s all part of the job.
As much as I didn’t want to write another blog post about COVID-19, I feel like this was too good not to share.
My phone buzzed in my jacket pocket. It’s mom. She’s wondering if I heard about this new virus that’s spreading in China. Wear a mask and be careful, she wrote. I replied with a masked selfie while boarding my flight in Dalian, hoping it would lessen her concern. Deep inside, I was relieved to be headed home to the states. My phone continued to vibrate from dozens of expat friends reminding me: Wash your hands thoroughly. Wear a mask. Stay away from livestock. What I didn’t know was that a day later, the epidemic would blow up.
China is my do-over. It’s my “let’s get it right this time.”
My first day was absolutely unforgiving. Like, pack my bags, fire up the taxi, I’m going back home–rough. Yeah. I can laugh it off now because I’ve fully recovered, but it didn’t help that I missed my connecting flight in Beijing because of a six hour layover in Dallas. That part wasn’t even that bad. It was when I was stranded in Beijing airport unable to connect to WiFi that things took a nose dive. I couldn’t contact my employers to find out what to do next. I couldn’t book another ticket without internet. I couldn’t understand broken English from kind but incomprehensible Chinese speakers. Finally, after three hours of sweating through my shirt, a kind Chinese-American lady who recognized me from our Dallas flight asked if I needed help. God bless her. She lent me her phone to make arrangements with LNU-MSU. Whew! When I arrived in Dalian, it was 2 a.m. My body died in bed that night. I couldn’t bear anymore after the +24 hour journey.
I will admit it: I never thought I’d move to China.
If you dream of bobbing in the Dead Sea, hiking in Petra, shopping in Dubai, or savoring the history in Tel Aviv, then you’re not alone. Perhaps the Middle East has piqued your interest. If so, you’re better off picking up a few helpful yet simple Arabic words to make your travels easier. And you don’t even have to be a lover of language to pronounce these 20 new words.
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