When you study abroad, you need to make sure that you also make time to travel in your host country and, hopefully, the surrounding countries as well. Traveling is such a great way to educate yourself. You get to study the culture personally.
As I continued with my studies and made new friends, I was presented with the idea to travel with my friend, Feli. Feli, short for a German name that means happiness, invited me to explore more of China with her. She asked me to come along to see Xi’an.
Nĭ hăo! Wŏ jiào, Nasreen! Hello! I am called, Nasreen! Learning the language Mandarin is incredible! I cannot believe I have never thought to learn it, let alone come explore the Chinese world. But here I am.
After the Chinese New Year, my cousin and I had planned to travel to Taiwan. It was so cool to know that traveling in Asia, while in Asia, is extremely cheap and is a must if you’re planning to stay for a long period of time. This was the first time I’ve traveled without older adults in a foreign place. At least by now I am a pro at packing.
It has always been traditional for me to be at home on New Year’s. This year, I was in two homes for two New Year’s. When I came to China, I did not know that the Lunar New Year was fast approaching (just letting you know beforehand, Chinese New Year started in early February, not January 1).
I am known to be a loud and very smiley extrovert who loves to always see the positive side of things and make the best out of life for others and myself. I am Mexican-Iranian-American in America, but here in China, I am American. But that does not mean I forget who I truly am and what my heritage is while I study in Shanghai, China.
I started writing this on a United Airlines airplane, slowly realizing that I was heading to a new home with only five recognizable faces for the next six months. Things will be difficult – getting adjusted, learning the language, and figuring out Chinese culture. I did not know what to think, except to think about the faces of my loved ones back home. As I arrived in Shanghai, 14 hours later, I was immediately anxious to see China and my Chinese brothers and sisters.