China, Travel

When do I stop talking about China?

I’ve been pondering this question for a few days now, when do I stop bringing up China? Not here on the blog, although I plan to start sharing some non-Chinese related travel, like I did with Straddie and the Atherton Tablelands, but I mean in everyday conversation. We’ve been back from China for about three months and we’re starting to see our friends on a more regular basis. When we first got back, there was excitement over seeing each other after a long absence and the expected questions about what life had been like abroad.  However, I now find myself pausing before mentioning China wondering if I should bring it up.

Apt. view

The view from our apartment on the 13th floor

For us, China was a transcendent event, that changed our lives. A lifelong goal realized. Having lived abroad we look at life so much differently now (I think I’ll dedicate a whole post to the change in outlook instead of shoehorning it in here). We had some incredible experiences trying to fit into a new culture and a new way of life, but do our friends care. Oh, I know they care because they’re our friends and that’s what friends do, but they must get tired of hearing China out of my mouth, right? Or am I completely off base here.

Another more ambiguous example is that we’re back in our small rural hometown and I’ve run into quite a few of my high school classmates that I haven’t talked to in over 10 years. Everytime I do I find myself asking, do I mention China to them in what is essentially a passing conversation? Do I have time for what is sure to be quite a few follow up questions? Is mentioning it some sort of weird humblebrag or is me thinking that it is some conceit on my part. Now I’ve wondered into the land of noted psychologist Albert Ellis and to paraphrase him “I’m  thinking about thinking about my thinking.”

Temple

Temple in Guangzhou

Lake district

Liwan Lake Park in Guangzhou

So that’s where I’m at in my life adjusting to being back home seeking a feeling of acceptance. Luckily I have this blog so I can share all my experiences here with you, whoever you are.

Walkway view

View from a walking path in Taojin

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9 thoughts on “When do I stop talking about China?

  1. I can so relate to you! Actually, this is why I started my blog! Hehee 😄 Because I could tell my friends were just listening to my travel stories ja looking at my travel photos out of politeness and I wanted to find an audience that was genuinely interested. It felt important for me to express the amazing things I’d experienced and not just suppress them

  2. It is an interesting dilemma. There’s a certain frustration that words in the end just words and no matter how picturesque your speech may be, most won’t really know what you’re going on about. I sometimes have a similar but opposite problem – I don’t know where to start so rarely bother unless asked for specifics. I remember a friend of ours, who incidentally had been to China and could speak Chinese, asked me: “So tell me about China,” and I didn’t really know what to say. It’s like a past complicated relationship. Or a spiritual experience. I’d usually just say something like “It’s a whole different world,” and leave it at that.

    It might be quite “ordinary” but of all your pictures it’s the last one on Taojin that takes me back.

    • I find myself feeling the same what with not knowing where to start. Especially when it’s a vague question like that. I gve the almost exact answer too.

  3. I can completely relate. China is a HUGE country. You could spend you whole life traveling there and it wouldn’t be enough. There are so many interesting things in this country, you just want to share it with your friends :p
    I have personally been studying chinese and have been to quite a few places, but it feels like I’ve barely scratched the surface.

    Seriously, your photos are fantastic, I hope you do not stop writing about China. In case you haven’t been there, I highly recommend you go to Huangshan in Anhui province (you can go by train from Shanghai). It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen, and probably the most beautiful place I’ll see in my life.

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