After ten months of traveling I began to feel a bit jaded. This was something that I hadn't experienced during my travels. I think it was an accumulation of things that led me to feel this way:
- The redundancy of temples, palaces, markets, etc, began to feel repetitive, and I began to feel bored and unimpressed. I simply wasn't getting excited to see any of Beijing's tourist attractions (excluding the Great Wall, of course).
- With the exception of a few vagabonds, I wasn't experiencing any sort of connection with the backpackers I was meeting throughout China. Back when I was in Southeast Asia, it seemed that I couldn't go a day without meeting someone really interesting. However, the type of people I was meeting in China weren't my cup of tea, sort of speak. These exceptional people I met, however, were: Matthew and Ashely, two young guys from the Wales who I'd met in Shanghai (I loved their spirit and thirst for adventure); Jenny, a Chinese woman and aspiring vagabond who I'd met in Xi'an; and Soerish, a Dutchman who I'd met in Beijing. Soerish accompanied me to the Summer Palace, a once summer resort for the emperors in Beijing. He was an interesting guy whose conversations I thoroughly enjoyed as we strolled around the enormous palace.
- I wasn't too fond of the culture in China. The constant spitting, picking of the nose, the yelling and shoving, etc., was all getting old - and fast.
- However the ultimate reason I was feeling the way I was may have been because, in reality, I simply wanted to be somewhere else . . . I wanted to be back in the Philippines with Sheila, where I would be returning in three weeks.
It's hard to fully enjoy yourself when your heart is somewhere else, I suppose. Don't get me wrong, I had my share of great experiences in China. I want to make that clear. I have no regrets visiting this country, none at all. In fact, I would love to return to China. Because honestly, one month in China just isn't enough. Someone recently commented on one of my previous blogs. He said, "[China] is a great country, but you have to understand the rules . . . takes 3 months . . . everyone who stays longer likes China, everyone else not."
I have yet to begun to scratch the surface of this vast, intricate and complex country.
So Farewell, China. Until next time . . .
Next Stop: South Korea