The Great Wall, Jinshanling, Wall, China, Asia, Beijing, Getting to, Directions, How to get there, Travel, Traveler, Solo Travel, Black, Blog, Blogger

My Favorite Things to Do in Beijing

THIS WAS THE TRIP I LOOKED FORWARD TO THE LEAST. Each time I even uttered the name Beijing, other travelers would gasp and caution me to spend the least time possible in China’s capital city. They warned me about the pollution, the dirt, and the crowds of people. Fortunately, my experience proved them wrong (well..partly…

Yangshuo, China, Asia, South, Directions, Getting to, Getting there, Yulong River Tour, Guilin, hiking, food,travel,blog,female,solo,trip,backpacker,backpack,where to go

Weekend in the Unforgettable Yangshuo

After traveling through several large Chinese cities, I thought I had seen enough of China. I was overwhelmed (and partly underwhelmed) by the pollution, crowded subways, and huge shopping centers stocked with knock-offs which are characteristic of many Chinese cities. Once I stepped foot in Yangshuo, I completely changed my mind. There is so much…

Meizhou, Hakka, China, Guandong, South, Language, Culture, Ancient, Mountain Wife, Child Bride, Travel, Blog, Black, Blogger, Museum, Tourist, Learn, Get-Away, Round House, Roundhouse, Earthen, China, Chinese

A Glimpse of Ancient China

I NEEDED A BREAK from the tall skyscrapers, the multiple Starbucks on every corner, and the jam-packed subways that is Shenzhen, China. When my school’s principal offered to take me to visit his hometown in Meizhou, I jumped at the opportunity. Meizhou, a city which still doesn’t have traffic lights at every intersection, is the…

Shenzhen, Parks, China, Travel, Haishan, Yantian

Shenzhen Parks: Haishan Park

I REMEMBER TRYING TO IMAGINE WHAT CHINA WOULD LOOK LIKE ON MY 15 HOUR FLIGHT FROM TORONTO TO HONG KONG. I imagined Chinese villages with ancient ceremonies. I mentally compiled every Asian anime I’ve ever watched, and conjured images of vast valleys, forests, and bright celebrations. I even shuddered as I thought about crowds of people…

Christmas, teaching, China, Primary,

How First Graders Transformed the Grinch

I THOUGHT I HAD THE PERFECT REMEDY FOR HOMESICKNESS. Rather than focusing on what I don’t have, I entirely invest myself in my new world that is Shenzhen, China. This mindset has helped me to embrace my place and yield more than I could ever imagine from every situation. Yet, as the first Christmas season…

Wutong Mountain, Shenzhen, Yantian, Luohu, China, Travel, Hiking

Wutong Mountain

I DIDN’T THINK THIS ONE ALL THE WAY THROUGH. After my hiking debut on Bei Shan, or North Mountain, I was convicted with this sense that I had to conquer Wutong Mountain. Wutong, with its highest peak at 943 meters, is Shenzhen’s tallest mountain. Nothing could stop me from climbing this peak. My hiking buddy…

Hiking, North Mountain, Bei Shan, China, Travel

Hiking North Mountain

THERE WEREN’T MANY MOUNTAINS FOR ME TO CLIMB GROWING UP IN WASHINGTON D.C. I tried to explain this to my fellow teacher when I told her I had never been hiking. She immediately wanted me to climb Wutong mountain—the highest mountain in Shenzhen. “Absolutely not,” I responded. She consented to trekking up North Mountain with me…

Central China Normal University, China, Ethnic Literature Conference

African-American Studies in China

I WAS SHOCKED as I sat among a room of Chinese students intently reading, listening, and discussing lectures on African-American studies. I was given the outstanding opportunity to attend the 2nd International Symposium on Ethnic Literature hosted at Central China Normal University of Wuhan. In just two days, my ideas on how the Chinese perceived…

Embrace, Your, Place, Motivate, Soul-Searching, Journey

Embrace Your Place

I CRIED FOR TWO DAYS when I found that my teaching placement was in Yantian, one of the seven districts of Shenzhen. As the mature young woman I am, I called my mom to complain. “I’m stuck by the beaches, and I’m far out from everything,” I cried. “You’re stuck by the beach?” she asked.…