Final Thoughts

The night before leaving for Beijing, my final destination in China, I met an Austrian traveler walking around the city-wall of Xi’an. It was a rainy evening, but we quickly got caught up in a conversation about our life-paths up until this point. After hearing my story, the guy suggested that after I finish my internship I should take a day/night to reflect on my summer while camping on the Great Wall of China. He shared his experience, and before he even finished, I was sold.

A few locals that agreed to help

There was no specific plan, just a bit of research on the outdated/banned Google. A few days later, I got onto a public bus towards a village near the Great Wall. Initially, the ride there, with all the transfers, was supposed to take about 5 hours. Yet, since nothing really went according to the plan this summer, I got very-very lost at least 3 times. Thinking back on it, for some reason I never doubted reaching the destination. Somehow, after initiating conversations, there was always someone willing to help or at least point me in the right direction. The sun was long set when I finally reached the desired location. Throughout the night, I had plenty of time to reflect on my summer experience. I woke up with the sunrise and spent another 5 hours in peaceful solitude walking along the Great Wall.

5 hour long hike along the Great Wall

 

This summer was incredible for many reasons. First and foremost, the Davidson in East Asia program provided me with an opportunity to explore the world. I have had a chance to travel a little before coming to Davidson, however, after spending 3 years in exploration of different perspectives through various disciplines, the travel aspect of this summer was especially rewarding. Furthermore, because of my pursuit for a double major, I was unable to go through the popular study abroad experience. While finding an internship in a completely foreign environment was a challenge, I am grateful for this opportunity and the assistance I received throughout the process. It is one thing to go half across the world just to explore, but it is a whole different adventure when you are able to immerse yourself through work experience. All in all, this was an experience of a lifetime, and I would like to thank everyone who was a part of this experience with me!

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