Moving to China: Was I afraid?

Today I’m bringing back an old post from Summer 2010.

As I’m already waiting for my trip to Finland in January 2014, I’ve been thinking a lot of those weeks surrounding my move to China. How scared I was that my dream was coming true!

For all of you dreaming of moving to China or already packing your bags, it’s totally ok to be afraid. Just take it one step at the time. I haven’t regretted a day.

19th June 2010:

It was two weeks before flying to China. I felt that I don’t want to go and wrote to my diary:

Yesterday I had the farewell party and it was lovely to meet all my friends. Again I have the feeling that I don’t have the courage to go. I hope this feeling will change to excitement.

Just before I reach my goal I feel scared. Is this really what I want? Will everything go well? What if I made the wrong decision?

But when I got on the plane I felt excited. My dream was happening right then! It felt incredibly amazing when I realized that it wasn’t a distant hope anymore but a life I was living. I also learned how important it is to have big dreams, work to make them happen and then remember to enjoy when it is happening.

But it wasn’t that easy. My first night in Beijing wasn’t quite what I had expected. I wrote to my diary:

I’m feeling afraid again. I’m in my safe hotel room and it feels like a huge task to go outside. But I just should go so I would get something to eat as well. I wish I would have a friend with me here to give me courage. It makes me really annoyed to be this scared.

Finally I decided what time I go and then I went. It wasn’t that scary or difficult. Sure I spend too much money on food because forget to bargain and felt bad afterwards. But I did it. I went out all by my self, to a city that was huge and strange. I overcame my first difficulty but of course it wasn’t the last one.

At that time I still believed that some parts of China were more real than others. So in order to see more I went to Pingyao, which is still a tourist town. I arrived there on an early morning when everything was dark. I paid way too much for taxi in order to get to my hostel as soon as possible. But my experience with “true China” wasn’t that sweet.

I’m feeling cold all the time. I want to leave this place. Tomorrow I will go to withdraw money and buy a train ticket. I could even take a standing ticket if I just can go. I feel sad and lonely. I hate traveling alone! I want to go somewhere warm. I’m almost crying. I could never live in a place that in the winter time you have to wear your jacket indoors as well. I should be happy to see this part of China but it’s not easy. I don’t know how I dare to take a shower.

That evening alone in my cold room I felt like crap. But after that it became easier day by day. I learned how to travel and use the small Chinese vocabulary I had at that time. I was brave and convinced my self that I can take care of my self. That was one of the goals for my five-week trip.

So oh yes I was afraid. But now when months have passed by I’m not afraid to tell everyone. It is ok to be afraid but don’t let that fear to change your plans or take over. I think coming to China have been the most important turn in my life so far.