beijing photo diary. part 3.

 The Circular Mound Altar at the Temple of Heaven | Uncharacteristically Beijing on the walk from Tiananmen Square to Wangfujing | Like something out of a movie at the Summer Palace | Not fitting the mould of the ideal girl at 798 Art District | It's no beach, but at least Peking University has a lake | The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests | Blue skies at Tiananmen Square | Made a beary good friend at the Beijing Zoo | Mulan successfully saving China. Mission accomplished

It's been two weeks since I've returned from the land of cheap oily street food, hot sticky days, a functioning public transport system, dumplings, bikes, squat toilets and the like, and I'm still yearning for the exchange student life which now seems like a distant memory. I didn't think I'd like Beijing as much as I did and I could definitely have stayed there for a month or two more (the lower cost of living is a huge bonus) if I didn't miss my family, friends, healthy clean food and a stable income. It's a little disappointing how quickly you can lose your language groove when you're back in an English speaking country without that constant contact to the language and the culture. I actually miss speaking in Mandarin and I've almost slipped up a few times when ordering food or speaking to sales assistants. 

It's been a real eye-opening experience, helping me reconnect with my roots/ the true motherland and sparked my interest in continuing to learn the language. I have plans to go back next year for a more intensive Summer program (ours was a little cushy - we didn't even get marks for our final exams). I found a side of myself that would never have come out in Sydney, I realised how fulfilling travelling solo can be, although not completely safe, and that I can look after myself just fine. It's all I had hoped for in this trip and so much more. I'll be back for you China. Hopefully next year with a slightly less Australian accent and a larger word bank.  


  1. I'm so jealous that you were brave enough to travel to another country solo. It's something that I've always wanted to do but ... don't have the balls too :(

    x karen

    1. I did have others with me (I didn't know them to start with) and I eventually learnt to appreciate their company but I did all the sightseeing on my own because I didn't want anyone to 'hold me back' so to speak. It worked out quite well because I got way more done than anyone else on the trip because of it!