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New Explorations

Greetings from Shanghai, the place I currently call home. The people are friendly, the food is delicious, and the air is mostly breathable. So far I’m a few weeks into my around-the world travels and I’ve already been to 4 islands and two countries (not counting Black Rock City, the foreign land where I started this journey), and obtained a SCUBA certification against all painful protests my ears and legs may have made.

There are a few things I like to focus on while traveling, and it’s not always easy to balance all of them. Seeing all of the amazing things each place has to offer, blending into the locals’ daily activities, meeting great new people, and learning new things from experienced people tends to take up all of my time. While the unique and crazy things about each place should always be explored, it’s important to see what actual daily life is like, away from anyone who may run up and try to sell you something.

I’ve been traveling to places where I only know a few words of the local language, so my new friendships have been limited to English speakers. This has in no way limited the countries they are from, however. I now know people well from Thailand, China, England, France, Kazakhstan, Russia, and countless Germans. (They really like traveling Asia, apparently.) I did get to help out a Japanese family at the Chinese Metro who were having problems talking to the ticket agent, so some foreign language is coming in useful. Once I regain use of Facebook, I will keep the conversations with my new friends going.

Perhaps the trickiest and most time consuming part is always learning new skills that will open up new adventures in the future. In Thailand, I was finally SCUBA certified, years after my first dive. In China, I’ve been learning magic from a pair of English twins. (I’ve been practicing with cards until my hands are sore, and it still amazes me when it works.) In the near future, I’m planning on getting bartending certification and a motorcycle license, as well as becoming fluent in Japanese. I suspect there will be other things in there, but each of these excites me enough to wonder how I’m going to practice any of them enough to stay skilled. Once thing travel gives you, however, is time to practice, and each of these skills should give me even more opportunities to travel and find adventure.

My next adventure? Visiting the city I just moved from and seeing my parents for the last time before I have a new little sister. I have several plane tickets booked after that, but we’ll see where adventure takes me.

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