In my first 28 hours of international travel, I got into a fight with a customs agent in Shanghai, cried on a bus in Kunming, threw up in an airplane bathroom somewhere over China because I ate some sort of Chinese airplane food that my body was NOT ready for, and encountered the horror that is jet lag for the first time in my life.
Except…stepping through the front doors of the Sydney airport, I felt crazy happy. And crazy tired. And crazy alive.
Believe me, I’m already well aware that this journey of mine is not going to be all sunshine and rainbows and cute koala bears. I’ve already cried more times in the last few days than I have in the last few years (this includes that highly embarrassing Kunming incident – I mean, good lord, there’s little that feels more like an emotional rock bottom than than sobbing while packed like sardines in a bus without air conditioning filled with approximately 95 of your closest Chinese friends who are looking at you like you’re their own version of a nightmare after spending 14 hours on a plane together).
But god, was it worth it. It was worth Kunming. It was worth the fight with the customs agent in Shanghai (an argument, if I may add, in which I was 100% correct but do not recommend to literally any human ever, unless you like the thrill of thinking you may be thrown in a Chinese prison forever). I don’t think anything is worth what that horrifying airplane food did to my stomach for 48 hours, but…noted: just don’t eat the airplane food next time.
So. Worth. It.
This place is beautiful. It looks beautiful. It sounds beautiful. It smells beautiful. I can’t wait to explore. Even if I can’t explore much, in one night what I’ve seen is every piece of beautiful I wanted to find on this entire adventure.
So I suppose that’s my real first lesson here. And I guess it mirrors what life has been trying to teach me for years now, I’ve just refused to take the time to pay attention.
Deplaurable Lesson #1: There’s going to be a lot of ugly, scary, gross things that happen in life, but if you just white-knuckle your way through it, eventually there’s bound to be something beautiful on the other side.