I left MSP August 8. One or two days later, I was making small talk with a French dorm-mate in Beijing. She asked the usual questions, “When did you get here?” and “How long is your trip?”
I replied, “Today is my second day of a year-long trip.” It was a laughable statement. That moment felt crazy, daunting, comical and exciting. I am still amazed at my reality and am enjoying the moments.
A month in, the most used items in my pack are a bandana, face mask, and power strip. The bandana is my constant companion for wiping sweat on these 90 degree days. It is socially acceptable to whip out a cloth and wipe down your face in China. It’s a totally faux feeling, but using this bandana makes me think I fit in better with the people around me. Related, I have never valued shade as much as I do in China.
The facemask is ideal for blocking light and feeling a little further away from dorm-mates, train companions, or airplane seat-mates who are never more than 4 feet from me when I sleep.
Outlets are limited and even if they were abundant, I only have one adapter. Using my power strip allows me to charge 4 electronics at once. I only have 5 items requiring charging so it is an efficient set-up.
During this Year of Sarah Joy I am using the iPhone application 1SE. Every day I record moments on my phone for projects about food, places, and people. In the app. I edit the clips and paste them into a story board. Then, 1SE stitches together each day’s clip creating a short video. This NYT article offers a great example of someone else’s 1SE montage.
I miss many people at home and have also had the opportunity to meet fabulous people this month. Here is the in-progress 1SE video of the people in my life this past month. Plus, a few photos below of the people I’ve met on the road.
Thanks for your enthusiasm and support.