The Best Laid Plans

The Best Laid Plans

I’ve had a bit of a change in plans, I’m still in China, just not in the city I thought I would be living in. I’ve been in China for a little over three weeks now and I started this blog, because my grandma said to, and who can say no to their grandma?

I came to China though a program called Greenheart Travel, along with four other teachers. Greenheart works with a partner company in China called BEIT, who found placements for all of us. About a month before I left for China, I got an email saying that I would be living and working in Jinjiang, a large, costal city in the Fujian Provence. We got to pick our top three choices and this was my second choice. I was stoked that I got one of my picks and I began to get excited about my new home. The proximity to the coast and the warm, San Diego like climate were the biggest attractions.

During the orientation in Beijing, Scarlett, our main contact at BEIT, talked to each of us about where we were going. When she got to me she started talking about Yichang. I looked at her, confused, and asked what had happened to Jinjiang, my warm costal city. Apparently the school in Yichang, which I did not apply to, had requested me to come there. Scarlett went on to say that it was my choice and I could still go to Jinjiang if I wanted to. As you can imagine this took me by surprise, so I said that I would think about it overnight. She smiled and told me that the schools really needed an answer and she needed to arrange my train tickets as soon as possible. While I sat there, trying to decide what to do I was reminded of my time in Germany and my unplanned migration from Berlin to Munich. Nothing went the way I planned but it was a fantastic, adventure filled trip and this new offer was tugging at my sense of adventure. But what if it is cold in Yichang? I was counting on warm…then Scarlett told me that Yichang had nicer accommodations AND to lure me away from Jinjiang, they were offering a small travel stipend to use during national holidays. I took the bribe and accepted the offer in Yichang. Yes, I did it for the money. Later that evening I told my mother, via Skype, that I had a change of plans. She responded with a heavy sigh and a “Well, of course YOU do.”  She knows me so well.

Once again my plans have gone out the window. Two days later, I boarded a train bound for  Yichang, and Lucas, another Greenheart teacher who snatched up my abandoned placement, jetted off to Jinjiang.

So that is how I ended up here in Yichang, curled up on my couch in my very comfortable apartment. I’ve been here just over three weeks and I am very happy with my spontaneous change of plans. the province I am living in is called Hubei, it is known for sub tropical weather and spicy food, what’s not to like?

I have to admit, when Lucas decided to take the Jinjiang placement, I felt a twinge of jealousy. Maybe I could still change my mind? I mean sure I gave it up and tossed it aside after Yichang bribed me away, but it was mine first! I was feeling a bit uneasy with my rash decision, committing to a new school in a city, that up until thirty minutes ago, I had never heard of before.  I soon got over my misgivings, fully embraced my change of fates, and wished the best of luck to Lucas. I’ve learned it is best to embrace changes and to focus on the experiences you have, not on what you might have missed out on had you taken a different route.

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