Pre-Travel Musings(好夢難成)

Not much to say here other than its August already, which means that by the end of THIS month I’ll be in Taiwan. . .I’ve been anticipating NSLI-Y and Taiwan for months now, and it’s all finally starting to feel real.  I worked my last shift with my best friend, and I won’t see her again until a couple days before I leave; we had a “Family Trip” with my coworkers; and now I’m about to leave on a vacation with my own family, and will only be back for two weeks before I leave for New York!  Once I get back it will be time for pre-program language prep, packing, host-family assignments, and other last-minute preparations.  August truly does feel like the beginning of the end. . .

August is also the beginning of a new era.  I wonder who I’ll be in a year, after NSLI-Y as I prepare to head off for college.  Where will I really call home?

Right now, I can’t help but think of the phrase “好夢難成(hâomèng nánchéng)”, which means “a beautiful dream is hard to realize”, or that beautiful things require hard work and sacrifice.  I’ve talked a lot about my NSLI-Y dream, which obviously will require hard work; for sacrifices, I think the biggest one is giving up my last year at home with my parents.  I still can’t believe I’ll be turning 18 while abroad (and so will my friends!) and coming back “an adult”.

Even though NSLI-Y was always the right decision for me (I structured my whole high school career around a gap year like this!), it wasn’t necessarily an “easy” decision or process, and in this way 好夢難成 is not only a warning, but a reminder: that everything is worth it and will be beautiful in the end.  To my parents, friends, and family, I’m incredibly and eternally grateful for all the support I’ve received as I move forward with my life, and I’ll miss you all so much while I’m gone.

Let’s go on an adventure together! 讓我們一起探險吧!

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