all my bags are packed, I’m ready to go

8 Feb

In a little more than 12 hours, I will be boarding a Delta flight to Shanghai.  When I decided to start this blog, I promised myself that I would begin by trying to chronicle the process of arrival.

As I’ve prepared for this move, I’ve spent hours reading the blogs of those who have gone before me.  When I find a new blogger, I always start by searching backwards for any entries centering on their move to Asia…and, often, I don’t find any.  I want to know what someone thought when they first saw their apartment, or when they first met their coworkers.  What was their first impression of their new city?

Of course, I’m plenty interested in reading about what it’s like to run a kindergarten class 3 months in, or what people think about China as their journey comes to a close.  But as my departure draws closer, I find I’m much more interested in what they thought when they first got there.  I suppose it’s because I want to feel prepared, and the most pressing, impending aspect of this experience is one that I cannot prepare for–the transition.  Will my new job/apartment/life meet my expectations, or will I be disappointed?  How drastic will the adjustment period be?  Will it be hard on me?

I’ve been dying to know the answers to these questions, but I can’t know; I can only guess.  And so I’ve wanted to hear from others who have done it.  I’ve wanted to cobble together a prediction.

Of course, now it’s my turn.

So.  I’m leaving tomorrow for Shanghai.  I’ll be spending a week there before I am shipped off to Jiujiang City, which is where I’ll be living and working.  Right now, I’m surprised by how calm I am.  Granted, I’ve been bouncing off the walls a bit this evening…but it’s nervous energy rather than panic.  I’m anxious about my luggage weighing too much, and about the 15 hour plane ride.  I’m anxious about the job; I’m not worried that I won’t be able to do it well, instead I’m focused on being hopeful that I’ll enjoy it.  I’m anticipating missing my dog and my family, pretty much in that order.  (I’ve certainly been away from family for longer than 5 months at a time in the past–the same is not true of Igor.)

I’m also excited.  The next time I post, I’ll be in China.

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