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Reflecting on the Silk Road trip

By Lina Lee

Now, you must be wondering what the Silk Road trip is. The Silk Road is a historical trade route between China and Eastern Europe where Chinese silk made up a significant part of the trade. The route ran along many different cities in China and the middle east but since The Beijing Center planned this trip for two weeks, we got to visit a few of them and experienced the vibrant cultures each had to offer. The Silk Road trip was an incredible adventure that I will forever cherish in my heart. I had the opportunity of discovering many cultures, places and people. The amount of new discoveries I got the chance to experience is innumerable and this trip allowed me to see China from a different angle. The most fascinating encounter for me was the Uyghur people who are Turkic-speaking living mostly in northwestern China. When we were in Turpan, a Uyghur family welcomed us to lunch with succulent dishes, oriental music and dancing. I will never forget the barbecued mutton skewers and the juicy baby grapes the area is known for. As a traveler myself, I would have never planned on visiting these areas because they were unknown to me but thanks to TBC, my love for Chinese cultures and heritages has grown even bigger. The Silk Road trip has confirmed my doubts on studying abroad in China. I am an international student myself and leaving home is always challenging and choosing your destination is even a harder decision to make – Am I going to like it there? Am I going to make friends and do well in my classes? There are so many questions and fear of the unknown. Thankfully, my sister who is also studying abroad in China with me has made the transition much smoother. Being on this trip, meeting new people and making friends along the way has solidified my study abroad choice. The TBC staff members are also incredible and have made this trip an unforgettable one. It’s always comforting to have Bill Feng, the trip leader, come up to you with a huge smile and a good morning or his constant request for group pictures in which he smiles while taking the picture. Also, there’s Father Gene who’s always ready to give more insight into the places, the people and the food! Let’s not forget Nick Poche, the Dean of Students, always eager to share his snacks on train rides. I think the people I got to know on this trip made my Silk Road trip experience the most memorable one I had so far. I didn’t want to accept the fact that the trip has ended when we got back to campus because I wanted it to go on but since everything has to come to an end, I mentally prepared myself for the start of classes. It took me a whole day in bed to do so. Who knows how much sleep I’m going to get once exams and papers are due? Might as well catch up with some sleep when I can. The Silk Road Trip has been a very enlightening introduction to my semester in China and it’s all thanks to the amazing TBC staff that made this trip possible