The Blog of Jake Kelfer
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Holy shit I’m going to China. This is mind blowing to me. It took me getting to the airport to realize that I’m on a trip to China to elevate the world. Are you kidding me?
I never would’ve thought that when I released Elevate Beyond it would change the outcome of my life. Yeah, I thought it would help people and be cool to say I wrote a book but the fact that I’m traveling around the world to inspire a completely new culture is jaw dropping.
When I was writing my book my family encouraged me to do it. They didn’t knock me for being a year out of college. They supported me to write the best book I could and share the message with the world. As I was trying to figure out how to write a book, because I had no clue, my dad said you can plan all you want for the book but you’ll never know what can happen until you release it. Once the book is out there so many things will happen but none of those things can happen until you put yourself out there.
Well, 2 years later and I’m on a plane to China.
I think for a lot of us we get scared that people will reject us, and people will talk behind our backs. They'll make fun of us for trying to be different. They'll take advantage of our vulnerability. We want to put ourselves out there whether it be for a date, writing a book, playing sports, being a doctor or entrepreneur. I felt those feelings and the funny thing about it was when I put myself out there, all of it happened. People talked shit and people questioned my decisions. For me it’s hilarious because all my life I’ve gone against the grain to be the best I can be and only now did people think I wouldn’t make it. I’m nowhere near my best and I haven’t started reaching my peak, but I’m on the journey and it feels damn good.
There’s about 4 hours left on my flight as I’m writing this first piece to what I hope will be a great documentation of my trip to China. I’ve slept for 5 hours, watched Eddie the Eagle, smelled some awful people and I’m still a cross country flight away from being at my first stop of the trip.
There are moments in life where we feel compelled to create something. I really believe that we all have the signs. I just wish more people would seize the chance. I reread The Alchemist and in the book there are always signs and if you follow the signs it will lead you to finding your personal treasure but even more so it will help you fully experience the journey of life.
As I sit here I have no clue what the world is going to bring me, but I know that if I continue to pursue my definition of success and continue to love people, I’m going to have a hell of a journey.
Enough blabbering for me, it’s time to rest up and find a way to pass the time.
The rest of the ride was smooth and I started reading Living With a Seal by Jesse Itzler which is fantastic. When we landed though it was weird not being able to check social media or look at notifications. Part of the excitement for this trip is going to be breaking free from social media and embracing the culture.
Boarding the airplane to transfer to my next flight in China was a super neat and easy line whereas in America people rush constantly.
I'm nervous about food in China. How will I be able to communicate no dairy? How will I be able to make sure I eat things that I want? Slight concerns moving forward but general rule of thumb will be to see pictures and also to play it safe.
I head to baggage claim to get my bags and at this point I’m feeling good and excited. I go to turn on WiFi to communicate with the people picking me up (Austin and Phill) but I can’t connect. My first thought is uh oh how am I going to find two people I’ve never seen before and where am I going to meet them? This could be a long trip...
In my mind, though, I figure Austin and Phill will be able to spot me as I stick out like a sore thumb. As I start to head out I see two guys waving at me and I knew I had found Austin and Phill who would be my travel guides and partners while I’m here.
We got in the car and headed to the office and the whole way there we chatted basketball. By the time we got to the office it was lunch time and let me tell you, we ordered a ton of food. Of course I had no idea what was going on but Phill and Austin took the reins and it was a delicious meal.
Throughout the meal, we talked and talked and talked. I learned so much about them and the history of China that by the end of the meal I was super excited for all that was to come. They made me feel welcome in a place that I wasn’t used to.
After lunch they dropped me at the office and I prepped for the upcoming days as well as got ready to head to Luoyang which was where we’d spend the first night.
We took the bullet train to Luoyang which goes 300 km /hr.
When we arrived at the hotel in Luoyang it felt like we got to a resort. The architecture was spectacular and it felt good to finally be able to chill for a second.
As we walked in there was a huge arch and banner that had my name on it and welcomed me to Luoyang. It was quite surreal!
The hotel had a special dinner prepared for us so we went downstairs and they escorted us to a private dining room and we started eating. They must have brought out 6/7 dishes from seafood to beef to fish to all types of delicious cuisines.
Following dinner we went out to the town for some shopping which felt like a blur cause I was so exhausted. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep in every taxi ride.
To think it’s only day two is wild! Yesterday was a hell of day. Well I guess the past two days if you factor travel in.
I was so consistently tired yesterday that I may not have jet lag. I woke up at 6am feeling fresh and ready for the day.
Our first meeting aka breakfast isn’t till 8am so I decided to get to work. It felt good having a fresh brain to work with. I finished up a PPT and started to plan. With an hour till breakfast I thought it would be great to try and get in my routine so I meditated for 5 minutes and then stretched/ did a quick workout in my room. I could easily tell how stiff I was just from a few days of flying and traveling and not stretching.
It’s still a surreal feeling to be here and I’m so grateful to have this opportunity.
Breakfast was huge, like I mean 7/8 dishes for the three of us. I have no idea how people eat this much.
We set off to see the Longmen Grottos and WOW!!! We walked around for a few hours and what I saw was breathtaking. Within the mountain there were thousands of mini grottos engraved and sketched into. The sightseeing ended with me seeing these absolutely massive Buddha statues.
Throughout the day, everyone stared at me and I even had a group of kids ask me for a photo :) It definitely put a smile on my face.
Towards the end of the experience I started getting a stomachache. I started to panic but then I tried to channel my inner David Goggins (the SEAL in Living With a Seal) and embrace and enjoy it. It worked for a bit but eventually I needed to stop and use the restroom. Apparently in China, they use squatting pans to poop but luckily there was one western toilet that was available. Sheesh! The next problem was there was no toilet paper. I started thinking of Along Came Polly and trying to figure out solutions. Was I going to use my underwear? My nice FEAT socks? I’m sure Taylor would enjoy that story. Luckily, Phill and Austin came to the rescue and brought me some tissues before I entered the dungeon.
We get back to the hotel and all of a sudden it’s time to eat again. Uh oh. At this point, I’m still stuffed from the biggest breakfast I’ve had and I just had a mini stomachache. Now I have to mentally prepare to consume huge amounts of food.
Who ever said that being mentally tough didn’t come into play with regards to eating more great food? But in all seriousness I’m trying to prep myself to consume greatness. I feel like Joey Chestnut as he heads into the final stretch of the hot dog eating contest each year.
Well, we get to lunch and luckily Austin says he’s not too hungry so I don’t feel as bad. All of a sudden the food comes out and bang, another 6 dishes. Fish, chicken, veggies, beef, soup, and dumplings. We grub and then it’s time to get ready for speech number one for the residents of the mansion.
The first speech was broken down into two 30 minute segments. This was the first time I’ve ever given a speech with a translator. Austin did an incredible job, but to be honest I definitely didn’t tell the stories as good as I normally do. It’s going to take some getting used to but overall it felt good to be out there and elevate 30 amazing people.
It was funny to me how everyone was filming me even though they couldn’t understand me. It was a great feeling to have people so excited to meet me and take photos with me. #Blessed
It’s time to say goodbye to Luoyang and head back to Zhengzhou to prep for the next five days of teaching.
The rest of the day was pretty smooth. We went to a casual dinner and then drove to the school and hotel where I’d be staying for the rest of the time.
Call time is at 8am so naturally I decided to get up at 6:24am. I wanted to sleep in a bit so I could make sure I’m as rested as possible. I knew the next 5 days of teaching were going to be a lot, so today I wanted to wake up feeling the best that I could.
I had trouble sleeping last night. I’m not sure if in China the beds are typically firmer and harder, or if this hotel just prefers that but either way it’ll take some getting adjusted to. The mattress is extremely thin and tough.
As I prep for the first day of class, I’m a bit nervous. I want the kids to really enjoy their experience and I want to make sure I give them an amazing time. My big concern is understanding what messaging will connect the most. I’ll have Phill and Austin to help so I’m not overly worried. I know the first morning will be my adjustment period and then I’ll be good to go.
The first day of classes was awesome! I wasn’t sure what to expect but we took it slow and I adjusted as time went on. We had people of all ages from 7-16 in the class so the levels were much different. I kept reminding myself that not only are they young but I’m also speaking a completely foreign language.
I made sure that when we started everyone knew that my goal was to have fun and to learn. I said there wasn’t going to be tests as long as the students try their best. In China it is very common to have tests and quizzes, so I made sure to emphasize that we were here to learn and to give 100% effort. If we could do that, there would be no pressure or expectations.
Throughout the day we did a lot but it was amazing to see the students progress. From a personal standpoint it was cool to see what I ended up teaching from what I originally planned. We did a lot of fun exercises and at the end of the day, it’s always about the audience and connecting with them.
One of my favorite parts was when we did speeches and one of the students said that he wanted to be elevated and live a happy life. It was so cool to see him incorporate a difficult and awesome word into his speech.
To make the students feel more comfortable I had Austin help me write a speech in Chinese. I wanted the students to feel very comfortable with me and know that it’s okay to sound funny or make mistakes as long as we keep trying. When I gave my speech, all the students giggled at my funny Chinese accent.
Lunch and dinner was quite an experience at the dining hall. Much like America the dining hall is a great place to sit with friends but in China they give you so much food. The amount of noodles I was served was easily twice as much as any serving I've ever received in America. There are no drinks at all unless you get soup. There are no napkins unless you bring your own. The dining hall does not have AC, only fans. With 100 degree temperatures and high humidity levels, let's just say that eating is a warm experience.
After class, we gathered in the office and Phill started to talk with each student about what they learned and if they had any comments of the day. I found all this out about 15 minutes after when they translated in English. They loved the games and activities and also the lack of tests and writing.
Then we watched Big Hero together with English subtitles. I don’t know if the stars were aligning but several of the things I taught the students kept popping up in the movie, specifically the fist bump. Each time the students giggled and looked at me because they knew what it meant.
As we were finishing up, I started to think about how I needed to adjust my schedule and teaching for the next two days. What I originally planned wasn’t going to be as effective in my opinion so I needed to make some adjustments. What I’m realizing is the main goal is for them to be better English speakers and presenters so my plan is to alter the curriculum to better serve those objectives.
I woke up today at 5:32 and had about an hour and a half to prep the class plan and get ready. I made sure I did my five minutes of planking, stretching, and meditating. It’s hard but I’m really trying to stick to what I call my non negotiables to help me perform at a higher level.
Today for breakfast I had a traditional dumpling breakfast which was good. I’ve started to really eat slower so it’s not as obvious I’m not eating a ton. Everyone else eats so much so if I eat slower I can pace the meal a bit better.
Class was great once again and the students are starting to come into their own.
Food is definitely starting to take its toll on me as the combination of trying new things plus a squatting pan makes me a bit nervous. At the dining hall I’m keeping it pretty safe and simple.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at a liquor store and I asked Phill to pick out a good Chinese snack for me to try. It turned out to be similar to s’mores crackers which I enjoyed.
Back at the hotel, I rested and got ready for the final day of class with the students.
Austin and Phill are making sure I am very well rested which I appreciate but I would also love to keep doing things.
Another 5:32 wake up call! I spent a chunk of the morning prepping my PPT for the students and trying to create new exercises and activities that would give them a great final day.
Austin took me to breakfast and I had soup. Soup is eaten 3 times a day at every meal. Between the heat and all the hot food, I'm in a constant state of sweating. I’ve never appreciated AC more.
I’m ready for the final day and a bit sad. Three days feels like forever but at the same time feels so short.
The first session definitely was the hardest to get through. I think the student realized that it’s the final day so motivating them was a bit tougher. In the middle of a break I tried offering them some American food and they went crazy for it. It gave me an idea to get a bunch of snacks and for the last session of class to teach them flavors and words about foods while eating delicious snacks.
Before we went to lunch, I signed a copy of my book and gave each student a bookmark. Their faces lit up as they were thrilled to get a gift! We took a bunch of pictures together as everyone wanted to remember the experience.
I looked down at the chicken today for lunch and I’m pretty sure I saw the heart or some of its vital organs on my plate. Let’s just say I decided to share my food with the kids.
After class, I went to rest as usual and when we met up to return for the final session, I asked to go to the store. I bought a bunch of snacks for the students as a reward but also as a way to visually show them new English words and flavors.
When we got to class, the snacks were a huge hit. The kids were so excited and I made sure they all learned the words before giving them a snack.
As we started to wrap up I was sad to see the kids go. It was only theee days but I felt that we really had a chance to connect with each other.
For the last 15 minutes while the students were waiting to be picked up, I had them flip the script and teach me Chinese. I wanted to show them that it’s okay to struggle as long as you’re willing to try. They got a kick out of me trying to learn Chinese. We were all laughing and it was a great way to end class. I even learned a few new words!
One of the kids named Tom was a huge fan of dancing. When his parents came to get him we showed them what we learned from spelling D-A-N-C-E to giving each other a fist bump, high five, thumbs up and all the other actions we learned. They were smiling from ear to ear and it was so awesome to see not only cause I felt great but because Tom knew more English and his parents were so proud.
After all the students left, Phill, Austin, Di, and I hung out and talked Chinese before heading to dinner.
When I got back to the hotel I told them I wanted to visit what they call the night market. The night market is popular in summer and it’s a mini pop up bbq right in the hotel courtyard. They serve cold dishes, bbq and beer.
They said we had to wait till 8 and for me to rest until then. I wasn’t tired so I decided I needed to capitalize on my time. I ended up doing 200 push-ups, stretching, and reading Living With a Seal. Reading that book has definitely inspired me to workout and maximize my time.
Also, since I don’t have social media I’m noticing how much time I have. I don’t have many friends so time is on my side. This trip is really showing me how I have the power to control my time and how much time really exists in a day. 24 hours is a long time and each of us has the choice of how we want to spend it.
Finally it was time for the night market. Phill and Austin came and we tried a bunch of things. I tried a grilled fish but unlike in America this was a full fish on a stick. I tried bone of an animal... not my favorite. I ate whole octopus which was tasty. There were a few other things as well but I wasn’t a huge fan.
The night market was my ideal situation. It was a place where people from all over come to hang out, eat, and drink. People play games and hang with their families while conversing with everyone around.
Today starts the teacher program and I’m stoked! I’m feeling fresh after a great sleep and trip to the night market.
The morning consists of another 5:32 wake up call but since I was in the middle of a dream I gave myself a quick snooze before getting up and meditating.
When I get to class, I’m excited and nervous. This is my first time working with educators in China and I really want to do a great job.
Right from the start they are awesome! They are smiling and engaged and giving a great effort.
About 20 minutes in, the AC broke. It’s 104 degrees out in what might be the hottest day of the year. From that point forward, I was dripping sweat all morning long.
In between sessions I adjusted my PowerPoint because I knew I had to adapt based on what I thought would be most valuable now that I knew the teachers. I also adjusted because the schedule changed so instead of finishing at 4:30, we took away the afternoon session tomorrow and added a session from 6:30-8. This was due to Dr. Jia setting up a special meeting and dinner with her friend tomorrow.
Class finishes at 4:30 but before we go to dinner at 5:15 I had a great talk with Lily and Danny. They asked me tons of questions about America from my thoughts on Trump to my thoughts on cell phones. Naturally the conversation turned to romance and they were so surprised that I didn’t have a girlfriend.
We went to dinner and for the fourth day in a row I had rice and soup. I enjoy the rice more than I do in America but I’d love to eat something else. It’s starting to take its toll on me. The highlight of dinner though, was I saw a guy wearing a shirt that said less stress more sex. It made me chuckle before getting ready for the night session with the teachers.
After dinner we headed back to the classroom for the final session. You have to remember that it’s 100+ degrees outside, the food and soup is hot, and the AC isn’t working. At this point everyone is sweating and I can sense the teachers want to break free.
We decided to do a book signing and photoshoot for all the teachers to start the session. Everyone was so excited and several mentioned this is the first time they’ve ever received a signature. That made me feel great that I could be their first.
The rest of the session goes flawlessly and we laugh and have a good time.
Before we head out, Phill and the crew gives me my Chinese name - Nong Mei Ge which means Heavy Eyebrow Bro. They are hysterically laughing and I join in.
Phill takes me to the supermarket and it was an incredible experience. Unlike American supermarkets, this market had facials, small businesses within the market, people running around without shirts, jewelry, and much more. I was blown away by the serve yourself section which had fresh pastries, meats, candy, fruit and so many other things. I had to try some food so I got a black tea, plum fruit snacks, a cupcake with sprinkles that ended up being banana flavored (yum) and some form of fried fruit. I still don’t know what it is. The total came out to be 12.60 yuan which is about $2. Talk about a bargain.
I can’t believe tomorrow is the final day of teaching. It feels like I’ve been doing it forever but at the same time it feels like just yesterday I was at the Longmen Grottos. I’m going to bring the energy and really leave these teachers with an experience they’ll never forget.
The final day of teaching is here! My emotions are all jacked up I don’t know what to feel. Obviously I’m excited to be done because it’s been a ton of work but I’m also sad because there’s so much more I feel I can do with more time.
For the last session this morning I’m going to finish as strong as I can and hopefully connect with everyone on WeChat so we can stay in touch.
I woke up at 5:32 and banged out 100 push-ups, meditated, stretched, showered, and shaved before heading to school.
For breakfast today we went to the kindergarten to eat and it may have been my favorite meal so far! I had sliced potato in some dressing with carrots, a hard boiled egg, and this steamed bun that was filled with red bean paste. Delicious!
During the last session one of the teachers came up to me and asked if I could give her an English name. I felt honored by this but wasn't sure what name to give her. I gave her some suggestions and hope that one of them will stick.
Teaching is over! I feel accomplished as I just completed five straight days of hands on teaching and workshop leading.
After lunch we’re hanging out and all of a sudden I get a panic. My stomach starts gargling. At first I think I can handle it but then I feel it coming. I ask how long before we’re leaving to the hotel and Phill says 15 minutes. I start to panic more. I have three choices: go in the squatting pan, hold it as long as I can or ask Phill if he can take me to the western toilet back at the hotel. I try to hold it but three minutes in and I’m sweating. I pray before I ask Phill hoping he will say he can take me. He says yes and we take off. It’s a good thing we left cause I was in the restroom for an hour trying to cool down and get back to normal.
Another close call...
Right after I finish going to the bathroom I realize my windows are open for air. I immediately shut them because I only want cold air from the AC coming in. Three minutes after it started to pour. I mean thunderous showers and huge winds. I’m watching from my room on the 6th floor as the rain comes shattering down.
We head out to meet Dr. Jia’s friend, Ms. Wang. While we’re driving Phill nonchalantly says hang on we have to switch cars, I can’t drive my car today. I’m so confused but I go along with it. Five minutes later there’s a car waiting for us. We park Phill’s car and switch and we’re on our way.
Apparently the government issued a policy that only certain license plates can be on the road on certain days. I’m not sure the exact rule but I assume it’s to limit cars on the road.
I find out a little while later that everyday has two numbers that are forbidden. Monday, it’s 1 and 6. Tuesday, it’s 2 and 7. And the pattern continues through Friday. This rule as I expected was designed to limit cars on the road but also to limit pollution.
2:30-7:30 was a blur. At first I thought we were going to meet Ms. Wang for dinner and to talk about my experience and learn more about her. That was in my head the whole time. What these five hours turned into was a trip to headquarters to get a contract signed, a trip to the bank, a tea conversation that was 100% in Chinese and then a tour of multiple houses/locations for potential training schools. Then we sat in traffic for an hour and a half while we headed back for dinner.
I was quite frustrated we spent all that time driving around and sitting in traffic only for the plan to be completely different than expected. While I was frustrated, this was a good experience to really focus on being present and enjoying the positives - the company, the experience, the scenery, etc..
It’s okay though because after we went to dinner and then the outlets which is a cool thing to do in Zhengzhou.
As we drove home for the night, I obviously fell asleep.
Today is my last full day in China. Phill and Austin asked me what I wanted to do and I told them I’m up for whatever mostly because I don’t have any idea what to do.
All I know is I want to make sure my yuan turns to dollars so I don’t have to do it myself and eat some good local food that I’ve enjoyed during my time here.
Supposedly, we will have a meeting with the chairwoman of the education group which I’m very excited about.
We went to breakfast at their favorite spot again before heading into the city. On the hour drive to the city, we spent most of the ride practicing Chinese and comparing the two languages.
The plan for the day was simple - shopping. In Zhengzhou shopping is a huge thing to do so that’s what we did. At first I was excited because Phill and the team hyped up the outlet stores and the supermarkets.
In between our shopping endeavors, we ate hot pot for lunch which was an awesome experience. The best way to describe hot pot is you put a hot pot in the middle of the table, fill it with broth, and add all types of food from vegetables to seasonings to noodles to meats.
After lunch, we went shopping some more. After a few hours, we headed out and I figured we were done shopping for the day. Nope, we were just switching locations to shop some more.
I’m not a huge shopper in America so this was a long day of shopping for me. Fortunately I was at least able to buy a few traditional food items to bring home to my family as a souvenir.
Once the day of shopping was over, we drove to dinner for my final meal where I got sweet and sour chicken :) At dinner I learned all about Chinese etiquette and table manners. Boy, have I been a bit off.
All day I was preparing for bbq and beer which quickly became my favorite activity because it reminded me of hosting people at my parent's house. It was a familiar activity to me, but also I enjoyed the food and I really was craving a cold beer or cold anything for that matter. The final night did not disappoint. When we got there, Phill and Austin invited one of their friends so our group became 6 people. I asked Austin to teach me how to order and everyone was laughing and having a good time. We ordered a ton of bbq and a bottle of beer. For perspective, the bottle of beer was a water bottle filled with beer that’s enough for multiple people to share.
I quickly started drinking and then a father of one of the students I taught came over with some beer. Phill and Austin also knew him very well. He started pouring beer in all of our glasses. I knew what was coming. A few seconds after the glasses were poured he made a toast and we were bottoms up. I was pretty stoked about the experience but figured it was a one time thing. Nope, he did this two more times.
Before you think I’m drunk at this point, let me just say that the cups we were using were smaller cups about 4-6 ounces so it wasn’t like we were chugging beer after beer after beer. Still, it was a lot to consume in a short period of time.
We said thanks and went back to hanging out. A little while later Phill says to me that it's time for my last drink. I was confused considering we had a good amount of our beer left, so Phill explained it was time to return the favor. We picked up our cups and headed towards the other table where we proceeded to have multiple beers only this time we treated the other people.
At about 10, we called it a night.
It’s time to go home. We have a few final things to do today before I fly home. I definitely am ready to go home, not because I don’t want to be here but because I’ve been on the road for so long. This is day 28 in a row on the road after being in Vegas and New York.
First task of the day was to exchange RMB to dollars. I thought this was going to be pretty simple, but it wasn’t. We had to go to three banks and then once we finally found one that could exchange the right amount it took about 30 minutes.
I could feel myself getting frustrated but it was out of my control. As a big planner, I made sure we purposefully gave ourselves enough time so we wouldn’t be rushed.
Following the money exchange, we decided it would be best to eat brunch. That was he first time I heard the word brunch in China so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It turns out brunch was just another word for getting some food.
We went to a very famous noodle place in Zhengzhou and wow, was it delicious. It was a form of broth mixed with chili oil and then about 4 types of noodles and tofu mixed together.
The real adventure was when the appetizer came which was pig’s feet. I tried a lot of things while I was in China but this was my final test. Not only was it called pig’s feet but it looked like someone cut off a foot, seasoned it and served it for food.
I went to taste it expecting to have one bite and be done, but much to my surprise it wasn’t bad.
After lunch it was time to rest and to pack. In my mind, I wanted to do as little resting as possible in hopes that I’d fall asleep on the plane. I was already packed up so I decided to use this time to really prepare for my speech that was coming up on Monday following my return.
A few hours passed and it was time to head to the airport.
I told the guys I wanted to get their super early just in case anything went wrong or in case things got difficult once they left.
As expected, this was an adventure and a half. We get to the airport and find out that my flight might be delayed causing me to miss my connecting flight in Guangzhou. Phill and Austin come to the rescue at get me on an earlier flight. The only challenge with this new flight was that we were boarding in 15 minutes and I still had to get through security and find the right gate.
As soon as the flight was confirmed, we said goodbye which was emotional, but then I took off sprinting. I made it 3 minutes before it was time to board. What made this experience even more interesting was that my WiFi wasn't working. I wasn't able to receive the code to accept the WiFi.
When I get to the gate, I ask where to board and somehow that turns into me being placed first in the priority boarding zone. NICE! While I am there, I meet a great guy and his wife who is in the Bangladesh military.
This first flight is two and a half hours so not too bad. I have an aisle seat and am feeling good. All of a sudden a man comes up with his wife and daughter and asks if I can switch seats. Not only was I going to have to give up my aisle seat for a middle seat, but I was going to be seated in the final back row next to the bathrooms. This was not ideal, but I decided to switch seats because I knew it was the right thing to do.
It's funny how things worked because the aisle seat never got taken and I was able to have the aisle seat in the final row.
When we got to Guangzhou to make the transfer I had all the time in the world. I walked into every store and looked at every menu of every restaurant in the terminal by my gate. I ended up going to a convenience store to get some more food to bring back home along with grabbing a quick bite to eat.
A few hours later and I was off. It was time to head back home!
The flight felt like it took forever and it actually took 2 hours longer than my ticket said, but oh well. I made it back safe and my parents were there to pick me up.
All in all, my first trip to China was an incredible experience and I can't wait to be back in the future and continue to work with amazing people. Before I wrap this up, I want to give a huge shoutout to Yuren Education Group for bringing me to China, but specifically Dr. Jia, Di, Phill, and Austin for everything they did to give me the best experience possible.