On the 29th July 2017, Menna and I stood proudly in our graduation gowns having just received our degrees – marking an end to our time at Swansea University.
As I write this on the 29th July 2018 – exactly one year after said event – we are leaving the city of Xiangyang, a place we have called home for ten months. It’s eery and surprising to think that graduation was one year ago to the day.
I’m certainly not suggesting that Menna and I have done anything out of the ordinary, for many newly clad graduates make the decision to teach or travel abroad. We’re certainly not pioneers, explorers, or excellent teachers. We’re simply a pair of individuals, who not only share a love for each other, but also a love for pushing our boundaries and experiencing the unusual.
The 29th July. On this date in 2017, we declared an end to our student lifestyle, excuses not to get a job, youthful innocence and youthful ignorance.
If University had brought us together, moulded our personalities and given us the opportunity to thrive both intellectually and socially, then living abroad has brought us even closer together, improved our confidence and given us the chance to embrace both new cultures and a change in pace.
We’re certainly very emotional to leave Xiangyang, for it has been a cocoon of evolution for both of us. We’ve both experienced a host of challenges and obstacles, some which we overcame easily, and others that thoroughly tested our commitment, maturity, and tenacity. It’s by no means been comfortable, but that’s exactly why we will miss it.
We can’t wait to go home, relax, and see our families. We’re even more excited to return to China in a few months and begin the next chapter in our lives.
365 days, 24 cities, 1 country.
Endless amounts of memories.