An American Abroad

Plans, Old and New

I must be the only person in the world to set out for Tierra del Fuego and wind up in south central China.

For over a year, I’d been planning a motorcycle journey through the Americas, from Toledo all the way to the Argentine city of Ushuaia. I’d expected to leave on May 15, 2013 and to be in Oaxaca, Mexico by now. Instead, I’m still in Toledo, but just for a little while. In ten days, I will fly to Kunming, China and then head 50 miles south to the city of Yuxi, which will be my new home. My job teaching English there will be my primary focus, but I also hope to travel, to come to know Chinese culture from the inside, and to gain some perspective on my own culture by viewing it from afar.

Someday I’ll look out over the Straits of Magellan from a motorcycle seat, but 2013 is not the year for that. The opportunity to live in China may not come to me again–so ready or not, here I go.

Right now, I am here:


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Comments

  1. How’s your Mandarin? Rusty, I’ll bet. Take lots of pictures (they say they’re worth
    a big chunk of words). I have enjoyed your Facebook stuff, especially the It’s Friday
    photos. My brother’s wife is Chinese (Haka) and has been to China several times in the last 35 years. She has been overwhelmed by the vast construction projects ever-where, especially the rural ancestral area where her family lived. It is now a large city! Of course you’ll ride the bullet trains, see the Great Wall, etc. But can you get a sense of what it’s like to be one of !.7 Billion Chinese who live in China. Let us know.

  2. Wei Wang says:

    Good luck Jim! I’m sure there’re lots of adventures waiting you ahead in the unknown city of China. 🙂

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