I just want to do one more post about China, to sum up the whole experience.
The experience was amazing! Kylee and I have put so much time into saving up the money to go ever since we decided that it was an opportunity we couldn't miss. It was expensive, but worth every penny!
There's something about two weeks in a foreign country that makes you really grateful for your home. It was so crazy to me, having to use bottled water for everything - even just to brush my teeth! I'll never take clean tap water for granted again! I'm also so grateful for the public bathrooms in the U.S., completely equipped with western toilets (I did have to use several "squatters" in China!), toilet paper, soap, and even paper towels! And the ability to safely eat the salad and fruit you are served at restaurants is a huge plus - I really missed fresh things!
Now, my favorite thing that we did in China was hike The Great Wall. That was the coolest thing ever! Though it was freezing cold, I now think that it was totally worth it for the experience of seeing The Great Wall in the rain.
But out of all the cities we stayed in, I must say that Yangshuo was my favorite. It was so much fun to be staying right in the market! And we did a ton of fun things there and had a lot of free time to explore. Having many ice cream options right outside of our door was wonderful!
As for Chinese food, I think I'll take a break. I really didn't like it at the beginning of our trip. I've never really LOVED Chinese food (it's all about Indian, Thai, and Japanese for me!), but I liked it enough that I thought I'd dig the food in China. But it just really wasn't great until we hit Guilin! Then it became amazing, especially in Yangshuo!
I really missed my family and Jeff near the end, I think that two weeks was about perfect. I'm grateful that we had WiFi in every hotel though, I got to call home lots of times!
In conclusion of this conclusion, China was a great experience. I saw many things that I never thought I would ever see, and did things I never thought I would do. And I think it is so amazing that I was able to go with my best friend Kylee! And no, we did not get sick of each other even though we were together every second for two weeks, haha.
A big thanks goes out to Mr. Anderson, my amazing Chinese teacher! Not every teacher thinks that bringing 26 people to explore China is a great idea, so I feel really lucky to have had this opportunity. Best field trip ever!