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I am waiting for my plane ride home, and I can’t help but watch the people passing by. I see people young and old, casually walking by or quickly pacing past others. Some wear sweatpants and carry backpacks, while others wear suits and carry briefcases. I wonder, “Where are they going? Where have they been? What have they seen or what will they see soon?” Just three weeks ago I got on a plane in this same airport preparing for an epic adventure. I had only met some of my team, knew very little about China, and overall had no idea what would transpire over my three-week stay in Shangri-La. Now I sit here, already missing my team, missing our site at CERS, and missing the sense of adventure that encompassed the entirety of our trip.

“Curiosity had captured me. Now as I re-enter my life at home, I hope to remain curious and in awe of every moment I live.”

I have so many experiences to share of my time, but will focus on my final adventure in China for now. On our last day, we traveled to a large and beautiful park within Chengdu, China. Within this park, people were found walking, playing games, paddle boating, fishing, and snacking on popsicles. Life was simple and joyful within the park. It was a place where people got lost in wonder, forgetting to worry or stress. It seemed to perfectly illustrate my experience in China. I was completely lost in wonder over the last three weeks. My attention was captured by beautiful hikes, stunning monasteries, and amazing moments with my team and with the people of Shangri-La. Curiosity had captured me.

Now as I re-enter my life at home, I hope to remain curious and in awe of every moment I live. I desire to hold on to that sense of adventure as I live out each and every day and hope to build and grow through every experience, never taking a moment for granted. To quote Eleanor Roosevelt, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

So I ask you, “Where are you going? What will you see? How will you grow?”

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