Reflecting On Beijing (And Other Things)

by Brenna Holeman

Soldiers in Beijing 2 Soldiers in Beijing 3 Soldiers in Beijing 4 Soldiers in Beijing 5 Soldiers in Beijing 6 Soldiers in Beijing

Beijing, China

Most, if not all, of my friends have steady jobs and advancing careers. Many have homes, apartments, or condos. Almost all are in long-term relationships, married or engaged.

There are days when I want those things, there are days when I feel worried about my future and where I’ll be in a year, what I’ll be doing in a year. There are days when I am exhausted, tired of sleeping in different beds and never feeling a sense of permanency, tired of the ever-changing languages and even of the ever-changing skylines. My friends and family are spread across the planet, and my lifestyle means that I can rarely forge a relationship that I can say with certainty will be able to withstand the test of distance; there are days when I just want everyone I love within an hour’s drive. There are days when I miss routine. There are days when I can’t believe I’m still doing this after nearly five years, days when it all seems so difficult.

But those days? Those days are few and far between, which is why I’m simultaneously researching tours in India, plane tickets to Bangkok, and schools in Amsterdam. I don’t know that I’ll ever let those days outnumber the ones I usually have, the ones when I think, “I love my life.”

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Ekua November 15, 2010 - 6:23 am

Hi there, found your blog through Naomi’s “Anywhere But Home”. Love your photography and can definitely relate to your thoughts in this post! Adding you to my blogroll 🙂

Brenna November 15, 2010 - 6:38 am

Thank you! Your blog is wonderful, I added you to my blogroll as well.

CoilyInChina March 6, 2013 - 4:45 pm

Hi there, your blog is great and I just ‘liked’ you on Facebook. This post really resonates with me. I’m embarking on an international life abroad in about three months which I’m completely excited about, but wonder if I’ll be able to withstand those days that you speak of in this posts. I’m really excited to live, work and travel different regions of the world. I’m basically going to be a nomad or “travel gypsy” as you so perfectly put it and I’m totally thrilled and excited. It’s really great to read blogs like yours that I feel are honest about international experiences where one will encounter bouts of “loneliness” and questioning the uncertainties of life. Thank you so much for sharing your truth. It’s admirable and motivating.

This Battered Suitcase March 7, 2013 - 3:43 am

Wow, thank you so much! That is such a nice comment. I really strive to just be honest about my life; sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s not so great…but, travelling or not, we all feel like that. I am sure that you are going to love the adventures in your future, and you will find it to be so rewarding. Yes, it’s tough at times, but it is such an incredible life. Truly thrilling and exciting, as you put it. Good luck and have fun! Thanks again for your comment.


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