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Back to Yingtan, Part 2: Connecting with Lia’s Past

[Continued from Part 1]

On our first full day in Yingtan, we drove to Mama Zhu’s house, located in one of the little villages on the outskirts of the city. The village is surrounded by rice paddies, and we had to park on the main road and walk the narrow alleyways to Mama Zhu’s house.

As soon as the van approached the village, we could see a small crowd gathered for our arrival, with Mama Zhu right at the front. She eagerly embraced each one of us as we got out, and rushed us up to her house where she had food waiting for us. Bountiful meals would be a recurring theme on each of our visits that week.

Back to Yingtan, Part 1: The Challenges of Travelling to China

We had an amazing trip to China a few weeks ago.

One of our big goals for spending time in Asia this year was to travel to China at least once. As our time here progressed, however, we kind of lost sight of that goal. The kids have been doing very well in school, and we were reluctant to take them out for any length of time. Ali and I are also starting to make some good headway on our business projects, and we have been trying to take advantage of the time the kids are in school as we don’t know what our work situation will be like once we hit the road again in May. There just never seemed to be a good time for us to go away for a week or two.

However, we realized after Christmas that if we were to make good on our plans to visit China, we’d have to bite the bullet and just go for it.

2011: The year we sold (almost) everything and hit the road

Travel has a way of distorting time like nothing else. It’s been nearly six months since we left our home in Ottawa. In many ways, the days have flown by. In that time, we’ve travelled in six countries on two continents, lived in two apartments, and visited with many family and friends, meeting new friends on the road. I feel like I’ve blinked and we’re now in 2012.

Enjoy Detroit

We did it.

That’s what we keep saying to ourselves as we try to let the reality of what we’ve done sink in.

In the last two months, I left my job, we said goodbye to friends, sold our house and almost all our stuff, and left our home in Ottawa where we’ve lived the past 13 years. After a brief visit with my family in the Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario, we arrived in Grosse Pointe, Michigan where we’re spending July and August adjusting to our new location-independent lifestyle. The real travel begins in September when we jet off to Asia and Europe for the next year.