This #ThrowbackThursday I am trying out something new. I was thinking recently how absent my blog is of all the travelling I did in the year before its creation in 2013. Without wanting to traipse through past journals to produce detailed travel guides, I thought it might be nicer to pick one photo a week and write the story behind it: where I was, what I was doing, what I was feeling that day and how I feel now looking back.

This week, I’m throwing back to China…

beijing throwback.jpg

Date: 14/02/2011
Location: Beijing Capital International Airport, China.

I had plenty of beautiful photos to choose from for my throwback to Beijing, but in the end, this one stood out more than those taken at Summer Palace or on the Great Wall. It was taken in the Peking International Airport just as we were checking in for out flight home on Valentine’s day. I had brought a disposable camera with me and had a few photos left, instead of saving them for my next trip I decided to parade around everyone taking goofy photos we couldn’t immediately delete and wouldn’t know what they looked like until I had them developed.

I chose this photo because that ridiculously ecstatic face reflects exactly how I was feeling. Happy, inspired, and motivated. Those 5 days in Beijing were not only a major culture shock, they were also a barrel full of laughs and lasting memories. A Level finals were fast approaching and although my UCAS was still not displaying offers, I was feeling optimistic. Family members would later note how much I changed during my A-levels. I hadn’t so much “reinvented” myself, but rather re-discovered the girl beneath the years of teenage angst and emotional abuse. I flew home with a vision for what I wanted to achieve for myself in the future, determined to prove myself.

6 years on, looking at this photo makes me feel warm with pride because I did it. I did everything that girl hoped I would do and then some. Now it’s time I curate some new dreams.

 – MW.

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