Every time I ride my scooter, I feel free and alive and part of something more.
I’m just like everyone else when I’m out there in the midst of it all. The chaos, the fumes, the people, the near misses. Being out there on the road brings me closer to this place. I am rarely more aware of my mortality and life in these moments, and it is a unique kind of bliss.
When I came to China for the first time, I managed not to get on a bicycle let alone a motorized vehicle. I was young and more full of fear and hesitation.
My how things change.
And now I’m leaving again, and I have a whole host of emotions. I’m going to miss this place no doubt. I had just settled in. I have friends I adore, a life I enjoy, work that’s fulfilling, and a scooter.
And it’s this damn scooter that is hard for me to let go of. It was the first sign and symbol of something that really changed for me- a step of bravery, a release of fear, and an embracing of a culture.
And now I am leaving it all.
It’s selfish really. I know I am blessed. And I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m richer for having lived here a second time. My heart is fuller for meeting the people I have met. I am forever and more profoundly changed by this year in China than I allowed myself to be during the previous assignment in its close to five-year span.
So tomorrow, I will go for one final spin on my scooter before I hand it off to its new owner. And like every time before, I will weave in and out of the harmonious chaos marveling at what a beautiful and unique experience I have had the privilege of taking part in.