Posts Tagged ‘Family China’

February 8, 2011

Noodles, Pandas, and the Love of my Daughter

Learning the Fan Dance with family in Huxian

As soon as my daughter Mira could speak, or maybe even before, she began her obsession with all things Chinese. So when, at age 15, she and I had the chance to visit China we never gave it a second thought. Little did I know then what an impact this family adventure would have on the rest of our lives.

China is so spectacularly different from anything we see, smell, eat, or do in our lives in the USA and Canada. First of all it is ancient. Their history goes back so many dynasties your head will spin with the history. Then, not only do they speak a different language (duh) but the culture is so entirely different. It’s in the air; you will see and feel it as you walk through the cities and villages, and speak with your guide. Not only does the food taste different than Chinese food at home, even the KFC tastes different.

Oh, but it is wonderful, so enchanting to visit this place with a Wall so Great you could see from outer space, and peaceful pandas munching on bamboo, and fishermen training the cormorants to catch their fish. Terra Cotta Warriors lined up endlessly, to protect their sleeping emperor. Temples and palaces, and tai chi in every beautiful park….

There is so much to learn about when you visit China. This makes the visit thrilling, but also a bit, well, stressful. Yes, having everything seem different, and nothing seem familiar is exciting and draining. And this is why, at the end of the day when Mira and I would return to our top rated hotel – not to be confused with an American 5 Star but a small semblance of Western life – we bonded in a new way. WE were all that was familiar to each other. Laughing, sharing our amazement, talking about what we had done that day; what would be an ordinary mother-daughter conversation about our day at home in Boston took on a completely different, unique, unforgettable glow in China.

Did you know that in China, a bowl of noodles is actually just ONE LONG NOODLE?

Now I am preparing for Mira to turn 21. We’ve had our many difficulties over the years as mothers and daughters do, and I think a lot about the things I wish I could have done better as she was growing up. (do all parents do this?). But one thing I am so grateful for is our adventure to China. In any moment of family tension or discomfort, she and I can still pull up the stories, the shock and amazement and fabulous wonder of our adventure. Yes, even the embarrassing moments, like learning the fan dance or trying to learn Tai Chi. We can instantly laugh about the things we did together, the entirely unique experience of our two weeks in China. Would I be wrong if I said we love each other more for it?

Are you thinking about sharing something life altering with your child or even your whole family? Maybe it is China, or maybe something a bit closer to home. Thomson Family Adventures has the expertise and creativity to set the stage for your adventure to one of many exciting places we know well. You’ll discover all of the meaning and have all of the fun, while we ensure you don’t have to worry about a single detail. Except showing up at the airport on time! Call us now at 800-262-6255 to change the rest of your life