Day 931, 6574 miles from home.

My hometown, Chengdu, is in Sichuan province of South West China. The home of panda and Sichuan embroidery. It is a fantastic city, which you can see the modern times integrates with old times。

I love this city not only because I was born here. And I think one sentence can describe such kind of life. That is, making tea while waiting for the flowers to come out. This shows the life rhythm—slow ,relaxing and optimistic. Here we can see some examples. First , everywhere you go , you can find tea houses ,the number of which must be more than that of any other places . People like to go there , chatting about whatever they like . Comparing to the big city like Shanghai or Beijing, people in Chengdu spend more time on enjoying life and delicious food.

Located just 6 miles away from downtown Chengdu, the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center has been created and imitated the pandas’ natural habitat in order that they might have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding. People in this city are really love panda, because they are cute and precious.

When I was a little girl, I Lived with my grandparents, in a little street, which is 20 minutes by car from the Commercial Business District of Chengdu. Most people who live in this street are from Shanghai, they emigrated from the East to the West for China Western Development in 1970s. My grandma said the first time when they came to Sichuan Basin, they found their train passed through the caves again and again. They all cried, because they thought they were sent to the poor mountainous area from the coastal areas by government. But when they arrived in Chengdu Plain, the center of Sichuan Basin, they were all shocked. The vast plain on which Chengdu is located has an elevation ranging from 450 meters to 720 meters, a place richly endowed with natural resources. Chengdu, as the capital, is extremely productive. The Min and Tuo Rivers, two branches of the Yangtze River, connected to forty other rivers, supply an irrigation area of more than 270.27 square miles with 150-180 million kilowatts of water. Consisting of abundant mineral resources, the land is extremely fertile.

They always liked to ask me when I grow up, did I still want to stay with them, in this little street. I said no every time. Because I was very young that time, my heart was full of courage and curiousness. This world is so, so big, I’m not willing to stay in a little place forever. Till today, I know I was wrong. When you are grown up, graduated from university, and go to a brand new place. You don’t like the food there; you don’t know how to make new friends there. Every time when you want to say something, you can’t, it fells like there’s a hand holding you’re your throat. Will you feel lonely or afraid in the night? How big this world is, depends on how many people you know. When you met a new person, your world will be bigger. There are lots of cities in this world, like Tokyo, London, Paris, Cairo, and Istanbul. But those are just names for you, you have never been there, and those cities don’t have a person who lives in your heart, so they don’t belong to your world. There are many, many people in this world, but you don’t know them, and they also do not belong to your world. In this world, there are also many things that tastes good, looks beautiful, seems fun, but you haven’t eaten them, seen them, or even heard of them. The world which is truly belong to you is very small, just the place you’ve been to, the food you’ve eaten, and the people who cares about you. Some people ask me why don’t you go back? Why did you leave them? Studying abroad is a long hard road, but I chose it. I feel upset, I miss my grand parents, but I have never regretted this decision. To be exact, I can’t. Regret represents the past time I can’t share with my grandparents is meaningless. I mean, the past is in the past, if I quit now, why don’t I give up from the start?

I came here in August. 17, 2004. 931 days I only went back to Chengdu for three times. I miss my hometown because it is a part of my life, and I hope all of you have chance to travel to there.


By Xueyan Zhong

2 Replies to “Day 931, 6574 miles from home.”

  1. Hi Xueyan!

    I really liked reading your post, and of course the precious pictures of the pandas! It is so fun to see where people come from, why they came here, and their passion for traveling and experiencing new places. In your article you said you have only been home three times since you have come to the U.S. Is that a personal choice or is it financially not possible at the moment? Have any of your family members traveled outside of China like you have? You did a really great job of informing your reader of where you are from with geographical examples! My favorite part was the story of your grandmother, it sounds like your home town is a very beautiful and special place.

    1. Thank you for being so sweet ! I have only been home three times because long-range flight is very very terrible for me, sitting in the narrow space, spending 1 hour from Missoula to Seattle, 10 or more hours from Seattle to Beijing, and then 4 hours from Beijing to Chengdu. And my parents really want me to use my vacation time to travel more cities of the U.S, they think that’s why they send me to study abroad. Because they never been to abroad.

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