Day 338: The Joys of International Traveling

My last China post! Wow. I can’t believe that 2 months have already passed! I realize that in no time I will be on a plane (well 4 planes to be exact) to Malaysia! This time I am less nervous about moving across the world (weird) and know I can do it.

I am eager to really focus on my health coaching/personal training business before I leave. It takes a lot of time in addition to my day job and health coaching classes but I am determined to get organized. Wish me luck… and visit www.kirstenchmielewski.com for my professional website!! Huzzah. I am still working on the content so please be patient.

Tuesday, December 4th 

After a little more than 2 months, it was already time to leave Shanghai!

Peter and I had a great dinner the previous night at one of our favorite local restaurants which serves traditional Chinese food from the northern provinces. The food is spicy and absolutely incredible.

My plane departed at 5pm so we kept it simple for lunch at Organic Cafe, our favorite restaurant by Peter’s work. Our friend Barri joined us and I had my usual smoked salmon wrap (with their delicious sauce), pumpkin soup, and green juice. YUM. I am really going to miss the availability of fresh juice in China.

After lunch it was time to hit the road… err… metro! Peter and I grabbed my 3 suitcases, carry on, and purse and began lugging it down to the metro. I wore my new bracelet for luck.

338

Love it!

Since taking a cab out to Pudong is very far and expensive, we usually try to take the metro to the airport. Unfortunately, this trip is difficult and physically exhausting. We end up carrying almost 200 pounds of luggage up and down the stairs because many metro stops in Shanghai do not have escalators. The metro is almost always packed so there is never a place to sit. The Chinese are so fast and sneaky when they board the metro and slip quickly into the available seats. It is a NIGHTMARE. But cheap :-).

Overall, the trip took an hour with several line transfers along the way. It was a relief to check my bags and sit on a plane for hours and hours. I was pooped! Oh and I definitely watched 6 movies on the flight home. YEAH. That was awesome.

Let’s not even talk about how I had to pick up my 4 suitcases in JFK and awkwardly load them on a cart to be rechecked. After this magical balancing act, all 4 suitcases promptly tumbled off while coming down a steep walkway, blocking the way for everybody. Awkward. Can I get a hand? Or ten?

Rechecking the bags was a relief until I got lost in the international terminal. In JFK you have to leave the international building and walk outside to the building next door for domestic flights. I was so confused.

But I made it.

I landed in Tampa around midnight and was picked up by my dad and sister. My hair was greasy, my clothes were crumbled and dirty, and my skin was parched but I was so happy to be home! Oh the joys of international flying.

Till next time…

MALAYSIA HERE I COME.


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