the planned

In 2009 I was chosen as part of a grant to travel to China and document the many changes the country was experiencing. Due to the rapid growth of the Chinese economy, we were told a collision was happening between old world traditions and new world progress.

the unplanned

This trip was not a tourist experience. It was a month long trip of outhouses, infested mattresses and endless car rides into parts of China most Chinese people never see. My eyes were opened to the vastness of lifestyles out there, and all the hard work it takes for billions of people to simply exist in this world.

the reality

Upon my return home after an exhausting 30 day trip, I realized I had learned a greater understanding of the comforts in my life—but that’s as far as it went for a while. The memories I have of China have cured over time as I reflect from a distance. I remember being invited into humble homes to share humble meals, excited children eager to show us around their village, having my first drink of alcohol in the form of rice wine from a ceremonial horn— all things that didn’t seem real then, and certainly don’t seem real now.