We Ran Away to the Mountains

Overlooking Chuandixia

In our new city, new country, working at new jobs and meeting new people, Scotty and I often find we are overwhelmed by long work hours and the struggle to fit more than 24 hours worth of things into a day. On top of that, the Beijing pollution this Sunday was nearly at AQI 400 (“Hazardous”), and all physical activity outdoors was strongly discouraged by the US Embassy’s air quality website. For context, today Toronto’s air quality reads in at AQI 14.

So this past weekend, we ran away to the mountains.

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Happy National Day!

October 1st is National Day in China, which is followed by a week long holiday called Mid-Autumn Festival. It’s a holiday that is traditionally for spending time with family and loved ones… and taking a well-deserved break!

To celebrate the holiday, and to give us the chance to see a bit more of China, No. 25 Middle School organized a 3-day whirlwind tour for all the foreign teachers in the Canadian program. We went to Qufu (hometown of Confucius), Tai Shan mountain (pictured above), and Jinan (the city of springs).

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Changing with the Seasons

This photo was taken in Fall of 2011 and recalls for me thoughts of walking paths in Quebec City, the smell of frost on autumn leaves, the many times since then that I have made the 11-hour drive between Halifax and Quebec, and the choices that made me do it.

This has been a year of growth, both together and apart. In less than two weeks, nine months of distance will come to a close. In another few months, we will take off together to explore new cities, new countries, and new continents. While these are far from uncharted lands, they are new to us. But I daresay we’re up for the challenge.