The Rain Won’t Wash Away My Smile

Throughout my time backpacking through Thailand, many people came in and out of my life like a spring breeze. We would swap stories about being cheated out of money on a tuk-tuk ride, or we would tell about our loved ones back in our respected mother lands. Hours would pass by and no one would realize the time, until the waitress would put her hands on her hips and signal with her eyes that they were closing up shop. Not only would I learn helpful hints from more experienced travelers, I also gained some sound advice that I can take along my lifelong journey. The best piece of advice that was ever shared with me on my solo trip was to never get upset over things that are out of your control. It’s similar to what all of our mothers said when we were younger. “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” If the train doesn’t arrive on time, or if your coffee isn’t the perfect temperature, or if the weather gods are playing tricks on you, just breathe, relax, and smile because no matter what life may throw at you, you can still have a great time.

It rained in Dali on Saturday. A good steady pour. Something I couldn’t control in the slightest, but it still wasn’t going to stop me from discovering the city that I left five months ago. My shoes were soaked and my toes were chilled to the bone, but the rain in Dali wasn’t able to wash away my smile. As I was walking through the cobble stone streets of Dali, I felt at ease and happy to be back. I was able to maneuver my way to my favorite places without having to ask for directions. The sight of seeing familiar faces in the German bakery, the stationary store, and my favorite cafe made it easier to step over the bump in the road, also known as the dreaded culture shock. The beaming smiles that greeted me as I stepped through the door made me realize that I made a great decision by coming back to China for another year. 

While I was weaving my way in and out of the foot traffic on the main walking street, I couldn’t help but get distracted by the colorful umbrella dance. Everyone held their umbrellas high to shelter themselves from the afternoon rain. Preschoolers were running about with their umbrellas as well, just tall enough to cover their pig tails and baseball hats. Purple, navy blue, pink, yellow and black umbrellas moved up and down to pass by each other on the busy streets. It all seemed like a colorful choreographed dance. I realized then and there that sometimes when something is out of your control, like the weather, you can still find excitement in the beauty that surrounds you.

Til next time.

Peace Love and Happiness (and hopefully some more sunshine!)