Another go-around in China

Wow. I’ve been having a lot of adventures lately and haven’t buckled down to write a thing about them.  I do have a little something I wrote while on the plane back from Shanghai, and a little tidbit that has been my internet obsession lately: designing my new apartment in North Carolina.  More to come, I pinky swear!

Hang Time

The short time when an athlete is suspended in midair, between jumping and falling is called their hang time. As travelers we are lucky to have an inordinate amount of hang time between departure and arrival. These long flights leave a lot of time for reflection, which I like. Long flights mean the beginning or the end of a trip and whether you’re gearing up for, or processing a great adventure far away, at least to me, reflection is a useful tool.
Flying back from Shanghai today I was not consumed with reflections of my trip:  visiting the parents, watching Claire graduate from high school, or seeing the sights in Beijing. Instead  a girl returning from a year abroad in Chile and Shanghai got me thinking about my first big adventure a year ago.
The five-hour flight back from Quito was not nearly log enough to process the changes in my perspective. Now, a year later, I think I understand what study abroad has meant for me. My world view has shrunk dramatically. Nowhere and nothing is out of reach since I now know the world is not as large or daunting as I previously thought it to be.  But at the same time, I have realized just how HUGE and diverse our world is. The feeling I had standing 16,000 feet above sea level on a volcano in Ecuador is the same feeling I get driving through Shanghai and Beijing, seeing 20-story apartment buildings continue into the horizon, knowing that there are more people in those cities than I have ever or will ever meet in my life.
Maybe I’ve thought this before, maybe I’ve even written it before. I’m ok with repetition because it will just cement this outlook in my mind.
Design inspiration:
Lately I’ve been reading a lot of interior design blogs, DIY blogs, and even wedding blogs to get some inspiration for my first apartment out in the real world!  My  sister’s graduation party was at a little boutique hotel near downtown Shanghai and the lobby/outdoor space has some really cool design elements I wanted to share here:
Great graphic rug, especially combined with the leather furniture and weathered table
This is the reception area, I love the wall of old luggage! The hostess' station was also an old suitcase, mounted on a large, weathered piece of wood
And to plug my own mothers’ great style, here’s a picture of her fab table settings:
A little confetti in black and gold so you know you're at a graduation party, simple placecards and menus, plus the white linens and glass vases make a chic dinner table!