27 May 2010

In which I decide I am going to China

So, in early April, I discovered I might have an opportunity to go to China--land of my ancestors and my father's birth--with my father, my uncle and other family members.

I immediately want to go. My only thought is, if my father's going, I want to be there with him.

My cousin mentioned it to my uncle George, and my uncle sent me the itinerary. We'd be leaving on October 24 and returning November 2. In between, we'd be visiting Beijing and the Great Wall, then flying to the capital of Yunnan province, Kunming, and traveling to various sites in Yunnan, including Baoshan and Dali. But the main reason for travelling to Yunnan is to visit sites that have great family significance--a bridge my grandfather built and his burial site.

I am nervous as I broach the trip to my wife, Lori. It's not cheap: nearly $3,000 between air fare, the tour package, and travel insurance. My fears are dispelled as she enthusiastically agrees I should go. A family trip with a genealogical aim is her kind of trip. However, between cost and the timing of the trip, only I would be able to go from our family. Other Chiens are lining up to go, too--my brother, another cousin, my step-mother--and the traveling party can't be larger than eight without impacting its cost. It's also at a time of year when our kids are in school. Finally, the cost would be prohibitive for my wife and two children to go, too. While a dream is to travel with them to China, the cost and the timing of this trip prevents it from being the trip that fulfills that dream. Finally, I must scrounge the time off at work. Thankfully, my boss at the library is flexible about time off, and I am able to put together enough time off earned in order to make the trip.

Unbelievably, astonishingly, joyfully, excitedly, I am now committed to going to China!

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