Marcus Carter is a 3rd year Marketing major at the University of Florida and hails from St. Petersburg, Florida. This will be his first time abroad and he will be traveling to Beijing, China where he will be participating in the UF in Beijing – Chinese Commerce and Culture program. He chose this program because he was looking for a completely different experience and this program allows him to directly interact with other Chinese students. In his free time, Marcus enjoys kayaking, hiking, fossil hunting, camping, boating and playing video games (come on, what college student doesn’t like playing video games).
Today is my penultimate day in America (6/20/2013). People have been asking me “Marcus, are you nervous”. I tell them no. “Are you excited?” they say. I lie and say yes. I don’t want them to think I’m that weird kid that isn’t that excited about their first international trip even though that’s probably true. To me this, seems like every other vacation I’ve been on. Perhaps it’ll take the sting of Beijing’s smog for me to realize this is the big leagues. It’s an adventure. I’ve been told it’s a chance to grow and see the world. What it is not is my typical pilgrimage to my gawd awful home state of Missouri (even though I love visiting family there it’s still terrible).
Even though I’ve taken adopted a nonchalant approach, that doesnt mean I’m not prepared. Playlists have been created, movies downloaded, books borrowed– 24+ hours of traveling will not defeat me. I’ve said goodbye to my favorite restaurants: McDonald’s, Chipotle, China Star, Hungry Howies, Publix Subs, Chikfila– I’ll miss you most of all Taco Bell (I’m leaving just when they brought back the beefy crunch burrito, life is so hard). Then I said bye to people… My lessons for my students at Tsinghua are prepared. For 3 weeks, they’ll be Gators! This is my mission.
Writing this blog post made me remember that when I was in 6th grade I said I would go to China while I was in college and now I am. Before that I promised to live my life by the standards of Pokemon theme song- being the very best and traveling the land. I’m doing that as well. I’m living the dream and that’s more awesome than I realize. Today is my penultimate day in America, and now I can (truthfully) say I’m excited.