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Travels to China a wonderful opportunity and experience

Updated on November 14, 2010

A wonderful opportunity in China

A wonderul opportunity in China

I often wonder what life is like in other parts of the world. I've seen writings of beautiful destinations and picture books of far off places and I am always fascinated by the charm and beauty of the far off and distant lands and the people but I never see it first hand. We live our lives within our own microcosm of what we vision the world to be like and we live within our own tiny section of it experiencing and seeing just that. From the time I was a young kid to present time I often tried to imagine and envision what life is like on other continents and in other countries of the world. We see life happening every day and we see it from our perspective yet life is happening all around us and we never see the goings on and day to day activities and the ways of life in those far off places unless we are lucky enough to have travelled there.

My travel experiences have been limited but I have been fortunate to have traveled to some fun and dynamic places outside of our country of the US that I call home. In my international travels I have been to Canada visiting the beautiful cities of Montreal, Quebec and Toronto. I had some great experiences travelling in Canada and always welcome the opportunity of visiting there. The furthest I have travelled up until my business trip to China was the United Kingdom where I travelled the countryside in a touring group by bus that brought us to the most beautiful pastures, villages, towns, pubs, churches, museums and castles of England, Scotland and Wales. It was an opportunity I always cherished and the memories stay with me as I met some wonderful people and I visited some wonderful places.

I truly believe that our lives are enhanced by the places we visit and the people we meet and we learn from those wonderful experiences. I always wondered what it would be like to travel to Asia never really believing that I would ever have the opportunity to do so. My wife is from the Philippines and I thought in the back of my mind that maybe one day we might visit there to see her family but never thought about it seriously because of the distance but as her father ages it may be a trip of necessity in the future.

Travel for many is a luxury or a work responsibility so it is for those reasons many do not have the opportunity to travel as often as they wish to. Some never travel outside of the communities they live and they therefore live very sheltered lives. When my employer asked me to travel to China I was first taken by surprise and in talking it over with my wife and son they felt it would be a wonderful opportunity and a chance to see the beauty and splendor of a far off place that I could only imagine up until now.

As my family drove me to the airport I had many emotions I was feeling as I was preparing myself to be away for a week in a far off land and with no knowledge of their language. I felt somewhat intimidated but I also was excited and welcomed the chance to go. As I arrived at the airport it was hard to say goodbye but it was a quick one to spare Matty emotional upset. I met my coworker and her husband at the airport which made it easier and I had lunch with them before we went to check in. As we said goodbye to her husband we embarked on our journey first going through check in and then waiting for our flight. I was prepared to do some reading as I brought 2 books for the long flight. We flew on China Eastern and the flight was a total of 14 1/2 hours direct from New York's JFK to Shanghai's Pu-dong airport. The flight was long and I slept for a good part of the journey and in between sleeping I ate and had plenty of water and coke to drink and caught some movies that were shown on the way. The stewardesses, all Chinese women were beautiful and so attentive to our needs. I was very impressed and captivated by their beauty and their charm.

From the moment we arrived at the airport in Shanghai we were greeted by their driver, an employee of the company who speaks very little English but was so kind to us and he made our ride to the hotel very comfortable and enjoyable. Upon arriving at the hotel it was a welcome relief as I was exhausted from the long flight and the almost 2 hour drive from Shanghai to Suzhou. As I checked in to the hotel with my co worker I felt excited and when I was brought to my room by the concierge carrying my luggage I felt compelled to leave a tip and so I gave him a US $20 since I had no Chinese currency and I was grateful for his assistance and his courtesy. The first thing I did in my hotel room was put on the tv, change my clothes, drink the water that our driver gave us and I settled in for a night sleep in China, my very first time.

Within the span of a week's time I had the opportunity of visiting our affiliate office in Suzhou, China with a fellow employee from the New York office and a fellow employee from the India office where we met the director and his staff. We had normal working day schedules and we were taken on a tour of the facilities and we had various meetings with various staff employees to learn their involvement and gain insight into their operations and their job responsibilities. I was quite impressed with the organization and the dedication of the staff.

I always knew chinese people were very dedicated and hard working people and from seeing their facility and sitting with them and trying our best to speak with them we were impressed and inspired. I was touched by their warmth and their dedication.

The employees in the Suzhou office all are very devoted to their work and their families and they each have differing skills in speaking English so at times we had to rely on translation but we were so taken by their efforts in trying to understand us in conversation. It really touched me as to how hard they tried and how apologetic they were if they did not understand. I felt bad that I could not converse with them in their language as I would have liked to have tried but find that Chinese is one of the most difficult languages to learn especially in such a short time frame.

The cleaning lady at the company was a real sweet lady who always made sure we were comfortable and she would always have a tea prepared and waiting for us. She really took good care of us as did the director and his staff of very dedicated employees.

After the work day the director would take us out for dinner at the many wonderful restaurants in Suzhou and we would take in some of the sights. It was very enjoyable visiting in a far off land and seeing the people. I am in love with China and it's people. They are such warm and friendly people and I felt compelled to learn some words of their language as they tried so hard to speak our language as we relied on that. They were always so respectful and courteous and they always tried their best to speak English.

It truly was a memorable week and I learned quite a bit in working with our Chinese staff and as the week drew to a close I was feeling the emotions of having met such wonderful people and now having to say good bye. I felt mixed feelings as I looked forward to going home to be back with my family but I also felt touched working with such wonderful people and visiting such a beautiful country and city and now after feeling welcome and being treated so nicely it was quite sad to have to say good bye. We all gathered for a group photo which was very touching and it really made me appreciate the experience.

There are many wonderful things I will walk away with from this experience and one that will stay with me for the rest of my life is the warmth and sincerity of the people in China at the Suzhou office and the restaurants and hotels we dined and stayed at who made us all feel so welcome. I will also remember the construction and continual growth of the city. Suzhou seems to have multiple buildings in various stages of completion with tower cranes atop each one. What once was rice paddy fields are now developed business offices and apartment living complexes. It truly is an amazing city. The drive from Suzhou to Shanghai is also truly amazing as the skyline is beautiful and so very colorful. I believe the skyline of Shanghai is so very impressive and the buildings all look new and so beautiful.

I welcome the opportunity of visiting China and the people there again as it was a truly memorable experience for me and one I will cherish for a lifetime.

When I saw my wife and son and mother-in-law waiting for me at the airport after the long return flight I was so happy and I had wonderful stories to tell and some souvenirs to distribute. As I saw them we all embraced and it felt good to be back home after such a wonderful trip.

Edward D. Iannielli III


Suzhou and Shanghai

Beautiful Suzhou!


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    • ediann profile image

      ediann 7 years ago

      Thank you for the invitation! I would love to come back with my family and I welcome the opportunity to visit in China again and stay a while! I look forward to reading your hubs on China as I recently subscribed to your hubpage. All my best to you and your family. I like your personal story on how you came to settle in China!

    • fordie profile image

      fordie 7 years ago from China

      Do come back, and bring the whole family next time.

      Great hub. Interesting to get a fresh perspective