Christina Zastrow

The Long Way Home

Beijing – First thoughts

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It’s so different here, and yet so oddly familiar that I’ve had a hard time structuring my thoughts. I can read almost nothing except occasional American logos. I’ve rarely spoken – a smile and “ni hao” to a friendly Chinese face.

Most of my time outside of the hotel has been spent at the Olympic Forest Park – not exactly authentic Beijing I’m sure, but reassuringly safe and filled with maps so I don’t get lost.

This morning I went south looking for the training school. I think I know where to go tomorrow. Afterwards I kept walking. I’ve found a smaller park in which a small group of Chinese people are doing yoga.

It’s beautiful here and I’m glad I came, but it’s not helping me define home.

I planned to leave with no connections, no reason to return to Chicago. That changed and now I feel the call back.

But here I feel my soul settle.

Whatever it was in my restless broken heart that pulled me here was wiser than I normally am. I may not stay. I may choose to return. It’s much too early in the journey to contemplate it’s end, but I am soothed here, surrounded by the unfamiliar familiar.

Beijing – Olympic Park – wandering around my first night here




Author: Christina Zastrow

Somewhere along my way through life, I managed to lose sight of myself. Then when my first long term relationship fell apart I found myself homeless, unemployed, and without family or support system. I decided it was time to find my way home, back to myself. This is my journey.

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