I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a while now. For the most part I’m a pretty boring person: I meal prep on Sundays, work 40+ hours a week at a consulting job, attend the occasional happy hour with friends, and snuggle with my puppy watching Netflix on the couch (sometimes my fiancé too if he’s lucky). However, sometimes I am fortunate enough to go on a pretty cool adventure. When I’m planning my trips, I love to reference other people’s travel blogs for tips and ideas, so I thought documenting my own could potentially do the same for others. But if the only person who ends up reading this is my mom, then I’m ok with that too.

A typical day in my life looks a lot like this

Recently I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the Corporate Service Corps (CSC) through my job. This program sends teams of IBMers to countries all over the world to provide pro bono consulting services for a month. I applied last summer with little expectation of being accepted but was pleasantly surprised to find out in the fall that I was. At that time, I didn’t know when or where I would be going (cue wedding planning hysteria). Then the day after Christmas (on the way to a wedding caterer tasting), I received an email that I would be going to Chengdu, China in May. I immediately started googling this city I had never heard of that would be my home for a month and learned that Chengdu is China’s “Panda Central”. This is all I needed to know be convinced that there was nowhere else I would rather be assigned.

Chengdu is located in central China, in the Sichuan province   

Chengdu is home to the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Over the past couple of months, I have been getting to know my team and learning about China. My team members are coming from all over the world: Brazil, the Netherlands, France, India, etc. One of the requirements of the CSC program is to write blog posts about your assignment. I guess this was the push I needed to finally do this, because here I am!

My CSC team will be coming from 9 different countries

My flights have been booked and my visa has been approved (after multiple hours at the Chinese Embassy). So now there are two major things left for me to do:

1. Learn to use chopsticks. I am embarrassed to admit that I am terrible at using chopsticks. And not terrible in a way that means I don’t use the exact right technique, but terrible in a way that means if I don’t get better I may end up starving to death while I’m in China. So I purchased chopsticks with training wheels:

Training chopsticks for adults…it’s a real thing

2. Learn to use my new camera. I made a little bit of an impulse purchase on a new camera when I realized I would be traveling so much this year. My iPhone doesn’t even have portrait mode, so how else was I supposed to get Instagram-worthy photos?

fullsizeoutput_a50So far the most I’ve done with my new camera is take a picture OF it, is that a good start?

Wish me luck! And if you have any travel trips about Chengdu, please send them my way!


2 Replies to “Pandas, Chopsticks, and Cameras”

  1. I’m terrible at chopsticks too! Jess gave me training wheel chopsticks a few years ago 🙈 why didn’t we learn this in elementary school??

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