The rainbow crosswalk in the Castro District.
Jill and I were supposed to fly into San Francisco on December 15th.
However, our flight was diverted to Oakland because of the storms and we weren’t able to land back in our “home” town. We had some turbulence on the way down and yet the overall flight was fine.
This was actually a fitting end to our travels in, and out of, China as it has been an incredibly bumpy ride for the last 1.5 years.
Some of the high points:
Jill and I are engaged. Hell, we met only 8 days before I moved to China so the fact that we even made it there is amazing enough. But engaged? Truly incredible.
I was able to help a lot of people in need of therapy and coaching. I worked on some of the most high profile cases in Beijing. If you look at the news of what happened, with expatriates living in China during the past 1.5 years, there is a decent chance I worked on the disaster and tragedies as a psychotherapist and a trauma specialist.
I worked with the most amazing co-workers and staff. I was able, at any moment, to get support, knowledge, and whatever my clients, or I, needed to make sure the client had the best care possible. The knowledge level at my company is amazing and the professionalism is beyond compare. I’m honored to have spent 1.5 years with them and could not have wished for a better group of people to work for and with.
We made an amazing amount of friends and connections. People inspired us to dream bigger and not settle for the norm. It takes a special kind of person to survive, and thrive, in Beijing and our friends do that.
We were able to save a nice little nest egg for our future plans to travel around the USA and build our business at San Francisco Tourism Tips over the next year or so. We are also going to be building a new website to help people live their dreams and take the road less traveled.
We were able to visit parts of China including Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Tianjin and see places out of history like The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, and The Terracotta Warriors. These and many others will live on in our pictures, this blog, and our memories for the rest of our lives.
We also were able to visit Singapore, Malaysia, Mongolia, Turkey, and Greece. Not a bad way to spend a year and a half.
Some of the bad points:
RAB (Richard Arden Bermudes) passed away while we were gone and we were not able to say goodbye in person. This will haunt me.
Jill’s grandmother passed away while we were gone and she wasn’t able to be there for the funeral and memorial. She seems to be doing fine with it and was able to say her goodbyes before we left but I’m sure this still is upsetting to some degree.
As mentioned above, I worked on a lot of the major disasters that happened in Beijing during my stay. This was incredibly positive because I could help a lot of people but it was also difficult because I saw so much grief and death in my 1.5 years. From what I’ve been told, the 1.5 years I worked at my company saw as much emergency situations as anyone can remember. And I always volunteered to help because I enjoyed doing it but it did wear me down. However, I don’t regret one second of it. I know I helped save peoples’ lives and helped them find a way out of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, psychosis and other very painful places.
Jill had a breast cancer scare and needed to get a biopsy. This can be scary enough, living in the USA, but living in a foreign country makes it 10x worse. Everything turned out fine but it was still not an enjoyable experience.
Jill fell and hit her head and had a huge bruise for quite a while. The amazing thing about Jill is that almost nothing gets her down. She was able to laugh about what happened and let me write a few blogs and post pictures. She is truly amazing.
This is just a short list of things that happened and I’m going to be writing a travelogue about them and others in the next year.
Jill and I sort of forgot all of these events as we drove into San Francisco with our dear friend, Alethea Bermudes and saw the Golden Gate Bridge rise out of the fog and clouds.
The Grateful Dead once sang, “What a long strange trip its been” and they were partially right because our long strange AND AMAZING trip has just begun. It is past, present and future tense.
We both hope you continue along with us as we travel around the USA and then off to some foreign country to see what the future brings us next.
Driving into San Francisco from Marin.
The beautiful Golden Gate Bridge.
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.
The view above our house sitting gig in the Castro.
the view from the Corona Heights Park above the Castro District.