COB Study Abroad Program China
When I first found out that the COB study abroad trip was going to China, I knew that I had to visit the Great Wall of China. The Great Wall has been on my bucket list, and many of my classmates shared the same view. This was going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and we couldn’t be more excited.
After waking up in the morning, I could not believe that today was the day everyone had been looking forward to. We had to all get up very early and make sure we had plenty of food and water in our system before making the forty-minute drive to the Great Wall. As we were getting closer, the mountains started to look bigger and bigger. We could see parts of the Great Wall peaking over the hills. Everyone started getting very exited, knowing what was about to happen and what we were all going to accomplish today. We all started to strategize on the bus about which side of the Great Wall we wanted to climb and with whom we wanted to climb. The driver then parked the bus, and as we got off, we walked to where we could take a group picture before climbing the wall. Later, after climbing the stairs and trekking parts of the wall, we could take an after picture to see how worn we looked.
We split up into groups of at least three or more and picked which side of the wall we wanted to start. The side my group picked was the side that had better views and fewer tourists. We started climbing the wall and did not stop. When we were not climbing up the stairs, we were walking up pathways at forty-five degree angles. I did not realize the wall was going to be so challenging to climb. The steps were uneven and at some points we had to either run at an incline or hang onto the railing and pull ourselves up. We helped motivate each other whenever a person in our group was struggling. Some of the group members could not go any further and had to stop from exhaustion; while other group members went on to the peak.
After awhile of trekking, we finally reached the furthest point of our side of the wall. It took us a minute to catch our breath from the walk, but afterwards we all looked around to see the once in a lifetime view. The first thought that I had was “Is this real?” I could not believe my eyes. All of our walking and climbing had been worth it. I had always wanted to visit the Great Wall but never knew it would actually happen. We stood there for about ten minutes in awe of everything around us. The group I was with made walking up the Great Wall much more memorable because we had all became much closer over the past three weeks. As we were looking at the majestic scenery, we were all looking at each other with smiles on our faces saying “we made it” and “we did it”. At this point in the trip we became more than classmates we became a family. I can finally say that the Great Wall is checked off of our bucket lists, and we could not be more enthusiastic.