I admit it. I am not a well-traveled person. I am not sure if that’s because it’s something that was never important to me or on my mind, or if I just never had much time or opportunity. But that has changed a little recently.

I have a very good a lifelong friend I met many years ago named Bruce. We seemed to hit it off all the way back when we first met in elementary school. We remained friends for many years, and even kept in touch when our adult lives took us in different directions.

I have recently reconnected with Bruce thanks to the ease and reach of social media. When he told me he was living in China I was amazed. I don’t think I ever met anyone who actually lived in a country that seemed so far away and so different.

He told me he had an offer to work in his field of international business for a freight transportation company that specialized in shipping from China to the UK and America. I never realized they were hiring overseas candidates.

Bruce was as excited to hear from me as I was when he replied to my attempt to reconnect. He even invited me to visit him in Shenzhen, the city he was based out of in China.

I never though about visiting Chines before, but since I had not seen Bruce in a long time, and have never really had an invite from someone I know actually living and working there, I figured why not. I have never been to Asia, had never been to China, and had not really been anywhere other then the U.S.A. for a long time.

I am not going to lie, it was not a cheap trip. China itself was not too expensive, and since Bruce let me stay with him, I did not have to worry about accommodation. But, the airfare wasn’t cheap, and we did some travel to other cities within China, which was a bit pricey, especially Beijing!

It was also not the best place to run, outside anyway. Bruce was always a runner and kept up with it to his best ability while living there, but the pollution on some days was really bad. He said he trained mostly indoors to avoid the factory smog and all the car exhaust and brake particulate. It was really as bad at what you see in the news.

However, the nicer gyms were really fantastic and high-tech. It was a little tricky getting the treadmills and elliptical trainers working properly since they were all in Chinese, but the staff were super friendly and with Bruce’s help and their assistance, I managed to get some training in.

All-in-all it was a very exciting trip. It was great to see an old friend, and it was great to meet new ones in a very interesting country and culture.

Thank you Shenzhen. I hope I will have another chance to visit in the future!