Hello to all, well the time for me to start my journey in Tianjin, China for the Marriott Tianjin study abroad program fall 2016 is finally here. It is Tuesday, August 16, 2016 and I’m finally relaxing in my room at the new Holiday Inn Express & Suites Airport Hotel in Miami, FL before I have to wake up early in the morning to catch my 6:45am flight. I will fly from Miami to New York on United Airlines where I will transfer to Air China for a very long flight to Beijing. The first mistake that I made was booking a flight on Air China. I say that because, although the airfare was very cheap they only allow one luggage for check in and one carry-on. Not the best when you have tons of shoes to take. The good news is that I will arrive in Beijing two days earlier than my classmates. I will stay yet again at a Holiday Inn Hotel which is very close to the airport and for a very good price of only $65 per night (as opposed to the Hilton Hotel at $145 per night). My plan is to catch up on some much needed rest and get an early start on my culinary quest for some good authentic Chinese food. I’ll finally meet up with my classmates at the airport on August 20 where we will all board a bus for hour and half bus ride to our final destination Tianjin, China.
This is actually going to be my second visit to China. Many years ago, I was brave enough to travel solo to Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Shanghai for a three week vacation. I loved it then and hopefully I will love it now. During my stay, I had the opportunity to meet some really great and friendly people who made my vacation that much more enjoyable. It’s my hope to once again meet and befriend as many locals as possible and to learn as much as I can about their culture, likes and dislikes, the food and the different regions and landscapes within China. However, this time around, I will push myself to learn at least some basic mandarin language. In addition, I’m looking forward to all of my courses and learning as much as possible about the hospitality industry as a whole and the role China plays within that industry. I will be taking a total of 12 credit hours and I’ve purposely scheduled all of my courses to fall on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The courses that I have registered for are: Intro to hospitality & tourism, Operations control, Destinations & Cultures and Wine Technology. The class times will start at 11:00am and end at 4:00pm with the exception of wine technology which is from 8:00pm to 9:15pm. This schedule will allow me to get out and about to explore the nearby and not so nearby surrounding areas of China. Not too bad if I do say so myself.
I guess that’s about all that I have for now. It’s about 7:40pm and it’s close to bedtime after I reorganize some of my luggage and take a quick shower. I hope my journey will be flawless and I can’t wait to meet the other students and learn about their desires and plans for a future within the hospitality industry. Until later, I thank you for your time and wish you a good night.