China is a beautiful country and this was an amazing opportunity. I love the fact that I was able to go there for a visit and take some photos. I honestly don't know what to make of it. In many ways, I feel like this was a beginning of an exploration for me of sorts. It's as if I really want to go back again, and maybe spend a month there or more. Perhaps I left with just a taste of what I want to do. That's OK though, as I really enjoyed my stay there and started thinking about what I really want to do photographically. The food was wonderful, the scenery fantastic, the group was great, we all had a great time. I just wish I could go back again or maybe if I could have stayed longer, that's all. It's hard to get a feel for a place that's so far away in such a short time but I tried. China really is on the other side of the world and it felt that way in many ways.
Perhaps the most positive aspect of my trip was that I really felt like I got away. I had been in a sort of a rut before I left and, let's face it, I really needed a vacation. This was all of that and more. I got to do some exploring, I got to do some magical discoveries, I got to see things I thought only existed in books. I got to see a little bit what life is like on the other side of the world. That was a great opportunity and I'm so thankful I got to go and got to see and share what I did. In some ways, it left me feeling I want more but it was a wonderful experience.
In Austin now, the cold has moved in and winter is all but upon us. It's also time for the annual madness that is the East Austin Studio Tour (EAST.) Now, I'm not participating in EAST this year but I am always somewhat impacted by the chaos, the shows, the energy of it all. The season has definitely changed, I can feel this in the air. It's good to be back home again, to feel more refreshed, to witness the new season dawning upon us, and to start the process of processing the images from the trip. It's going to take a while I'm sure but that's where I'm at right now.
At least part of my head will always be on a quiet hill, in the back alleys and unknown little pockets of Guilin. It's a magical place and I'm so happy I got to take a peek inside this other world, even if it was only for a little bit. More to come on this, I'm sure, but this is me checking in, back from the other side of the world this time.
Until next time...
PS This one taken in a hidden area in Guilin, China, with the Canon 5DS and the walkabout lens.