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Boundless and Infinite

Boundless and Infinite

CHINA | Saturday, 10 May 2014 | Views [266] | Scholarship Entry

Beijing, China. I never thought that one day Gabriela Pires would be there. Please, don't assume that I'm trying to be all cliché here, because I'm not. All that thing about the girl from the small town conquering the world. It's not that.
I was in China visiting a friend in the summer of 2012. I could never forget that summer because it was when my lungs almost exploded.
It would have been a beautiful death, though. The cause of my near-death experience was a Wall. You see, I'm not the most athletic person. Alright, I am an athletic person at all. My Chinese hosts insisted for us to take the sky lift, but I stubbornly insisted to climb the Great Wall on my two unprepared feet.
The fact that I was wearing All-Stars didn't help at all.
A climb that was supposed to last at least two hours - according to my Chinese friend -, lasted four instead. At every steep hike or stairs I had to sit down and breathe. My face was red most of the time. However, my Chinese friends were kindly patient.
Throughout my tiring, faltering walk I couldn't help but admire the scenery. Trust me, I had plenty of time to do that. The Wall stretched infinitely all around me, and it was so peaceful up there that I couldn't believe that something so grand, so magnificent was built by people's bared hands.
I've never been on the presence of something so boundless and infinite and I felt the Wall's power surging through me. It didn't help my lungs though. I was tired, my legs were shaking, and it was starting to rain. There were no more people around and the Wall was closing down. Even though every part of my body was aching I've never felt so happy in my life.
When I finally reached the top of the steepest hill I felt that I accomplished something big. I didn't know what. I looked down at the Wall, snaking its way through China with the green scenery adding enchantment and peace to the Wall, and realized what I had accomplished.
Liberation.
I was always the kind of girl that depended too much on other people, never tried anything new, or was scared to live. I lived through my books and through the characters. But that Wall taught me that I could be boundless and infinite as well.
My Chinese friends and I were the last ones to leave the Wall. We all ate Magnums to celebrate that my lungs hadn't failed me. My legs were still shaking and I sprained my ankle descending the Wall, but I was not the same Gabriela that climbed the Great Wall four hours earlier. I felt infinite too.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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