Saturday, June 13, 2009

Back from China and Japan! Now what?

Dragon Well Green Spring Tea from the Tea Plantation in Hangzhou, China
photo by Jaime Lyerly, May 2009

Back home from our long, exhausting and exhilarating study tour to China and Japan. It was a wonderful experience to say the least. It was the first time in over a year that I was completely taking in visual and auditory information instead of producing art work and ideas. Only during the last few days of the trip did I start to get ideas of ways to incorporate what I was seeing and experiencing into visual art. More about these ideas to come in later blog posts.

I had no access to a computer or even a phone most of the time while we were way. For someone who is on the computer hours and hours a day - this was a huge change! I learned I can live without the computer, Facebook, Twitter and all that jazz. But coming back....yikes! Lots to catch up on. I also feel like I neglected all my duties as an artist and blogger, so I will try to get connected again.

Coming back from such a huge, life-altering trip I am having a hard time dealing with the reality of my normal work and mom schedule (luckily no college classes for a month). Two of our four cats hissed and growled at us when we came home. I missed my kitties so bad when I was on the trip because they are such a part of daily life. Coming home to have them mad at me was hard. Also, two days after I got off a plane after 24 hours with very little sleep, I had to go to work at my clerical job and later that night a middle school band concert to watch/listen to my 12-year-old son Xenneth play the baritone. This does not sound like much, but add it to a pile of bills, correspondence and a messy house and you have quite a lot to deal with. How does my body deal with this stress? It gets sick - which is where I am at now.

So please bear with me as connect back to the real world again. The only thing from our trip that has easily integrated with my normal routine is the drinking of green tea. The picture above is from the Tea Plantation in Hangzhou, China where they teach you about the qualities, customs and benefits of green tea. This is spring tea, which is picked the first week in April when it is most fresh. The tea is mild but invigorating, and I love it. The only big purchase I made in China was the tea. Therefore, I have been enjoying pots of green tea each day since I returned home.

Sorry to give you such little information, but I am still figuring out how best to blog about my experiences. I did keep a travel journal for each country and wrote about my experiences daily. I did not do any art while I was there. This is mainly because we were in a group setting and running non-stop all day. The time it takes to sketch never seemed to fit into the agenda. While I am disappointed about that part, I do feel that my travel journals and photographs will provide me lots of inspiration for years to come.

Thanks to everyone for the well-wishing on my trip. It was great! Looking forward to sharing my stories and pictures as soon as I recuperate.

To your health and fantastic journey! ~ Jaime Lyerly


  1. Hi Jaime,
    thanks for posting your impressions after you came back from your amazing journey! Good for you that you kept your travel journal and don't beat yourself up about not sketching while there...I always go away with the same intention and never ever put pencil to paper.
    Hope you will regain your strength soon and will be able to tell us more of your travel adventures.

  2. Bravo! think about that Fulbright!
    DH and I also dream of one...let's keep in touch!

    Claudia & Sergio


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