On our last day in Shanghai, we had a relaxing morning where we got to explore the Yu Garden, which was built during the Ming dynasty and features some beautiful rocks, sculptures, trees, and some terrifyingly huge Koi fish. After returning to the hotel, we had some free time to get lunch, and practice presenting our final projects—each group was to do a business proposal that would draw on what we had learned about the smartphone industry and e-commerce in China. After presentations that evening, we had our final group dinner, where it hit me how much I was going to miss not only all the great food and experiences I had in China, but even more so the people I had had them with. That night, we all went out into the city to experience China together one last time. It had only been two weeks, but during that time I had the opportunity to get to become friends with some great people who I otherwise might not have had the luck to meet.
The next morning I woke up early, and went for one last walk down through a nearby park before returning to the hotel to pack. Before long, we arrived at the airport, and I said my goodbyes. For some reason I had been placed on a different flight than everyone else, which meant I had a few hours in the Shanghai airport and the entire 15-hour flight to myself. However, once I arrived back in Chicago I was lucky enough to be reunited some of my friends who were still there on a layover. It was a nice way to end our trip, and it made the time in the airport terminal fly by. After saying goodbye—this time for a while—we all parted ways, and before long I was back in Boston. Even though the journey was over, I knew the memories I made during my time in China would leave a lasting impression.