I'm headed for Shanghai and Bangkok solo...I have been told I'm adventurous. However this trip feels less adventurous and much more melancholy. People say grief will hit you when you least expect it and also with more force than you can sometimes imagine. Alan Wolfelt wrote, " Grief comes in and out like waves from the ocean. Sometimes when you least expect it, a huge wave comes along and pulls the feet right out from under you." For me it's true. My dear friend Melissa passed away in May and more than the sky scrapers, shopping, noises, foods & smells...she is Shanghai to me. This isn't my first return trip going solo, but somehow it feels like it. We met there 10 years ago, and became fast friends. She brought a levity to everything she did including the city of Shanghai that can sometimes be more than challenging. Together we started RockHill Designs in 2009 as separate entities, but with shared knowledge, talents and a lot of travel together. I'm thankful to have so many wonderful memories, but words cannot express how very sad I am that we will not be making more. We will not be "sushed" for laughing too loud, she won't be egging me on to eat street food and she won't be there to get me ginger-ale when it goes badly. There will be tears this trip and I will let them flow. I am also sure there will be some laughter too as I remember her bright light and spirit. Shanghai will never be the same...not just that it's always changing at a light speed rate...but, for me it is personal too. There are so many photos but here are some highlights of our journey through Shanghai- enjoy!
|Our first trip to Shanghai in 2009|
|Rockin' Hats our hats in Shanghai 2011 Chinese New Year|