Living abroad is said to make a person more creative, and traveling internationally broadens the mind, surrounds one in a new culture, and lets us see ourselves in new ways.
The longer I’ve been in China, the more amazed I am at China’s artistic spirit. Parks are full of seniors practicing calligraphy and opera, entire malls are dedicated to musical instruments or art history and supplies. In Shenzhen, I’ve recently been lucky enough to start taking Chinese calligraphy (书法 shu fa) classes as well as a having a stint at oil painting. Taking a class in local traditional arts is a wonderful way to make your travel in China deeper, make long lasting memories and enrich yourself by learning a new skill. Cultural centers in Beijing and Shanghai offer calligraphy and other courses. Also check out Meetup and Kelby One for photo walks and other artistic and cultural get togethers when you’re traveling.
Stroll the parks in any city in China and see how passionate and expressive its people are—with everyone young to old practicing tai chi, dancing, singing, brushing calligraphy, stitching embroidery, all amid lush garden settings, a major Chinese art form in its own right. Find out about some of China’s best parks in China Tea Leaves guides for the iPad, from Chengdu’s tea houses, to Xi’an’s Tang dynasty sites, to Beijing’s former imperial gardens (coming soon!).