Tanner Diebold was one of 27 Puget Sound football student-athletes traveling to China (May 15-23), where the Loggers learned the culture, led youth football clinics, and competed against the Shanghai Titans (2017 American Football Leage of China Champions). Diebold shares the final thoughts on the Loggers' trip to China.
As a crew, we were sad when we woke up this morning and boarded the plane in Shanghai headed back to Seattle. As I look back and reflect on this past week, I realize that it truly was an experience of a lifetime, and we are all so blessed to have the opportunity to take part in such an amazing trip.
Not only did we get to play the game we love, but we got to see and experience some of the most historic locations in the world, and were surrounded by such great people. As we arrived last Tuesday night (May 16th) everyone was excited, yet unsure of what to expect. We were greeted right away by our awesome tour guide, Iowa. I can honestly say I don't think our trip would have been as fun or nearly as organized and efficient without him. Each day was a new journey, and we all set out each morning with an open mind and embraced the culture.
Having studied abroad in Ireland last summer, I anticipated these experiences to be somewhat similar, but China was definitely different. This trip was the perfect hybrid between a short study abroad experience and an athletic adventure. I can recall that in Ireland it took quite a while to get familiar with the city and figure out how things worked, all while trying to make a new group of friends. In China, we were already surrounded by all of our friends and had no idea where we were most of the time, leaving us with no option but to follow Iowa and trust that we were headed in the right direction.
This trip truly was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had, and I know I'll remember it forever. I wish current and future Loggers all the best as this international tradition grows.