Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, seven fairies, seven beautiful sisters lived in the heavens. Their life was nice there, but they were curious to see what it was like on Earth. So, off they went for a flight that led them to the River Li. The fairies swam in the river and the longer they looked around, the more enchanted by the scenery they became. They loved it so much that they didn’t want to leave.
After a while, the King of the heavens tried to call them back, but the call of the River Li was stronger as if its beauty had bewitched them. At the end, the fairies chose the Earth over the heavens and decided to enjoy that view forever. They turned into seven beautiful hills that are still overlooking the River Li today.
There are many more than seven hills around the River Li, but the legendary origin of the others is unknown to me. There are also many more legends about the mystical river, but this one sunk into my mind, probably, because of the association it evoked. It’s an old fairy-tale made up a long, long time ago, but the seven fairies could be all of us, the contemporary nomad-emigrants, who choose such life. I am not talking about the people who move for the necessity to survive. I am talking about the people who move for the joy of travelling, the joy of new experiences and the joy of expanding horizons. You follow your instincts to go somewhere or you happen to get there and you just feel the place and its people right. You feel at home and decide to live there. It’s the same as when we choose our friends, who become like a family to us. The same way we choose our second homes. Yes, I truly believe that one can feel several places as a home and be faithful to all of them. We are not born to be monogamous when it comes to the places we love. This is the curse or the luck of the contemporary nomad-emigrant.
Emigration is not always negative. It enriches a person with new views and experiences. On the other hand, immigration enriches the hosts with new flavours and insights. As long as both sides are open enough, this exchange can bring lots of good. Among many things, it can teach people to be tolerant, to accept and like the differences.
Whether you agree with me or not, enjoy the ride on this river, which has left a special mark on me. Nevertheless, as opposed to the fairies, I did leave, but if I had to choose only one spot in beautiful China, where I could go back, it would be a no brainer: the River Li.