It may come to no shock, but I truly enjoy traveling. I thrive on the feeling of seeing something new, something that no matter how physically far from my home is a million miles away than the life I live on a daily basis. Being a little out of my element, feeling like an egg that’s being scrambled is one of the great joys of travel. It forces me to see the world in a different way, or at the very least re-evaluate how I’ve seen the world up to that moment. China was a fascinating trip for me. I learned a little about the history of China, but I learned heaps about who I am as a traveler.
In China, I booked my trip through Nippon Travel Agency. It was convenient, a little pricier than if I did independent travel or if I bought individual tours. But there is definitely something to be said about paying a lump sum for your hotel, airfare, tours, guide, chauffeur, admissions, and food for the entire trip. Everything was simplified, there was no being lost, wandering, or confusion.
On the flip side, I enjoy the aesthetic of being lost. I like wandering. And the midst of confusion is the only time that you can appreciate when things become resolved. A simple vacation is definitely pleasant, but pleasant is indubitably not life changing. Pleasant is nice in the moment, and it gives you nice memories, but pleasant doesn’t lend itself to a story. Ten years down the line, the first word I will use to describe China will be easy.
An honest question worth asking is why on earth anyone would want a difficult vacation. But those times when I’m on my own, figuring things out, I feel like my mind is firing on all cylinders. Every sense is in overdrive, which makes the feeling that much more tactile when I reminisce.
The difference between running to catch your flight, filled with dread that you may lose a non-refundable ticket versus having a driver shuttle you from one destination to the next is a world apart. It’s next to impossible to forget the feeling of adrenaline coursing through your veins as opposed to that sleepy journey from the hotel to the next place on the list of places worth seeing.
Now, this will probably stop some friends from ever wanting to travel with me, but when everything is going wrong is when a vacation really gets good. At the moment, it feels like an affront to all of your hard work and planning. Nevertheless, when one problem stacks on top of the other you come out the other side with an amazing tale. And for me, the tale is paramount. I can collect a camera chalk full of beautiful pictures that all look like post cards, but if all I have to say about each is only that it was so beautiful, I’ll feel like a failure. Pictures should have an experience behind them, and traveling a bit more three sheets to the wind is the best way I can guarantee a story. So, without any further ado, my collection of experiences from China.