I’m partly laughing from disbelief as I write this because I never imagined that this trip would happen. It was never in my plans to go backpacking again so soon, due to my guilt over burning through my piggybank. But after mapping out my next few years and realizing that there’s a high possibility I will be working feverishly to get to my next goal… I began to fear that I would lose my last chance to go backpacking again.
So here I am. Pretending that I have lots of time to pack and making my eyes gloss over every time I walk past my traveling backpack in my house. I got it out of the basement but I had to throw it back downstairs because it caused me so much stress LOL. If useless talents got us degrees, I would be walking the stage to accept my PhD in Procrastination right now.
This time, I’m going to …China.
Well, I fell in love with hiking these past couple of years and I became really drawn to places with scenic landscapes and mountains. I absolutely love the idea of filling a trip up with mama nature. The trek I did in Thailand is truly one of my most memorable experiences, and I still remember the utter bliss of falling asleep to the sound of crickets and the rushing river. That kind of setting, along with my attraction towards traveling to Asian countries in general, led me to China.
It may sound strange, but I feel more at ease when I blend into the crowd while I travel. It alleviates a lot of anxiety over not fitting in, because if I’m being honest, it can be hard for me to mesh well with a lot of other young travelers who are hardcore partiers. Yeah, I like to go out and have fun once in a while, but I’m honestly quite a tame girl most of the time. I can probably count on one hand how many times I went out to drink with my friends last year.
I know China is not a very popular choice when it comes down to backpacking, but a lot of popular destinations seem to be geared towards these young party crowds, whereas I prefer the less-traveled route with places that are more true to the culture. My thrills come from beautiful scenery and delicious food instead. To each their own, right?
But while I was planning, I had one problem. Going on a trip with a lot of hiking is obviously not the safest to pursue, solo-style. And joining tours really kill my jam because I adore the freedom of being able to choose my own destinations and interest points. So I had to hunt for companions. Initially, this seemed impossible because no one was legitimately interested enough to commit. I was actually starting to give up when I somehow miraculously managed to convince some suckers to join me. Mwahaha. Spam involving panda pictures may or may not have been a tactic.
*whispers* Thank you, panda gods.
May you please bless my companions with enough patience and humor to tolerate my weirdness, spontaneous dancing, and hangry moments. While you’re at it, please keep us safe from monkies with rabies, as that vaccine costs a human limb to get, meaning we did not get it. Oh, and traveler’s diarrhea too. Ain’t nobody got time to poop a river on this trip!
11 cities, 3 weeks. Whew.