Sometimes our trips have been based on places we’ve always wanted to see, taking the opportunity to visit friends, or just choosing something off a “places you must see” in [insert year here] list.
But last year our overseas trip was based on something else, extremely cheap flights from Auckland to Chengdu on Sichuan Airlines. I know, it may not be the best or most thoughtful way to choose a destination – but hey, not everything needs to be part of some giant life plan.
I knew that Chengdu was the home of pandas in China, and found out the Xi’an was fairly close to Chengdu by high speed train – so why not go to China?
The lead up to the trip was quite a strange and busy time, the trip was in November and we lost Mia in August and I started a new job in October – long story short, we didn’t think too much about this trip, we had flights, accommodation and had booked our train tickets a few days before we left. I have to admit just before we left, I was left wondering if this was actually such a good idea – especially when I told people where we were going and we pretty much knew no Chinese apart from “Hello” and “Thank You” and their response was you’re so brave/adventurous (I don’t feel brave or adventurous!).
I think I boarded the plane in Auckland not knowing if I was ready for China, I mean, I’d been to Shanghai before – but Shanghai is a big, international city – Chengdu isn’t Shanghai, what was I even doing?
Turns out I shouldn’t have worried so much, and that actually I’m a more experienced traveler than I thought – China, was in fact, amazing – but it really was a wild ride!
I’m going to do a few posts about our adventures in China, because we saw and did A LOT over a couple of weeks! But just wanted to say if you’re thinking of visiting China, you should – even if all you can say is a few words of Chinese, you’re going to have a blast!