April was a whirlwind of excitement, sickness, and general debauchery. I picked up 5 new visas in my passport and spent my days and nights exploring as much of Asia as I could pack into a single month. It just never seems to be enough, though.
Tour De Asia
Looking back on my month, I’m surprised I don’t have more negative memories associated with my time. I was sick for quite a large portion of my trip, and yet I can’t think of a more exhilarating experience than what I was able to accomplish. My partner was right by my side, and together we covered a lot of ground in China together. I also had the accompaniment of a college friend who managed to snag last minute tickets to Japan, and was able to backpack with us for a few weeks.
- 2 nights in Seoul, South Korea
- 3 nights in Bejing, China
- 5 nights in Xi’an, China
- 2 nights in Zhangjiajie, China
- 3 nights in Guilin, China
- 4 nights in Hong Kong
- 6 nights in Taipei, Taiwan
- 2 nights in Hualin, Taiwan
- 3 nights in Sydney, Australia
- In Xi’an, I summitted the formidable Mt. Huashan with my boyfriend & friend Jordan in tow. While the boyf. wasn’t too keen to lean off the edge of the plank-walk like I was, we had a wonderful (albeit sweaty time) climbing up the vertical rock faces. Jordan, true to his nature, was bubbly and excited the whole time, which really made the trip.
- Have you seen the movie, “Avatar”? Remember those crazy floating mountains? Yeah, I climbed the mountains that inspired those in the movie. Bada**. Enough said!
- In Xi’an, I gorged myself at the Muslim Quarter, a night market filled to the brim with tasty snacks. I couldn’t get enough of the squid-on-a-stick.
- SUP at Fulong Beach, Taiwan. For those (like myself) unfamiliar with the acronym ‘SUP’, it stands for “Stand Up Paddleboarding”. Duh, why didn’t I think of that? I attempted yoga while paddleboarding. Which turned into some pretty awesome photos. And a ton of under-water time.
- In Hualien, I entered Taroko National Park and had an awesome time stomping around the infamous gorge there. It’s stunningly beautiful, and there are some interesting rock formations that make for great photo-ops.
- Petting Koalas in Australia! Because where else would I have the opportunity to lay a hand on one of these sleepy guys? *PS- if you are interested, look up their scary look-alike’s, “Drop Bears”. THOSE guys are the dangerous ones!
**PPS: That’s a joke.
- Brandon caught a fever that was high enough to cause hallucinations. The fever was extremely acute, leaving me feeling quite helpless as I attempted to cool him off and break it. Luckily it only lasted 24 hours, because the last thing I really wanted to do was attempt a hospital visit in Bejing.
- In Zhangjiajie, both Brandon and I caught a food-borne illness that left us lethargic and tied to a bathroom for most of our stay. The worst part was developing a mistrust for almost any food we came across.
- Missing our flights into Seoul was extremely frustrating. Due to some user error, we ended up misbooking twice and spending the better part of two days in the airport. Not a fun time, I’ll tell you that.
- More airplane issues arose as I left Hong Kong, and Brandon, into Taiwan. Despite booking months in advance, China Airlines decided they needed to verify the credit card used to purchase the tickets. (Excuse me? Your company already took the money….whats the problem?) Brandon had put the tickets on his credit card, so I was unable to give them the card to prove it was indeed me that they took money from. Long story short… I made my flight. Barely.
Heading into May, I’ll be traveling through Australia and into Hawaii, finally landing back at home base for the summer. I’ll be road tripping across USA and blogging about the PNW (Pacific NorthWest). I also have plans to visit Austin, Texas, Greenville, South Carolina, Vancouver B.C. and potentially other parts of Canada. Stay tuned for updates as to where I decide to relocate abroad. Location TBD.
Until Next Time!