Great opening statement “Travel is supposed to be about a departure from the familiar” (The Paper Case article in Conde Nast Traveler, January 2014 magazine). This is why some people travel and some do not. One of my brothers loves the familiar and does not travel or venture out much where as another brother and I travel the world seeking the unfamiliar in our own ways. After reading this opening sentence I just had to blog about it because it is a very important part of travel NOT seeking the nearest McDonalds, Starbucks or Wi-Fi when traveling. Travel should challenge us in different ways but it should be different from our comfort zones. I believe this is what all travelers seek and I seek it with my passion for China. The Chinese and China takes me out of my comfort zone each time I go which has been 16 times to China. When in China the following are several things that take me out of my comfort zone which are the food, personal space, scheduling, and Come 1 Come All. The food is outstanding in China which I am constantly trying new food, places, learning how it is made, and textures. During our last trip I discovered a great breakfast sandwich from a street vendor and handmade noodle soup from a new restaurant. I learn more and more how food is prepped and cooked in China and wonder why we in America eat so much processed food, it is a shame. As I explode more food in China I prefer more foods with fat texture which before I would not eat any fat from meats. My wife says I am now 80% Chinese with all the new foods I eat in China. There is no personal space in China and it is so unfamiliar to me but I understand it is part of the culture. At first it made me very uncomfortable but as I travel in China it is something I embrace. For example, during our last trip the first night in Lishui (Nanjing) we had dinner with our friends and it was very hot which I put my shirt half way up my body to cool off at dinner. All the guys saw this and wanted me to be cool so they said for me to take off my shirt and I declined but then to make me feel comfortable all the guys took off their shirts, it was awesome. When we are in China we have no schedule or plans we just go with the flow which is the opposite for me I prefer schedules in the US. I only get to recommend things to do and we may or may not go but it is always an adventure. For example, I thought we had plans to go to a carnival type of event but it turned out to be a BBQ picnic in the mountains and I was over dressed. As soon as we leave our apartment for the day I always plan to be out all day and be ready for anything. Come 1 Come All in China is common we never eat alone, we have a minimum of 4 people with us for lunch or Dinner or late night BBQ. Everyone is always welcome and we usually eat or go to places with 6-8 people at all times. These are some of the things I love about China and the wonderful people but traveling to China takes me out of my comfort zone which is may be why I love it so much.
Passionate for everything related to China travel.