There are so many places to see on our beautiful planet. In this age of technology, it seems the world is getting smaller, but when you get out there, you learn that there’s so much to see and do. I keep adding places to my “Places to Go” list on Pinterest and I just added another host to my time in Mongolia. At this rate, I’ll never come back to the states!
I decided to start my Asian Adventure in China. I got my ticket on United and used my frequent flier miles, so it cost me $5.60! I fly into Beijing and spend 12 days there with a side trip to Zhangjiajie- Google it! Ok, I’ll make it easy for you, here’s the link: http://www.zhangjiajietourism.us. It looks so beautiful and I know I’ll like being there instead of in the city. I plan on seeing some of the Great Wall of China while in Beijing, and most importantly, take the train to Ulan Bator, the Capitol of Mongolia, where I will meet my first host, live in a ger, and take the cattle out to graze every morning!
I don’t want to do too much planning, but you have to make some decisions on where to go and check if there are any requirements to get there. (And of course, it also helps with budgeting your money). China requires Americans have a visa, so I got that taken care of today. I submitted 15 pages of documents, my passport, a photo, and $271 and a week later, voila, my fresh new visa will arrive via FedEx to my work. I requested a signature upon delivery because my passport once got delivered to the wrong house from the Indian consulate the day before I left the states for nearly a month. That was nerve wracking!
People often ask where I’m staying, in general, during my travels. That’s where workaway.info comes in. This is a site of hosts from all around the world looking for volunteers to help out with all kinds of stuff. Everything. This is the site my friend Zach told me about two years ago while in Costa Rica. I’ve had an account for a while and have been perusing the various opportunities ever since… I’m choosing hosts that will provide me with the opportunity to expand my nutrition background, whether it be through learning about local foods, farming, cooking for others, or giving me the opportunity to teach others about nutrition. I don’t know where this year will take me, so I want to expand my horizons in as many areas as possible.
Most of my time away will be spent doing some type of volunteer work, but I will throw in some travel here and there as well. I’ll definitely go out and explore as much as possible when I have down time, and I’m sure it would be nice to check in to a decent hotel every once in a while. I’m trying to prepare for the unknown and see how others live and experience that life with them. China will be a segue into the unknown, I’ll venture out on my own or with fellow travelers, but then my life as a “voluntourist” will begin. Funny how I talk about flying, but I actually arrive to my first country (after China) by train…! ?