Dear girls of the world: Go on an adventure in the land of the dragons
Dear girls of the world,
Please excuse my writing, but I urgently need to share my China experience with you as it can absolutely change your way of thinking and traveling. Well, it happened to me so it will certainly happen to you as well.
Before I start though, let me introduce myself. For those of you who don’t know me yet, I’m Agness, a travel blogger of eTramping where I share my voyages across the World for less than $25 a day. Yes, I’m a cheap girl, but that’s something I’m proud of!
In August 2011, after my university graduation, I decided to set off for a year adventure to the Land of Dragons and guess what… I’ve never returned home. China holds a special place in my heart. Here it all started – my first solo backpacking trip, my first proper teaching job, my first passport stamp from Asia, my first weird Chinese breakfast on the cheap, my first homesickness and my first blog post on my travel blog…
Right now I’m living, traveling and working in China as an English teacher and I would love to convince you to do the same. Reasons? Let me give you a few.
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A smile speaks all languages: Even if you don’t speak the local language, smile says it all. It can express your generosity, love, respect, gratitude as well as friendliness to local communities. When I came to China, I didn’t speak much Chinese, but I quickly realized that the language barrier was just the excuse of not being bothered to try hard to understand others.
Less is more: When living in China, I stopped collecting things and started collecting moments and smiles. I started to appreciate little things I used to underestimate or totally omitted in my life.
In China, it’s all about the people: The places where I traveled to did matter to me, but most of my memories are related to people I’ve met on my travels. These little chats with locals meant a lot to me and every single conversation was like a life lesson to me.
Girl, you are what you eat: I never really focused on the food I ate. Too many carbs? Fatty meat? Double size portions? Bring it in! After coming to China and seeing all of these Chinese talking about how the food you consume influences your performance at work, your whole body and your brain, I started being more conscious about the food. More fresh fruits and veggies appeared on my plate, I stopped eating meat and drank more green tea. I’ve been treating my body as a temple, not a rubbish bin.
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If you want to go fast, go alone: But if you want to go far, together! Teamwork is crucial when you want to achieve something in your life. Chinese always support each other when it comes to business, work or family issues. They ask questions and get the answers from family members. When in doubt, they ask for a hand. It’s ok to be lost or say “I don’t know.”
Life is all about balance: China was the place where I realized I had a problem of not keeping the balance in my life. Everything was either black or white, bad or good, I was 100% in or out, nothing in between. I started to meditate at Chinese temples, in local parks and lakes. I spoke to local monks, Chinese friends and wise men who always said “Life is a see-saw, but you need to keep the balance. Otherwise you will fall and hurt yourself.”
You are worth more than what you think: “Speak high about yourself. You are smart, beautiful and you have a big heart,” some Chinese locals told me. When in China, people kept giving me lovely compliments about my hair, my eyes, my smile, and my personality. I gained more confidence and stopped being a self-conscious girl who was afraid of what people would say. Thanks to China, I’m much tougher.
Money doesn’t make you happier: Thanks to my full time job as an English teacher in China, I was able to save up to $18.000 a year while teaching and traveling across Asia. So my dear girls, back your backpacks and off you go to China. It will be a journey of your lifetime where you’ll learn a lot of new things about the world and yourselves, I’m sure about that.
The Princess of China