Prompt #2: When, where, what, and with who is the story of your travel origin?
I used to hate travelling when I was a kid. I didn’t like that I couldn’t sleep in my bed. I didn’t like having to meet strange new adults whom my mother seem to know.
I rarely went for any sleepovers while I grew up so I ended up terribly homesick in the first year in university. Almost every evening, I would secretly cry in my room.
It was a tough time. Then I decided to end it. Enough was enough. Crying is a tiring business and I really need to stop.
So I did. I stopped crying for home and decided to enjoy life.
My very first solo trip was when I was on student exchange in the second half of my second year at university. I was studying in the south of China in Xiamen, Fujian. I really wanted to visit Shanghai so I made it a goal.
I did my research and memorized Shanghai’s map. I booked one night’s stay in a hostel and stayed with a friend for the other nights.
Since I was still a beginning solo traveller so I signed up for a local tour around east China, covering Nanjing, Suzhou and Hangzhou. I had the chance to walk around alone during our free time. I discovered that walking around alone in a new city is very pleasant.
In Shanghai, my friend had school so I visited the sights on my own. One of them was the Dream of Red Mansion theme park. The park was built for filming and left for tourists to visit.
I wasn’t as familiar of the story as I would like but I recognized some of the crude models of the characters from the novel.
I was also during this period that I discovered ways to take selfies when travelling alone.