Sorry about the delay! I know that The Alphabet List typically comes out on Friday, but due to circumstances beyond our control, it’s been pushed back until today! Enjoy the third installment, where we start with the letter…
In 2007, I applied for and won a scholarship to study Mandarin in Beijing. I was beyond thrilled to spend several months in that amazing city, learning the language, meeting the people, and seeing the sights. Of course, this included the Great Wall.
I went with my classmates to Mu Tian Yu, which is easily the most heavily touristed portion of the Great Wall, but it was still thrilling. I hiked along the top of the wall, peering through the holes in the battlements, and marveling that I was actually there. However, the aerial tram lifting hordes of tourists to the top, and the slide offered for the trip down didn’t necessarily lend a great deal of authenticity.
Will has never been to China, but we have a trip planned for this fall. I can’t wait to show him around Beijing, a city that means a great deal to me. Of course, we’ll visit the Great Wall, but I’d like to see a different part of it, a more raw and wild portion of one of the greatest feats of human accomplishment. It’s going to be even better the second time around.
This one was too easy. “H” is for the beautiful US state of Hawai’i. I lived on Hawaii’s Big Island for several years, I went to university there, and that is where I finally met Will, a little over three years ago. Little did I know that meeting would start the crazy RTW adventure I’m currently on.
All of Hawaii is a beautiful place, but I’ll always be partial to the Big Island. An active volcano, gorgeous and lush rainforests, golden beaches and palm trees, it really is paradise defined. I’ve been on a solo, sunrise swim with dolphins at Ho’okena, played in the snow on the top of Mauna Kea,seen the eerie glow of a lava flow at night, and been witness to the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life. Hawaii is a truly magical place.
We’ll always have a connection to the islands, as friends, family and a little piece of property in the rainforest are still there for us. One day, I don’t know when, we’ll be back.
I thought that the letter “I” was going to be difficult. Iceland? Ivory Coast? Well, this list doesn’t necessarily have to be places, therefore “I”, in this case, is going to refer to getting “inked”. Specifically, getting inked in Amsterdam.
I’ve been tattooed in China and Thailand, but it’s been several years that the ink’s been dry, so to speak. Will has also been itching to go under the needle, so we’ve decided to start our northern European trip in August with several days in Amsterdam, home of some of the world’s best tattoo artists. The city is packed with studios, and is one of Europe’s best and most popular places to pick up some ink.
My mother and my daughter are even considering joining us for this tattoo adventure. Talk about a family vacation!
I’ve always thought that tattoos make much better souvenirs than trinkets or T-shirts, don’t you?
Stay tuned for the next installment! I wonder where we’ll go for “J”?