American living in Gent, Belgium who gets to travel the world for work. Food lover, daily adventurer, complete wanderluster.

China in 65 Hours or Less

China in 65 Hours or Less

I had heard so many mixed things about traveling to China that I had no idea what to expect. From start to finish, Beijing amazed and spoiled me. I adored the chaos, motion and mix of ancient and modern. It was quite clean and everyone was friendly. My hotel felt luxurious (despite a super cheap room rate by Western standards) and I could always find something tasty to eat. The one important thing to realize: you take your life in your hands every time you get in a car, taxi or cross the street. 

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The flight over was unremarkable and I was able to sleep probably about 5-6 hours. This was wonderful because I was looking at about five hours of meetings straight after arriving. From touchdown on, my life centered on caffeine, caffeine, caffeine. After the meetings, I had an early dinner and climbed into bed before 8pm.

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Halloween was my main day there. I had press events from morning until night. If I've learned anything while working with exhausted pro athletes after a race: bring loads of hot coffee. 

And a little for myself to stave off jet lag throughout the events.

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The day ended with a simple (but tasty) dinner with the group.  We had ideas of going to a recommended Peking duck place but by the time all the events were over, we were too exhausted to do anything but eat at their hotel. By 9pm, I was walking back to my hotel and taking in the massive Beijing skyline.

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I was supposed to have a day of events on the 1st but everything got canceled and I ended up with an unheard of tourist day. This literally never happens in my work, so I ignored the fact my foot was in a boot and took in as many of Beijing’s sights as I could cram into an afternoon.

I loved every twist and turn. I took in the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. I wish I had more time at the Forbidden City; this could easily take a day in itself. I was completely enthralled by it and for anyone visiting Beijing, start there.

It was a minor adventure getting home from the Forbidden City because of Beijing traffic. The first cab I got in tried to charge me 100 yen to go three miles, which was absolutely absurd. So I got out (he made sure he turned around and put me in the wrong direction/wrong side of the road before letting me out: see above note about the dangers of crossing the street) but then I found a new cab and was on my way. Twenty-six yen later and I was at the hotel. My foot was throbbing, so I took a tub and iced it before heading to dinner at the crazy hour of 6:20pm. I ordered what was the seasonal specialty - the tasty hairy crab and another early night to bed.

I got up early, snuck in some simple yoga and was on my way back to the airport, less than 65 hours since arriving. 

Food, Food, Food: China Edition

Food, Food, Food: China Edition

Favorite Things: October

Favorite Things: October