“Kina – 2017 – here I come” was first published on my Swedish Blog.
It’s almost time – the main thing I’ve been waiting for quite a while now – I’m off to China, and more accurately Yangshuo to practice Tai Chi for 3 months at Yangshuo Traditional Tai Chi school! It feels both unreal and exciting. I haven’t been away for such a long period for years, and even though I’m leaving my sweetie at home and behind, it still feels really good. ❤
This is not a simple vacation, but a more soulful journey to try and find my way back to myself – to achieve balance!
During so many years I’ve struggled with random psychic monsters, and it’s been a roller coaster, to say the least! So now I want to put all that behind me, get back on track and find energy for what matters in life – and no, I’m not talking about work! 😉
But of course, the ponderer in me is constantly pondering – it’s my second visit to China, one of the most beautiful and strangest country I ever visited. During my first backpacker-trip – the one which changed my views on everything in general and life in particular – Pernilla and me took the Trans-Siberian railway (or more accurately Trans-Mongolian) to China; I’d chosen China and she’d chosen India and on the road we stumbled into Thailand and Nepal by accident.
To return to a beloved place after several years is always risky, you have so many wonderful memories and when you suddenly stand there years later, with a few more opinions, and a whole heap of experiences richer, the place just doesn’t look the way it should, not the way it used to… while wearing those rose-coloured glasses…
For example: I really fell in love in Haad Rin on Koh Phangan already the first time I went to a fullmoon party back in 1995 (so much so, that we came back to the island to stay for a few days – all the tourists were long gone and we were almost all alone on the beach – amazing!).
Still in 1997 Haad Rin was amazing, but in 2010 when I returned to the most beautiful beach I’d ever seen, it just broke my heart – this was not the beach I’d wandered barefoot on, or where I’d bathed in the clear water nor relaxed on the white sand… My Haad Rin from 1995 wasn’t there anymore…
Today there is just a shabby beach full of tourists, who just keep trashing it… The words “charter trip” comes to mind!
It doesn’t matter how many times I went back after the insight the magic was gone, of course it never came back…
So I’m more than a little nervous to go back to China, and more so to Yangshuo – what if the village I remember doesn’t exist anymore? What if I get disappointed? What if Yangshuo has turned into another Haad Rin – dirty, smelly and disgusting because of all the tourists? What if… what if…
Well, I’m off anyway – time will tell if I get disappointed or not, but in all honesty, I don’t think so… 🙂
So why China?
Because of a whole lot of different circumstances and several years of psychic misery (my doctor calls it an “existential crisis”, while I call it “burnout”!), I just wanted to get away on a journey, which would give me a definite break from reality, and also a chance for recovery – achieve more balance.
While I’ve practiced yoga for the most part of my life, more sporadic as of late, though, I was first looking for a yoga vacation. But I wasn’t that keen on revisiting India – hot and miserable. Somehow India also has the ability to get my blood boiling – and not in any positive meaning… I don’t feel that kind of excitement is what I need right now. I need peace of mind.
My volunteer trip last winter really gave some recovery, but I need more, and I need more soulful workout, more balance. I am a Libra after all, so balance is what I crave… 😉 And above all, I need to stay away a longer time, to get me back on the right track again.
Yangshuo came to mind – an incredibly beautiful and calm place. I could combine Tai Chi, meditation, photography and simple relaxation in an amazing environment. It felt (feels) so right!
So, here are a few things I’ve decided to not repeat during my trip this time, 22 years after I first set foot in China:
I will not travel through China with a sword by my side !
I will not take worthless photos of the Summer Palace in Beijing, and I won’t let some random Chinese take a crooked photo of me!
I will not walk up to the Great Wall just because the cable car cost 1 dollar (today the price is as hefty as 10 dollars, but I think I’ll survive even that sum…)!
I will not travel cheapo-cheapo local bus, and risk a panic attack – seriously though, if you can’t even handle cucumbers, it just won’t work!
I will not visit weird markets of all sorts to see this shit !
And here are a few I most definitely must do, or re-do:
Rent a bike in Beijing – so nice and comfortable to cycle through the city – hardly any traffic either! I do hope I’ll have the time for a bike, this time too…
Pernilla with the guide book ready, to discover the city!
I will definitely take a long tour on the river Li… I mean, what the frack… look at those photos??
I will definitely cycle around like a maniac, not just in Beijing, but also in the countryside around Yangshuo and savour the magical surroundings!! Hopefully I also get to capture a lot of beautiful photos…
Speaking of photos – I will definitely include the heads of my objects this time!!!
I will drag myself up to Moon Hill in Yangshuo again, hopefully not in the pouring rain, thus with a better view than 22 years ago!
I will eat dumplings each and every day…. and speaking of food – my absolute favourite food is served in this country, so I will most definitely eat until I burst! 🙂
Follow my journey back to China with all it entails – cultural clashes, hard workout with demanding Chinese masters, food gluttony, sightseeing and overload of cuteness (all that is kawaii in Japanese…). It will be awesome, I promise you that much!