Asia, North America · 31 Days · 43 Moments · May 2017

Kaitlyn's China Adventure

24 June 2017

Throughout this whole trip the brand image over all is passion, and adventure. Every city has so much passion for what they stand for and it leads to an adventure you'd never think of. The brand image of each city: Beijing: The brand image is knowledge. Beijing has so much history such as the Palaces, Temples, and the Great Wall that really immersed you into the history and want to learn everything you can. Xi'an: (Comfort) I'm not sure if it was because it's Dr. Wei's hometown but I also felt safe and at home. Hangzhou: (Relaxation) Hangzhou was my absolute favorite. The quaint coffee/tea shops and local shops but you in a sense of peace and relaxation. Suzhou: (Gardens and Gondalas) Flowers are everywhere and the gondolas take to back in history and to the local days as well of how people live and how lucky most of us all are. Shanghai: (Modernized) Shanghai is the most culturally advanced. Shanghai is China's New York City. Shanghai isn't back history but into the future. #DM

23 June 2017

Shanghai Disney is a place that is not easily explained. It's one of those places you just have to go and see for yourself. Just a few tips though before you go... 1. Get there extremely early and have patients, the lines aren't lines it's a cluster of people pushing and waiting. 2. Ride Tron and Pirates of the Caribbean you go back to Orlando and realize we need to step it up big time. 3. Try all the foods. I had two food items the first was a chicken and waffle sandwich I had to try it because it was something I thought would be comfort food, but come to find it had a big twist it was super spicy with little chicken and cucumbers. Second, was my Mickey caramel and chocolate apple. It's my favorite thing to eat after a long day at the park. Its a sweet ending to long day. It's my tradition back home with my best friend every time we go to the parks, so it was a little taste of home before really heading home. Shanghai Disney was an incredible experience with incredible people. #CC

22 June 2017

Tourism plays a huge role on preserving the culture and history each country or city. Tourism is responsible for preserving the culture of China in ways just like many others. If the tourism percentage didn't ask for a demand in each location there would be no point in preserving it. For example, many people of the country want to be more modernized with skyrise apartments and giving you the feeling you're in the big city many do not. However, do to the fact of tourist from all around wanting to be immersed in the history and stories of ancient China many of the stone carvings, temples, and gardens are preserved to help bring in the money economically but also keep the culture. Second, it's not just the demand of wanting to view landscapes and buildings but also to purchase items. For example making silk, and double sided stitching. These techniques have been used for years and still today. Tourist want to see how this is done. Everything is controlled by demand. #CC
While visiting Fudan University were had a wonderful experience to engage and learn about "The SWOT analysis on the current tourism industry and its development strategies in the western area of China". During our lecture we learned about the differences of Western China compared to Eastern China. Eastern China is a lot more developed compared to the Western Civilization, a lot of the Eastern side is now taking up by more tourist attractions such as Disney, sky rise buildings, and more modernized technology compared to the western side which is not at all. Western side of China is know for their Plateaus, Snowy Mountains, and deserts. The Eastern side is more landscapes, urban resources, and seashore tourism. The revenue of foreign tourism in western China is extremely low compared to east as low as a 3.5 million dollar comparison in 2010. It's now our time to help condense the large gap between west and east and show the cultural love from the western side of China. #DM
I believe more security should be put into these places. Therefore, help regulate that the rules were followed, because even though there were signs no one listened. Yes, the signs were in Chinese so they should have them available other languages as well but none of us speak or read and we knew the rules. We all want to help preserve these beautiful tourist attractions so there are more visitors for years to come but without implementing rules and following through with them we can't do that. #DM

21 June 2017

What was the significance of the "ping pong" diplomacy? The simple game of table tennis to me has always been something you do competitively with friends and family at gatherings. The goal was always who could be the next "Forest Gump", but who would of thought that in 1971 the game of table tennis would actually bring an end to the Cold War and open the gates to an alliance and friendship between the United States and China. After a United States table tennis player accidentally walked into the Chinese players bus, he was welcomed and gifted with the beginning from one of the top players then everyone. This lead to Nixon to coming to Beijing, and later on signing a diplomacy to bring the two countries together. #CC
Following the cliche' I feel as if many other countries have horrible stereotypes for Americans. I've been told we Americans think we are very full of ourselves, snobbish, and not well mannered. Now I can't speak for all Americans but I feel that's definitely not true for everyone. All the students in our group all try to be respective to the Chinese culture. We have done our best in three weeks time to try and blend and mold to their way of life. With this being said I find it sad when other disrespect cultural attractions. For example, we've seen kids run around stores fighting each other as the parents just go ahead and alone that. Yesterday we went to the Pearl Tower Museum and all of the scenes were fenced off therefore no one to go into the attraction display areas and many tourist young and old were not following the rules and touching things. I think everyone's mother wanted to come out of them and tell them to not touch and hold their hand. Continue #DM

20 June 2017

Thankfully we have a few more days in Shanghai, I'm excited to learn about China's New York City. That's exactly what my first impression was and what Shanghai reminds me of. Shanghai has many amazing attractions to offer. Our first impression was the tall buildings all around, and the Oriental Pearl Tower. The oriental pearl tower is multi-functional with restaurants, a hotel, and observation deck. We faced our fears on the glass deck that was over 250 meters up in the sky, that helps to captivate the beautiful city of Shanghai! The coke section of the pearl tower really took me back to Atlanta, Georgia and the coke museum as well as a little bit of home with the fact that my dad and uncle worked for coke for years. Shanghai is more populated then Beijing, but it doesn't seem that way or as crowded and traffic filled. Shanghai at night around our hotel is also a completely different scene, there are the same amount of people working the streets as the day time. #DM
Suzhou and Shanghai have great connections with each other. These two cities have traded important events for central business. Suzhou was one considered the major city therefore, multiple people live there. However now a days the market has skyrocketed and Shanghai is considered the big city whole Suzhou is the village. Shanghai property market is more then half of Suzhou's therefore, multiple people like our tour gourde Jeffrey works in Shanghai butt live in Suzhou. Suzhou has the top scholars in the country as many as 36 come from Suzhou alone therefore, education in Suzhou is very popular. Many of the top professor are transferred over to Suzhou to teach. Shanghai and Suzhou are the best friends of the country. They bounce off of each other in education, economics and businesses. #CC

19 June 2017

Art always has a story or a description of life of passion. Some art such as learning to color inside the lines can be mastered in a day, however, other pieces can take years to master. Art is all around is whether it's a building, a plate of food, clothes on your body, or a painting. I've mentioned it before about the passion china expresses in everything they do, but you don't just see it by listening to them talk about it but also trough the detail put into every piece. I've seen so many incredible and different forms of art in China, but the most favorite that amazes me every time is the art structures of the buildings and landscapes of the stone carvings. Now much of it has been preserved or repainted over time but they still keep the detail into the each building. It's absolutely captivating, and bright. Each color has a meaning, each figure has a story. The second art experience I find amazing is the foods. Dumplings molding into animals. Coolest thing ever!! #CC
Suzhou is a very unique city, unfortunately our time here was very short. Suzhou as a tourism has much to offer, in my next trip to China I will be coming back to see all they have to offer. Do to the rain we were unable to go to Tiger Hill with the leaning pagoda of Suzhou. A late poet once said it would be a pity if you go to Suzhou without going to Tiger Hill, which eventually put Suzhou on the map as a tourism destination and blooming it's vibrant gardens, and the great canal. While visiting Suzhou I was amazed by the double stitching artistry. I wish I had photos, but on one side would be an orange cat and in another would be a black cat. This skill take years to master. Only 12 masters are aloud at a time, therefore here are different levels of skill. This takes great patients, and the fact that the back side is done completely by feeling is astonishing. You can't tell which side is which or where they started or ended. The silk process is also amazing an a site to see. #DM

18 June 2017

Upon arrival to China we were presented with the fact that our group would make a splash. We're the first study abroad to China from Rosen College with such a diverse group we were gonna make an impact. In just the first few days we made an impact on our tour guide Nikki to go back to school to get a higher degree. We've made impacts with universities to expand their hospitality programs and to the students to travel and gain how broad the tourism and hospitality industry really is. However, as we talk about the impact we've made in China we haven't talked about the impact China has made in us. Not able to speck for everyone but China has expanding my knowledge, and respect for this country. China has such passion for everything wherever you go it's very inspiring. China has so much history it's crazy to walk into a temple, pagoda, garden, or the Great Wall and think about how thousands of years ago this was once used for something completely different and not as a tourist trap. #DM
Back home my lifestyle doesn't stop, working two jobs, and going to school full time I have to say I'm not a fan. I'm more for the simple life. Laying in my hammock, going to the beach and drinking tea are my favorite enjoyments to step away from reality for a while. In China, rest and relaxation is much simpler and what I prefer in life. The Chinese culture drink tea/coffee at local tea houses, stroll through gardens or through the streets, or play cards with friends and family. In America the lifestyles are much more fast past relaxing is not as common. When relaxation is possible, many spend it by playing video games, going to the beach, watching Netflix, or going on a vacation away from home. In America relaxing and taking a week vacation and staying home I feel isn't common. We like to get away from the everyday views and travel to new exotic places. The Chinese culture is much more aware on what relaxation is all about. #CC

17 June 2017

Throughout the three universities we have visited so far there is a large difference in the effects of long term orientation throughout the Chinese culture. BISU in Beijing set high standards for me for the next coming cities. BISU the students were all more interactive with us, many of the study were on our level of education so it was easier to compare and contrast lives. BISU seemed more prepared for our visit as if they were eager to build a long term relationship with our school and students. XISU the students found out they were going to meet us, when they walked into class. Everything seemed very unprepared. Many of the students showed long term orientation by slowly opening up to us through small talk then at the end wanted photos and our WeChat accounts to keep that friendship. Zhejiang university we were welcomed in with open arms. Rosen has sealed our relationship, therefore after getting to know us, the ceremony to recreate their hospitality school has been signed.#CC
When traveling to another country many of us focus on the tangible products, something that we can physically hold or touch like a souvenir to bring home to cherish or to our families. However, the greatest gifts for yourself are the intangible tourism products. The products you can't bring home that family members will just have to come with you next time to experience. It's the products that you can't physically touch but it touches your heart, your mind, and your spirit. Visiting WuZhen today we got to ride in man propelled gondolas up the riverbank all the while looking to your right to see how many people once and still live. Many were no A/C, just wooden shacks with clothes hung up outside. It makes you realize how much some people don't have compared to you but also how beautiful it must be to live like this and be okay with it. I'm slightly jealous not going to lie. The tiny narrow alleys of many tourist visiting museums built within. It's crowded but the norm. Continue#DM
It makes me wonder if we really have it all. Are people in the United States happy, happy enough that having a more simple life would be okay with them. #DM

16 June 2017

Today we traveled to Zhejiang University for a lecture in smart hotels and how data drives the present. This is the era of information explosion which is dominated by data collection. The thought of a smart hotel in my opinion is genius, however it is already in place in many hotels in the United States and in some hotels in China. Disney has data collected for what the guest prefer when it comes to a/c. In our last hotel Xi'an had been pad to control everything in the room from lights, a/c and the do not disturb light. I believe the invention as a whole is incredible on a waste and energy efficient stand point. However, in many hotels in the States and in China the have a key slot that is mandatory for a key to be in place to have anything in the rest of the room work. The smart room collects data from how many times you enter the room, and your sleep habits. The a/c can be adjusted to what the guest prefers ahead of time from hotel staff for future visits. The future is here! #DM
#CC Today as we visited Zhejiang University we were introduced to the strong relationship we have built with the people of the University. From past visits to Rosen College the Deans were very impressed with how Rosen is presented and knowledgeable. It was important for us to give thankful, and professional face. Though our built connection to Zhejiang University as Amir Ye mentioned we are part of the New Tourism Management which is bridging people from different countries together. In regards to a power distance, although we have a built connection it was hard to go unnoticed the line drawn. We as students we are considered the less powerful members of society and accepted the unequal distribution. All the students were to sit in the back as the higher professionals were to sit in front. The lecture and ceremony was directed in/to Chinese for the higher officials to understand. The pictures are always directed by who stands where by the host not the guest. We follow and not lead.

15 June 2017

Shopping has always been my favorite, but when it comes to informercials or people trying to sell me things like food products, workout equipment, certain brands of clothes or makeup I've never been drawn into the mindset of "I have to have this right now!" That's not the case in China. Xi'an and Hangzhou are my best example for marketing. In Xi'an we took a class about calligraphy and about the different meanings symbols formed into words. Now we all could of just had someone tell us the meaning of our names, but no we all had to buy a pretty silk paper with our names then find out the meaning. Some even bought two. Second, in Hangzhou we went to a tea valley, climbed the mountain, & learned all about green tea and the health benefits it has not only inside but in the outside. The green tea absorbs the iodine in the body, which helps detox as well as lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The sales woman wrapped us all in. It went from buying one can to buying three. #DM
Have you ever climbed to the top of a pagoda built over 1,000 years ago, and looked out over onto the water with skyrise buildings that remind you of New York City? It's breathtaking. China helps to preserve its history while transforming into modern day society. Many of the areas around the pagodas and temples have been rebuilt into gorgeous gardens to help recreate the picture of the ancient times. Each historical area has a story to tell and the Chinese government helps tell it. Beijing is still growing into from modern and past. Some of the past is being pushed out. For example, Zhang and his community of the Houtang Area. In Xi'an the new and old city blend, however the old city is considered the "city", but no buildings higher than a certain height is aloud. Outside of the city walls you will see the skyrise buildings by the plenty. They keep true in cherishing the past. Over next years to come I hope to keep coming to cherish the history and culture. #CC

14 June 2017

China compared to other cities is very much advanced in technology. Walt Disney and other major cities with museum of special effects have a lot of competition and need to step it up! Beijing, Xi'an, and Hangzhou have all had one thing in common their performances, and special effects using technology is incredible. In Xi'an 3D postcards are sold where you have to download an app, scan the postcard then friends and family can share the same experiences with you as if they were here. High speed trains make it accommodating to bring families closer together and travel from city to city more often. In Hangzhou the water show on West Lake is by far my favorite. It draws you in with each display by wanting to know what will happen next or how in the world that could of just happened. For example, by using holograms they turned one ballerina into 6 or more ballerinas, but then as the eyes adjust toward knowing there's no real ballerinas, 15 human form ballerinas appear. It's magnificent! #DM
Growing up in my household superstitions were everywhere and for everything. To this day I will not pick up a penny if it's on tails because it's bad luck, but if you find a penny on heads you have to pick it up because it was dropped by your guardian angel. If you drop scissors or a knife you need to step on it before you pick it up or you'll end up getting stabbed by it. Never buy yourself knives, and never open an umbrella to put over you head inside its bad luck. I'm not sure it's an Italian thing or just my mother and grandma teaching me over the years. The Chinese culture is very similar with superstitions. Chinese have a meaning for everything. Giving an apple to something means safety, health, and good travels. However, there are many no no's. Giving someone a fan as a gift means separation. You want to separate from that person. Stabbing your food with chopsticks or buying someone a clock means death, with clocks your time is coming to an end. Be careful shopping! #CC

13 June 2017

Every city we go to puts their own twist on foods. In Beijing the cuisine is more of rice and vegetables, tons of vegetables...I loved it!! There seemed to be less food vendors on the street compared to Xi'an. We had many proteins options but not as much of an abundance compared to Xi'an. In Xi'an noodles and dumplings are what they are known for. Not very many veggie options. Xi'an is bigger in their spices for example chili sauce what is the biggest compliment to each dumpling. The style and design of each dumpling is very creative. For instance if the dumpling had duck, the dumpling was shaped as a duck. If it was cabbage it looked like a cabbage and so on. In Xi'an there were also more foods options to broaden your palette. It was fascinating to watch each vendors style of cooking. Everything was different from the Chinese hamburger, to the ice cream. I tried many new foods in Xi'an some of which I'd probably never would of tried in the States the bamboo had to be my favorite. #CC
All the cities we're going to visit each city has its own beautiful characteristics. Beijing was more populated, and is more of the tourist destination due to the fact of having the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Summer palace and so on. Xi'an was populated as well but did not seem to have more of the tourist traps besides from the Terra Cotta Warrior Museum. Xi'an reminds me of the small town city. Many students from Xi'an University have not traveled out of Xi'an and don't plan to they are comfortable and complete. In Beijing many of the students we spoke with were not from Beijing and had many international students from all over including Canada, Africa, or South America. In comparison each city has much passion for where they live and what they do. We have just arrived in Hangzhou, and I'm extremely excited. We got a very good first impression from our tour guide Bing, as well as much of the architecture is amazing! Houses look like castles!! Excited to explore. #DM

12 June 2017

Today we visited Xi'an International Studies University, it was quite an experience. I felt extremely foreign and loud. All of the students were very soft spoken and shy for hospitality students. Us Rosen students seemed a little extra for them. We're very loud and not at all shy. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Just from a few of the students that i got to speak with they all were very excited to meet us as well as we were. We all had many questions. I thought I was tired from my schedule in the no no the students are in school from 8am-6pm, 5 days a week all the while taking 31-41 classes. College here seems like an extension to what we had in high school. They have to take 6 months of an internship, but not till their senior year. Unlike Rosen they do not get hands on learning from working. Many of the XISU students have not even been out of Xi'an, but all seemed curious to travel. They knew many famous Americans to bond with us about. I'd love to have them visit us in Orlando at our school! #CC
Muslim Street in Xi'an is by far a must see to everyone. I had so many mixed emotions, it was an adventure all on its own. Between the smells of all the foods, bargaining with the local people on souvenirs, dodging scooters and people, getting lost. I was fascinated, nervous, hungry, and excited all at once...some people call the bipolar I call it exploring a new place like a normal person would. For domestic travelers and international it's fascinating to see how different people prepare foods, and how they display it. Watching fresh Chinese candy being made is so different than what I would have expected. They take huge wooden hammers to pound it flat. Along with the foods, I felt so accomplished bargaining and getting everything I wanted for a lower price..who doesn't like a good sale. I felt so cool working deals. I was nervous at first, but then you become a pro. The mosque is a gorgeous addition for relaxing while being away from the larger crowds and busy street. #DM

11 June 2017

Xi'an is a beautiful city. Ann explained Xi'an in the best way today. She said "Xi'an has the big city with the small town feel." Xi'an has a combination of new and old oddly within the city it's considered the old and outside of the city walls you will see skyrise homes and more modern designs on homes. We have seen many remarkable attractions, hotels, and foodie places in just the 3 days of being here. However, the most memorable experience in Xi'an would be the garden from today. The garden is a very relaxing, with simple designs, local vendors, and the scenery was magnificent. The lake had paddle boats you could ride on and just adventure around with the few of the new city in the background. The emperor would hold banquets, shows, and parades in ancient China. I wish we had something like this in Orlando, I'd be there everyday! The only downfall is that it costs money, but thank you to our tour guide Sally we were able to enter... even without our passports. #DM
China brings out positive vibes within the body and mind. Every object, number, or word has a positive meaning. For example, getting one dumpling in your soup mean good luck, two means no worries and everything runs smoothly. China to me is Hakuna Matata or "no worries". ( Disney lover here, sorry) I'm embracing the cultural differences, the foods, and architecture. I came to China for a reason. To explore, to learn new things, to set myself aside from everyone else, and to grow as an individual. However, my biggest challenge while here in China is not the language barriers, the new cuisine, or all the walking. The most challenging part about this trip would be missing home. Not in a homesick way but more of I wish my family, boyfriend, & friends were here with me to enjoy this adventure and share all the new experiences. Talking to everyone over wechat when possible has helped tremendously. It takes me back to being apart of everyone I love, but now I'm meeting new friends #CC

10 June 2017

In the hospitality world we have what is called "giving face" which means giving and showing respect for others by smiling, greeting and shaking hands with people. In other terms it's manners. Today we were introduced to our extended hospitality family and with open arms welcomed many new people. Simy is our newest addition that will be with us for a few days and again in another city. We also got to meet Professor Wei's mother who helped with her father to truly present the passion and beauty everyone has not only of their city, but country. Through Professor Wei's connection we received a beautiful and tasteful meal at the Recreation Resort "a place for healing", & just through the look on our faces the graciousness and respect that we appreciated the thought, detail, and effort put into each dish. Many foods none of us have every heard of but all of us stepped out of our comfort zones and tried them...including myself. Our hotel host were flooded with questions of interest. #CC
Hospitality is in the Chinese blood. The Chinese are all very big on gift giving, sharing what they have with you, and all have this passion for what they do and where they live that they want to share with everyone. In today's experience we went to a Recreation Resort or "a place for healing", through Professor Wei's connection we were supplied with a gorgeous lunch with many decadent dishes. It wasn't that display of foods that gave such great hospitality but it was the excitement on all of their faces that they wanted to share with us and enjoy every minute of it and we did. Another characteristic of Chinese hospitality within the People Grand Legend Hotel. They treat each guest no matter where they come from as if they are VIP. They take that extra step in being the best. It's the little things like asking where the bathroom is instead of pointing...they take you and show you where the bathroom is. They put thought in every detail. Including scheduling Tai'chi for all of us. #DM

9 June 2017

Beijing as a tourism destination in my opinion is doing fantastic. Our group has had 10 out of 10 within services of tour guides, invited into Zhang home, the Great Wall lifts, and rig-shaw drivers. Many attractions are accessible and accommodating to westerns, handicaps, and other foreigners. The Beijing community makes you apart of their community. In terms of transportation they have some signs also written in English therefore it's understandable of where you are. The only improvements that I believe China could improve on is some of the people. This is not China's fault we have the same problem in America that we need to work on is the language barrier and the accommodations on trying to improve a guests stay when there is a problem. For instance in the hotel when there was a problem it was as if it was our problem and we had to deal with it. They weren't has helpful in trying to resolve the problems. This issue can lead to problems in the future of not having repeat guests. #DM
China has higher ratings of collectivism compared to the United States. The United States is more independent meaning we like to do things on our own compared to China who do things in groups. China shows collectivism in many ways such as eating, living, and working arrangements. In China the eating is more of a family style with big round tables, and a huge lazy Susan in the middle therefore, each person can pick off of the same plate. This style brings people together and bringing up conversation for the whole table to be apart of compared to rectangular tables like in the States where one half of the table can not be apart of the other side easily. Another way form of collectivism is the living corridors back in ancient China and still today many family all live together in the same area. For example how Zhang once lived. All of his family live within these four houses and shared a small garden. They have built their own community instead of how Americans live all spaced out. #CC

8 June 2017

Working and wanting to be apart of the hospitality industry this whole group all have one common bond. We all like to meet new people, travel, & hospitable and caring for other people. However, the most influential interaction with my other peers that has made this whole travel experience fully a trip of a lifetime is not just that we talk to each other, but how in only four days we've all become a family. We all come from different backgrounds, cultures, and friend groups but we have all grown this bond that when other people look at us they would think we've all been friends for life. We all care, look out, and help each other. When one person is sick, missing, or just sad we all can feel it. For instance, Ann has a hard time walking but we try to figure out what's can do to help her. Even if that's just standing back with her and talking to make her not feel like she's a burden on anyone because she's really not. It's better to walk slow sometimes you can beautifully take it in. #DM
When traveling and studying abroad with people who have been to the country before they can only prep you so much in what to expect from other cultural behaviors. The two biggest cultural behaviors I have noticed that are different then ours are people staring/taking pictures, and people using the restroom without closing the stall doors. We were told we were gonna make a splash but people actually come up to us and stare or take pictures it fascinating but sometimes it's a little close for comfort. They get right in your face to take pictures of you. However, I think the roles have slightly changed because I want my photos with the kids as well. πŸ˜‚πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Second, people using the restroom without closing the door. I was not ready for that. It's funny because I was prepared for kids using the bathroom outside, but not, not shutting the door. I've walked in on a few people on accident just squatting πŸ˜£πŸ˜‚ The thing that really makes it interesting is the fact the the doors DO actually lo

7 June 2017

Tourism products can come in all varieties, tourism products are not just something you buy at the souvenir shop of the places you went. It's the attractions, the people, the dining, tour services, and of course in this case people taking pictures of us. πŸ˜‚ I believe my greatest memory will be the attractions and tour services. The attractions are one of a kind, they all have a this beautiful attribute and detail of art but the history & backgrounds of how they once were some are cruel and dark. It's fascinating! But truly the one who brings it all together is our tour guide. We were blessed with Nikki, I've learned more through her in three days then I have from all my years of school. She brings you in with each story of every attraction, she looks after all of us like we're her children, she has become part of the family. I want to bring her with me to every city! She brings out the beauty of Beijing. πŸ’•#DM
The journey up the Great Wall is very surreal. The Great Wall of China is an landmark, and dominant piece of China we learned about all throughout our school years in history class and to believe I was actually climbing was something else. Walking along the North side is the steepest side, so of course we all love a challenge so that's the one to take! Now going up was difficult at times..not going to lie my lungs were not prepared, but the fresh breeze coming through the opening helped. When you stuck your head out it was like sticking your head out of the window of a moving car. The journey was also self rewarding. It's hard to explain but once you get to the top you're tired but being un-athletic now from what I once was it felt great to know I concurred the challenge. Stepping up most of us we're bent over struggling, but with climbing with friends it was a lot easier. We all helped each other out, especially when coming down & you're about to slide down. I'd to it again 10/10 #CC

6 June 2017

Traveling has always been a life long dream of mine, but in today's society it is encouraged but also many are fearful. Many aspects can be put into place to improve a destination starting in educational classes. As learned today classes in China at BISU don't have those types of classes to learn how to promote a destination and grow their tourism industry. If classes such as destination management or marketing were encouraged and implemented into colleges I believe people would have a better outlook on the rest of the world. They would learn all each country or city has to offer. Many don't travel because they could be scared, but due to being uneducated about that particular place. More stereotypes are taught I believe then true facts, and this leads to ignorance in my opinion. We're all living on this big happy planet we should share it with each other. Encouragement to travel leads to taking pieces of what we learned and making this whole world great. #DM
I don't think I've ever been fully engaged in a class at 8 am like I was Dr. Ming LEI discussion about Traditional Chinese Medicine of TCM. I've heard TCM before but never in depth. She taught it in a way that people my age connected with and understood. For instance Starbucks coffee, she talked about the ingredient in coffee and what makes it addictive but the better alternative which is tea. We learned the different types of teas, all the herbs and how they can be blended in a way that helps cure diseases. Teas have been found to help cure malaria during the Vietnam War. Not only teas with TCM but about how TCM can be found in many foods, and cosmetics. 120 foods can be used as drugs. The combo of food and drug started during the Tang Dynasty. As someone who doesn't take western medication due to the fear of all the harmful side effects this discussion lead me to understanding the different cures that are helpful to my body in a healthier way. Now following my Yin&Yang energies. #CC

5 June 2017

Every country has there own way of doing this. Wether it's politics, driving, and even food preparation. Back home Chinese American food is filled with sodium, from ingredients like soy sauce. There are no more sit down dining with tea and wonton crackers and enjoy food while they wait on you. Now in Chinese American restaurants you walk up point to the picture and you get the main entree with rice and an egg roll. In China it's almost as if your family. It's all a la carte with a big round disk in the middle to pass around the food, tiny plates for portion control, and of course hot tea. Each restaurant so far has had their own style and way of cooking foods. Still not sure how I feel about the tiny plates but I enjoy the experience. I enjoy being welcome in the each restaurant and wanting to be taught and engaged in each food and atmosphere of how they do things. China takes time in there presentation of foods. Just look at the ice cream for example it's beautiful and elegant. #2CC
The Chinese community as a whole is very tight knit. Everyone helps everyone. Stakeholders help the community be exactly what it is and bring tourist to explore this amazing city of Beijing. From our amazing tour guide Nikki explaining every building and background story to Zhang opening up his home to our group to share the background and experiences he has had in community near Ten Temple Conservation area. Zhang has lived in the same house all his life & his family has for 100 years. Zhang was absolutely amazing and it was fantastic to learn he's been to 21 other countries including the United States as a free lance artist. SO EXCITED ABOUT MY PAINTING THAT I BOUGHT!! 😍How many people can say they bought a painting from the artist himself me house?? Zhang and his wife, Victor our other tour guide, Nikki and the Rigsgaw drivers all bring something a little extra to every tour. The government does great on trying to reserve some of the precious past. #1 DM

4 June 2017

Momma I made it to China! The day has finally came. It still has not fully hit me I'm in a completely different country then the rest of my family. My exhaustion has been over powering that. I believe once some good rest is given and the full journey begins it'll set it.. almost feeling like a zombie walking around right now. Beijing it self is very special. Our tour guide Nikki was very adorable and excited to share about her city. Walking into the airport I thought there would be multiple barriers the main one being communication, but everyone was very helpful and spoke English to be fully helps our group. There were signs written in both english and Chinese to further assist people. So we didn't completely look like lost puppies. The hotel as well has people speaking English or at least some to help. I think I'll do just fine here. Excited to start tomorrow going to our first excursion!! Get ready for multiple pictures. 😍 #1
Did you know that in Beijing they have the lottery?Now not like the lottery in the states but for driving. There are so many people that live in Beijing alone that the government does a lottery and picks from applicants a couple of times a year to choose who is aloud to get a vehicle and drive around. This is there way of trying to control the traffic and pollution as well. I thought Orlando traffic was bad, no it's completely different. In Beijing people driving just kind of "hope for the best" they merge out in front and hope you see them and don't hit them or they just stop in the middle of the road. I'm extremely curious on what there car accident statistics are. The foods as far are not much different. The convenient store has multiple western foods snickers, yoplait yogurt, even Starbucks drinks and Haagen daz ice cream! 😱Ashley and I went to the buffet just to eat something quick and I was not let down. Desserts on desserts were available. Even PASTA!! I might not die here πŸ˜‚ #

24 May 2017

10 more days! Getting ready for the trip of a lifetime 😍