China: Make Good Choices

 

china night stBefore I traveled to China, I was worried about so many things. Would I find anything to eat? Would the bathrooms be clean? Would we be able to find the right bus? I had carried a wordless book with colorful images in hopes that when I could not communicate, I could point. On the street our first night in Kunming, I was trying to find out what food some men were cooking.

“I showed the vendors the animal page with a cow, pig, and sheep and pointed to the kebabs. The man pointed to sheep and said, “Chuggah.” I thought to myself, “Great. We learned a word in Chinese. Chuggah means sheep.” At a mini-mart around the corner, I confidently used the wordless book, pointing to a picture of ice. The lady looked at me and asked, “Chuggah?” I thought, “How odd. Sheep do not look like ice. Sheep and ice are the same word with the tones?” (from Traveling in Sin)

A nice man we met in the store named Jackie explained that “Chuggah” did not mean sheep or ice. It simply meant “This one.” I realized traveling in China would be very different from being an independent traveler in Thailand or New Zealand.

Learning about the history and culture in China was a highlight of our year trip away. I loved staying in a 1000-year-old hotel in Lang Zhong and learning about Chinese New Year. I recently discovered an app that discovers what your Chinese New Year Horoscope is and tells you what vacation spot is a match for you!

The Thomas Cook Chinese New Year Horoscope Finder

xian The sights in China were truly amazing. I loved our bus trip to Shilin to see the Stone Forest. After a few weeks, we realized there was so much to see and chose to extend our visa and stay six weeks instead of four. During our travels by bus and boat, we saw many famous sights and UNESCO highlights. I highly recommend you visit this amazing country.

Although at first I was concerned that I would not find food or a way around, I realized that it was possible to travel independently in China. I just had to put in more effort. My whole life I had waited to see Xi’an and the terracotta warriors. The day we visited, I was so excited I was jumping up and down when we saw the first horse. I will never forget seeing all the soldiers and exploring the excavations.

I hope that wherever you dream to travel you make your wish come true this year. As they say at La Rev, “Life is Short. Make Good Choices.”

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. She sailed the seven seas by cruise ship for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one and a quarter million views (1,250,000) on her YouTube channel. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries, named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blogs and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and has over 160,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and also ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on her own site, We Said Go Travel. From 2017 to 2020 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won three times and been a finalist fourteen times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards. She was also a finalist for four other categories including online journalist of the year, digital story for activism journalism with Ms. Magazine, educational reporting for Wharton Magazine and a broadcast lifestyle feature for KTLA TV in Los Angeles.    Niver won a 2019 NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award for one of her KTLA TV segments and was a finalist for articles published in both Ms. Magazine and Wharton Magazine. In 2018,  she was a finalist for stories in Smithsonian, PopSugar Fitness and the Saturday Evening Post. Niver won a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal and was a finalist for travel reporting. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, TODAY, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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