Four Days in Beijing, China

Today’s post is a throwback to my trip to Beijing- one I thought would actually never happen. I made the trip last May, and while it wasn’t one of my beautiful beach vacations, it’s near the top as one of my favorites. Visiting the Great Wall of China was always on my bucket list, but who in their lifetime actually gets the chance to go?

The preparation for the trip was quite a headache (and a bit more expensive than anticipated). For some reason when applying for my visa while living in Korea, it made the cost nearly double and I ended up paying a whopping $230 (more expensive than the flight itself). I also had a bit of an issue because my IDs didn’t say the “same name”… and by this I mean my passport says “Flynn, Megan R.” and my license says “Flynn, Megan R” …I mean, seriously?  I bet you had to go back and look. The visa was submitted but I wasn’t going to find out if it was approved until a few days before my departure. Fingers crossed, it was approved and we left a few days later!

After a short 2 hour flight from Seoul, we made it through customs and hopped in a cab to take to our hotel. We stayed at the PentaHotel (highly recommended) in the most perfect location! We were in the heart of a large shopping district equidistant to everything we wanted to see- The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Silk Market, Pearl Market, Wangfujing Food Street, Temple of Heaven, etc. After checking in, we turned in for the night and quickly connected to our VPNs so we could use Google to plan out our next few days (Yes, it’s true. Google/Facebook/ Instagram are blocked in China).

DAY ONE

SHOPPING & EATING: WANGFUJING FOOD STREET

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Yes, I did eat scorpion on stick.

DAY TWO

TIANANMEN SQUARE IMG_4509-3

FORBIDDEN CITY
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DAY THREE

GREAT WALL OF CHINA

For more photos of the Great Wall, check out my Black and White Gallery


DAY FOUR

Our last day was a bit rushed so I focused more on getting gifts for my family instead of pulling my camera out. After checking out of our hotel, we walked to the Pearl Market and unfortunately got lost along the way (the whole no Google maps thing was a pain), so we didn’t have a much time there as we wanted. The market was dozens of floors filled with electronics, make-up, clothing, jewelry, toys, pretty much anything (and everything) that has ever had a “made in China” label on it. It was so overwhelming!

We bought our trinkets and headed off to the airport where it was much more difficult getting out of the country than in. I had to go through a few extra screenings as well as have my entire suitcase dumped on the metal counter at security. No hesitation- they unzipped it and dumped it. I wasn’t pleased to say the least. We made it through, bags in hand, and headed back to our lovely homes in Seoul.


All pictures are my own.

Willkommen!

It has officially been three months since I moved to Germany (ahem, *Deutschland) and I finally decided to start a blog! I attempted in the past during my travels through Asia, but I always found myself resorting to Netflix and/or sleep (priorities, amirite?). Now that I’ve signed on for a few more years abroad,  I figured now is as good as ever!

One thing I know about myself is I am not good with change; this adjustment has been much more difficult than my first move overseas. I still can’t seem to shake the urge to go back to Korea, order my favorite chicken, and go to the hipster coffee shop outside my apartment (this place gives Seattle or SanFran a run for it’s money). However, one more thing I know is I learn the most about myself when I’m out of my comfort zone. Moving to Korea two years ago was the most uncomfortable and terrifying thing I’ve done. Now, people get annoyed because I can’t shut up about it! It was the biggest blessing in disguise.

July 27th, 2016- Moving day! But more importantly- my birthday! Who decides to give themselves the gift of no friends and a strange country? I do, obviously. After my month long, six-country finale of living in Asia, the big move to Europe seamlessly lined up with my birthday. Perfect way to start my Kobe year!

In Seoul, you can check your bags at the train station and make an easier commute on an $8 train and forgo the $70 taxi. After a painful episode trying to check-in to my flight (you’d think the language barrier would’ve gotten easier after two years…) I was off! Or so I thought…

One of the airline workers came running after me to give me the fantastic news that my suitcase broke as they were loading it up. To be fair, I packed the shit out of the bag, but my train was leaving in 10 minutes and I had no idea what I was going to do. After fumbling ideas around and failing to find a luggage store, I checked my clothes in a garbage bag. A GARBAGE BAG! Yes, I was that person who was picked up from the airport by her new coworkers with her clothes in a garbage bag. Classy.

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Pic or it didn’t happen

After arriving in Germany, we took off on the 90 minute drive down to Kaiserslautern- my new home! I checked into my hotel and settled into my temporary lodging. Keep in mind, I had been living out of a suitcase for over a month at this point and was extremely anxious to have my own space again. Little did I know, the house hunt was going to be such an exhausting process.

After looking through dozens (literally, dozens) of houses, apartments, and townhomes, I finally found one that gave me “the feeling.” It is 100% not what I expected, but it is the cutest farmhouse in a quiet village less than 10 minutes from work. There is a barn connected to the back, providing my house with lots of spiders and ghosts- all the company I need!

Despite having moved in over a month ago, the unpacking process is still in the works. And by unpacking, I mean everything is out of the boxes and now just a mess on the floor…oops. It’s a delicate process, but I’m pretty sure my fish is pissed that I keep moving him around every other day as I try to figure out the aesthetics of this place. Sorry dude.

I know realistically my parents and maybe a few of my cousins will be the only ones reading this, BUT now I don’t have to tell the same story multiple times. Efficient AF.

Enjoy!

RIP ♥