Six months of traveling, we are near Lijiang, in Yunnan province of Southwest China. Twelve countries crossed: Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Japan, South Korea and China. Thousands of kilometers done mostly by train, some by bus and short escapades by bicycle, foot and kayak. “Do you sometimes feel tired of traveling?”, was the question posed by Maria, a Swedish girl we met at the cozy Naxi Family Guesthouse were we slept during the Tiger Leaping Gorge trek. Indeed sometimes we feel tired, we miss family and friends, a own house, a routine. This usually happens either after several days changing beds (unpack&pack) every day, or after persistent annoyances like the leaking shower flooding the toilet, the odourful public toilets, strange food, irregular buses, bargaining, traffic, pollution or killer drivers. But at 181 days mark we still want to continue. “A special day”, asks the Singapore guy the same night. Eva answers – “The day when we took the 6-hour boat ride from Russia to Japan. Arriving by dirty roads and old bus to a port where even a security guy working there did not know where was the passengers check-in and then boarding on a clean japanese boat where they bowed at our passage and arrive, exactly 6-hours later, to a sparkling village, having cars stopping to let us pass, people saying thank you after each word.”
I would add the Couchsurfing experiences, the Buryatia villages and volunteer project. But every single day was special in its way and I believe that, feeling the ‘special’ of each moment is what makes this trip so important.
Main tips so far – use a small backpack, maximum 35-40 liters; do not book anything before leaving home and… travel.