“It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien

I am on the road again. After two positive Skype calls almost four weeks ago I have made an impulsive flight booking. Well, honestly it wasn’t as impulsive as it sounds. I have thought about it for quite a while already, but these two Skype calls reassured me that it might be a good idea.

I just got into Dubai last night where I spent the night and where I will spend the full day today. I have just come back from the Jumeirah Mosque where I have done a fantastic guided tour. I had planned to do this before, but during my last visit the Mosque was closed for the public  as it was a friday which is as important in muslim countries as the sunday in mainly christian countries.

Tomorrow, on Thursday, the 21st August I will be heading to Beijing very early in the morning. I have been to China three times already and two times also to Beijing. Every time I have been totally thrilled afterwards and so far, I can only tell good things about China. On these three trips I had the two most outstanding guides I ever had on my travels. On my most recent trip last October and November I was even lucky to get Leon, the guide of the trip before, as a tour leader again. I have visited Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, the Giant Buddha of Leshan, Chongqing, did a Yangtze river cruise, Yangshuo, Zhongdian/Shangri-La, Lijiang, hiked the Tiger Leaping Gorge, visited Dali and Kunming and I have also been to Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, Sakya, at the Everest Base Camp (on the tibetan side) and the border town of Zhangmu, all in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). Every time I had booked a trip with an adventure travel company and spent a few days alone before and after the tour every time. My trips were mainly for leisure.

This time everything will be very different than on my previous three journeys. I haven’t booked a trip with a company. I won’t meet a group. This time I am going to China individually and on my own. Of course I want to do sightseeing this time as well, but I will probably focus on the area around Beijing, because I will also try to filter out job chances in the Middle Kingdom. I would love to live and work in China for six months to one year in the near future.

What I know so far is that I will hike the Gubeikou Great Wall Loop with my friend Mill who now works as a hiking guide in Beijing and will lead this day trip. But everything else isn’t set up yet.

Will I be able to find out anything about job opportunities in the Middle Kingdom? Or will the trip be a letdown referring to this?

Unfortunately I didn’t have as much time in the last few weeks as I had hoped to do research before leaving home. I have done quite a lot of research before, but normally I would have done it more in detail. This time I was overly busy getting things ready which had nothing to do with this trip but which had to be done before leaving home. Thanks to my beloved ones at home I managed to get everything else ready on time.

And privately, will I get the chance to meet the people who I have met on my previous journeys and who I would really love to meet again and spend some time with?

Wish me luck and keep your fingers crossed for me that this trip will be successful and amazing as my previous three trips to China were and that I will be as much thrilled and blown away as the three times before when coming home.

„Travelling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.“

– Cesare Pavese

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