Making Friends in China
What was the very best part of our trip to China? The amazing friends we made along the way! We decided not to do a typical tour around China like most do (because the language makes it a challenging country for most Western folks). Plus, we tend to favor the freedom of independent travel and living more like a local.
Since our 12 year old daughter is fluent in Mandarin and we were spending this first trip to China primarily for language immersion in a local school, we cherished our new friends and opportunities to speak Mandarin and learn more about the Chinese culture.
Here you see our daughter Mozart with a fun new friend in Xian ( who is from a family who also likes to travel). How did we meet? Typical China style..through a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend. Whew! Lucky for us, all wonderful and heart-focused people.
Through Elliott Ng on Twitter, I met Winser Zhao from China Travel 2.0. who was a fantastic help. He arranged our stay at the school as well as a great guide for Xian and a place for us to stay in Beijing and much more. It turned out that the place was a bit too far for the school, so then the owner's daughter found a friend who let us stay with them in Beijing. That sweet daughter took us out to dinner ( and an acupuncture treatment) and took us to this Beijing home to meet this incredible family that didn't know us from Adam and only had a few hours notice of us coming, but embraced us like long lost family.
We bonded with this family deeply and when we were going to Xian, she called up an old friend who is a local there and use to work with her in Beijing about five years ago.
Voila! Now we have these amazing friends in Xian who took us to dinner two nights at magical places, helped us, took us to an enchanting tea house etc etc and Mozart had a great time with their son ( in Mandarin mostly) as we gabbed and gabbed ( Mozart playing translator when necessary).
As magnificent as ancient Xian is, spending time with this local family made it extra special!
Do you love meeting locals when you travel?