This is one of those posts that I almost dislike writing, because I know I won’t do it justice. Let me put it into small words for you: go to the Great Wall of China. If it’s not on your bucket list, it should be.
A Correction Last post, I mentioned that I would be using British Airways Avios points to get to Philadelphia to begin my trip. In looking over my notes, I got confused with a more recent trip I took to Costa Rica (for which I used Avios). I updated the other post, but wanted to clarify that I ended up taking a US Airways flight to Philadelphia (since it was so cheap, $69 one-way). The correction is actually a nice segue into the subject of this post: how did I get to China? Writing about it is going to make me pretty bitter, honestly. Why? When I took the trip, I had the coveted Executive Platinum status with American Airlines, entitling me to all sorts of entitlements with which I had a tremendously entitled sense of entitledment…you get the idea. Life is good flying as an Executive Platinum. March 1 was a tough day for me this year. Not for any actual reason, but March 1 is The Great Status Reset Day. Logging into my American Airlines account was far less cool on March 1. Flying isn’t quite as fun as a Gold, but it’s ok. I have plans and designs for earning back my EXP status as quickly as possible, for reasons I detailed in this post. I’ll detail my strategy once this report is done. To China…I mean Philly Anyways, I made my way to DFW Airport to catch my US Airways flight. American and US Airways have had… read more
Ah, ChinCOUGH COUGH WHEEZE COUGH…sorry, the air quality. Anyways, China. Founded in 1986 by three brothers, the country has exploded in size dramatically, so much so that actually I’ll bet none of you are reading this because I just claimed China was founded in 1986, which is ridiculous. Ok, China. One of the oldest countries in the world, with an exciting and palpable history spanning thousands of years. Everything about China has a hyperbolic quality to it: the MOST POPULOUS COUNTRY in the world, the FASTEST GROWING ECONOMY in the world, the AIR QUACOUGH COUGH WHEEZE COUGH…sorry, air quality again. It’s hard to wrap your head around a country of 1.6 billion people. Their “small university towns” will have millions of people and millions of college students. They’re modernizing at the fastest pace in known history, and, to put a real interesting number out there, it’s estimated there are more people in China that speak English than there are in the USA. At times the USA and China share an uneasy friendship, but China’s doors are relatively open for American tourists and there are plenty of sites to see in an incredibly “foreign” land.
I generally pride myself on being a solid speller and grammaristicianizationer. I will happily admit, however, that ‘spontaneity’ is one of those words that just never looks quite right, no matter if it’s spelled correctly or not. Whenever I plan trips, there needs to be an element of “epicness” to them, or else I won’t go. There has to be something that compels me to either the journey or the destination. Spontaneity can be very compelling, especially to a place that has your heart.
Yeah yeah, I know I misspelled Barcelona. I learned Spanish here in the states and have never gotten used to their lisp. In the intro to this report I mentioned that I grow tired at times of traveling alone. There’s something to be said for solitude, but we were created for community, and things are generally best when shared. So, after a short stint at the First Class Terminal, I boarded my flight to Barcelona. It was a really normal flight to Barcelona, a brief meal was served in Business Class (which is really just economy class with the middle seat blocked off). The meal was so brief, in fact, that I slept through it. I was, however, awoken for a coffee by the flight attendant as we began our descent.