I was scrolling down Tumblr the other day and came across a few quotes consecutively in a row about travelling, and whilst reading them, sparked my once devoted yearning for adventuring and exploring new countries and cities bursting with cultures and hidden stories. I’m half Chinese (from my mums side), quarter German and quarter Polish (dads side) and was born in Australia and since I was 3, my fondness with travelling began on aeroplane rides when we would visit my grandparents and family members in Shanghai, China. My love and fascination with the Chinese culture intrigued me as a young child. It was like travelling to another universe because everything was so different, so exotic and so exciting.
Starting from the language where my mum’s side of the family would talk in Shanghai-nese to each other; a colloquial exchange of dialogue that only residents in Shanghai would understand, hearing it and understanding the basic concepts wrapped me in warmth of familiarity and homeliness. The Chinese cuisine was also my favourite, from pickled fruits to chicken feet, warm broths and spicy cabbage, all these delicacies reminded me of sitting around a large table with family and friends talking loudly over each other and enjoying the comfort of being able to eat a hearty meal with the people we loved. And the streets of Shanghai, bustling with life and noise as locals and tourists mingled in the crowded streets, each to their own small journeys in the bustling city of China. Modern and sleek high-rise apartments flashing with lights danced and glimmered next to traditional temples and village stores that had been running since the 60’s and 70’s.
The feeling of visiting another land bursting with a rich culture, a completely different lifestyle and tradition laps at you in wavelengths of thrill and excitement. Whenever Im in China, I like to adopt a new identity, create a fantastical world (in my head) where Im the star in a movie, walking down the streets and just soaking up and learning as much as I can during my short stay in a new country.
I have compiled a list of my top destinations that I want to visit soon. A lot of these (or all of them in fact) are places that rich in diversity, culture and tradition, something that I really think fondly of and respect. And one day, in the very near future, Im going to hop on a plane and do just that.
Japan has always intrigued me, simply because it is a lot similar with China (Shanghai more so) with its Asian roots of culture and tradition. However, a lot of people have remarked that visiting Japan is like visiting another universe, and I remember reading one blogger who commented that Tokyo is like a surreal time warp of the future with all its technological commodities and strange customs. And of course, Lost In Translation is one of my favourite films and the cinematography captured further sparked my interest in Japans lifestyle.
Ever since year 11, when I studied Ancient History for my HSC and we learned about the emperors, lifestyle, freemen and battles of Ancient Rome, I knew that Italy, specifically Rome was a place i wanted to visit. Upon hearing the name ‘Rome’, a sense of nostalgia brims in my head as names such as Emperor Tiberius, Claudius, Agrippina the Younger and Mount Vesuvius frolic around, reminding me of a culture rich in age, hidden with scars of terror, death, courage and advancement. I yearn for the day I’m able to walk on the same grounds that the despotic Emperor Nero walked on, to explore the plaster casts preserved in the natural state thousands of years ago of people, foods and animals.
Belgium is a place I recently discovered and fell in love with just this year. They centre on tradition and religion and focus on the simplicity, something I really much admire. Visiting Belgium would definitely be like taking a step back in time, and to remind myself of the insignificance of technology and the importance of cultivating relationships and appreciating the simple things in life (and eating Belgiums fine chocolates is definitely a plus).
This post wouldn’t be complete without wanting a visit to the ‘land of dreams’. A country that has started so much from commercialisation, to fast food chains, fashion and basically everything else that affects our everyday life. New York, California and LA would be my preferences simply because of my love for Gossip Girl and every other American teen movie that Ive watched and come to be enthralled by.
And lastly, the country of love, or shall i say lurve. France is every girls typical destination to visit with the man of their dreams, or to find love and fall in a deep and mad infatuation with one’s very own Romeo. The film ‘An Education’ is the first thought that springs to mind when I think of Paris, as Jenny, the rebellious yet sophisticated character roams around the streets, sipping on coffee in cosy hidden cafes, visiting art galleries and museums and talking about gorgeous men and wearing all black to her friends. France is of course, a vibrant country that is probably one of the most dainty and beautiful places in the world, from its eloquent dialect, to classy fashion realms and of course, the streets swirling with scents of fresh coffee, laughter and roses.