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I want to Travel to China-@light487’s China Trip

Luke comes from Sydney, he didn’t pay much attention to china and Chinese when he was 15. Until last Nov, He decided to learn the language seriously. He said, The more time he spent around Chinese people, the happier he became.  Finally,He planed he will come to China for the 1st time. He must do it, he must follow his heart. Met Luke via Twitter. and his feeling of China and Chinese touched me. I thought we will meet if he come to Beijing someday. Ofcourse,I will introduce my other friends for his China Trip too.Let us enjoy his interview. Hope you can tweet and meet him in your town.


1 please introduce yourself with some basic info, your name,your national,your work,your hobby

My name is Luke Parsons of course but a lot people online will know me as light487, or lparsons on twitter. I live and work in Sydney, Australia where I own a small 2 bedroom apartment near the river about an hour from the city centre.

I work in the financial services industry monitoring national and international transactions in an attempt to prevent fraud and other alicious activity. In my spare time I like to write, play and record music that is most often in the form of instrumental jazz guitar. I also pend a great deal of time on the internet involved in a number online ocial communities.

2 please tell us your knowledge about China, Can you speak any Chinese? Why did you learn Mandarin? how did you learn it? please tell us some of your happy or sad experience of learning.

Sydney is a multi-cultural city with a large percentage of non-natives coming from Asian countries: China, Korea, Japan etc. My love for all things China began around the age of 15 when I worked at the Institute
of Languages, a department of University of New South Wales. I cam in to contact with many Asian people who were coming to Australia to learn English, amongst other things.

It was there that I got my first taste of the language, people and culture of China. One of my colleagues took my family and I to a  traditional Chinese restaurants and helped to learn some basic Chinese language. I was still very young then and did not pursue the subject of China much more for a number of years.

At some point during the last few years I realised that I had been slowly surrounding myself with and hanging around with more and more people from non-Australian backgrounds and in particular Chinese and Taiwanese people. I decided, about 10 months ago to start learning Mandarin properly because I stayed with my cousin for 9 months who is fluent in a few Chinese dialects. The more time I spent around Chinese people, the happier I became. So it made sense for me to learn the language so I could spend even more time with Chinese people.

I am still very much a beginner in Chinese with only 9 to 10 months of teaching myself with no formal training. In the beginning it was not as bad or hard as I thought it would be. However, as I learned more I wanted to learn even more and felt that I should be learning faster and faster. It was only recently that I realises I had reached a Beginner level rather than an absolute beginner like I was before. So I think it is hard work for the first year and then even harder work after that to keep getting better. You have to practise the old things that have already been learned and then also spend time learning the new things as well.

3 did you come to China before? why do you chose China for your holiday this time? do you have a plan working in China?

This will be my first ever trip to China. I have only ever gone to another country by myself once a few years ago but that was for business there all the planning and organising was done by a company and I just
had to arrive at the airport on time. Everything else was taken care of, so I didn’t need to worry about a single moment of any day. I’ve also been on holiday cruises with my family but again everything is organised
with nothing you have to really do except to lay back and enjoy yourself.

I chose China because it is where I feel myself drawn to. It’s a feeling I have in my heart and I must follow my heart to where it leads me. I have an idea that may be I would like to teach English in China one day
but I am wanting to explore the “real” first to see if it is what I am expecting. Once I have finished my trip I will be able to decide if I want to learn to be an English teacher or not. This is one of the reasons I am coming to China alone, to backpack around the country, so that I can experience it as much as I can from the point of view of living in China rather than as someone there to see the postcard tourist attractions.

4 What is your travelling itinerary this time? how did you make it? do you know any Travel agents for China travel business in China?

As I am backpacking by myself, I have decided to set out a rough plan rather than a itinerary that I would need to follow very closely. This means that I still need to move to the next city I am visiting rather than wasting time on just one city for too long. However, it means I don’t have to go on a particular day if I have something I really want to see. There will be a few things that I will have to do, such as be in Wuhan by a certain day as I am planning on travelling by plan between Wuhan and Chengdu rather than train. Of course I will also need to be back in Shanghai the day before I leave back to Australia again as well but for the most part I am more free to pick and choose where I am going to stop and start.

My plans are to start in Shanghai and spend about 5 days there, then take the train to Wuhan for 3 days, then fly to Chengdu for 3 days. Next will be Xi’an for about 4 or 5 days as the hostels are very cheap in Xi’an, and also this will be about the middle of my trip so I can use the time to sort out my washing and off load pictures and videos as well.From Xi’an I am taking the train again to Beijing where I plan to only spend about 3 days, then to Nanjing for 1 night and Suzhou also for 1 night. Then it’s back to Shanghai where I will stay until the end of my trip. While I am in Shanghai at the end, I also plan on a day-trip to Hangzhou.

I decided on the locations just by random choice and also by knowing people who live in those cities. I don’t know that many people there but once I had a rough idea of where I was going, I stuck to it otherwise I could change my mind 100 times and still not know where I am going to go.The places I am going have not been picked out for tourist attractions or for any other reason than to see what each city is like, and how the
different areas are different to each other. I will of course be seeing the attractions while I am nearby them, as there is no reason why I should not see them. When I first was deciding on the locations to visit, I was not going to visit Beijing at all but then I decided that if I am going to China, then I must at least see the capital otherwise it would be as if I did not really see all I could see.

I tried to use a Travel Agent right at the start of my planning but they were not very helpful at all. I sat with them for about an hour explaining exactly what I wanted out of my trip and they told me that they would organise some plans and run them by me to see what I would think. I waited a week for them to call and then when I called them back, it was like I had never been there the first time! The prices they were quoting were no different, and in some cases more, than I could get by myself. So I decided from that point to do everything myself.

5 what will be the difficult problem for you travlling in China?

I think that the most difficult thing for me will be worrying that I will lose my way in the big cities and also miss connecting trains that will ensure I arrive at my destinations on time. It’s one thing to do this by myself in an English speaking country, it’s a completely other thing to do it in a country where the main language is a language that you are not entirely familiar with. I am preparing lists of information in both English and written Chinese so that I can print them out for each city and use them as a reference for when I am there.

6 what else will you tell us about your China trip.
I only wish that my trip was longer, like about 3 months or so because then I could really spend more time getting a feel for how things are “really” in China. I will be there alone to force myself to use my Chinese speaking skills more than I would if I went with someone who spoke English. So for me, this trip is not really a holiday but more of a learning experience, like a field trip for my Chinese studies.

While I am in China, I hope to keep my blog updated as regularly as possible with pictures, videos and comments. I am also updating my blog with information before the trip as well as I try to make sense of it
all. You can visit my blog at http://daily.lukeparsons.info/

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