I read such a cool article the other day on the ever brilliant cool hunter about travel, that just sums up my love if it.
Some people don’t get me and why I love to travel so much, but to experience different things, in different places, different cultures, foods, drinks, people and so on is just the most incredible thing for me. I fell like each time I experience something new, especially out of my comfort zone, I gain a new perspective on things, a fresh eye and probably a better understanding of myself.
So when I found this Aman resort that is basically built out of the waiting quarters from the 1000 year old Beijing Summer Palace there was no question other than when. You see the resort is not only inside these almost ancient houses, redone to modern luxury standards of course, but with the feeling of old China. China without the people, the chaos, but replaced with simple elegance and subtle decadence of dynasty’s long gone and forgotten in this booming metropolis.
The best part, I think though, is at any time you can call the resort team and they will navigate you to the secret door which leads right into the summer palace grounds, a place that from 9 – 5 during the day is a mess of families, groups, children screaming, tourist’s touring, people eating, drinking and messing around this man-made lake overlooked by the magnificent summer palace itself BUT outside of these hours it’s a magically quiet, calm and serene place. A place that if you wake up at sunset and run the 6 or 7km course around it, over ancient half-moon bridges, through the corridors of hand painted scenes and past the antique building and shrines it fills you with the most incredible feeling of past and present.
This is what I mean by experiencing travel. Don’t get me wrong I’m no health freak, the tasting menu in the signature French / Chinese fusion restaurant and bottle of vino from burgundy was a little more my speed but you get what I mean.
As it is I get to experience almost all of these things with the most important person of all but every now and again I get to experience things with friends or family that make it just that much more special.
I had been to the Great Wall as a kid and apparently I said to my parents that I want to bring my children to it one day, I’ve never said that about anything else in my life. I don’t remember saying that but I do remember the impact the wall had on me, I was eager to see if it would hold the same feeling.
I can honestly say standing on top of the Great Wall with a bunch of people I have loved for many years has to be one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The feeling you get standing, overlooking, walking, thinking, climbing is unparalleled. I think it is really one of the most special places in the world for me.
That’s without the sledding from top to bottom 😉
To conclude the experience to sit in the side car of an American / Tongan entrepreneur who has been living in Beijing for 10 years and to see the city at night through his eyes and on his bike was incredible!
This is what I mean by experience travel. These are the kinds of things that impact your soul and stay with you as memories forever. These are the experiences that grow you as a citizen of this planet and allow you fresh perspective on the world around!