I want to start this post by saying that if you ever have a chance to camp on one of the wonders of the world, do it. It is by far one of the best things Derek and I have ever experienced together. I can’t really put into words how great of an experience we had, so I will just say that The Great Wall lives up to its name and our experience was that, just great.
We had heard that it is possible to camp on The Great Wall before we came to China. We knew we had to do it, so months before, we added it to our China to do list. We had a few expectations, but we did not know how much we would actually enjoy it. A few weeks before our vacation time, we booked with a camp tour that included three meals, backpacks, and camping gear for the night. Arriving at our tour, Derek and I were joined by another couple and their kid who were from Iowa, and our tour guide, Sonia.
(My new friend, Max, wanted to get a picture.)
I didn’t expect the wall to be so steep and the hiking to be so difficult. To be honest I didn’t enjoy that part so much and I had a realization how out of shape I really am. But once we reached our destination, I realized how worth it it was.
We set up camp and met a few other hikers from different parts of the world. We befriended a few girls from Spain and a guy from Ukraine. As we all watched the sun go down, I looked around and thought to myself how surreal this moment of my life is.
I am sitting on The Great Wall in the middle of China, 7,000 miles from home, with the person I love most. We are surrounded by strangers who live in completely different cultures, speak different languages, but are all experiencing this moment at the same time as us.
If I could hold onto certain moments in my life, that would definitely be one of them. But since that is impossible, I will just hold onto all of these photos, and try to remember the feeling I had when they were taken.
We didn’t stay awake much longer than the sun. Once it got dark, it got really cold and none of us were prepared for the temperature drop. We were also all exhausted from hiking all day. As a group, we decided to eat dinner and head to bed. I was thankful to share my tent with Derek who radiated heat all night.
We woke up early to watch the sunrise, and our tour guide mentioned that we were some of the lucky ones who got to witness both a sunset and sunrise. Which doesn’t happen often due to the bad air quality in Beijing. Most campers only witness one, or neither.
Camping on The Great Wall was a small, but much needed break from the busy life we’ve been living in China. It was a good time to stop, relax and reflect on our previous month spent in this beautiful country.
The experience reminded me how many different people are living in this same world, how big and beautiful this world really is, and how great moments are, even the small ones.
Like my girl IndyBlue once said. “It’s peaceful when you let yourself believe that moments don’t end.”
But sadly all moments come to an end, so don’t take them for granted, enjoy them while they last, and hold onto the great ones.
Onto the next adventure, Wren