2019 was a big year, full of many amazing adventures, wonderful people, countless laughs, and unforgettable travel experiences. As the new year approaches, I’m thinking of how grateful I am for all the beautiful, challenging, and incredible moments that happened in 2019 and can’t wait for the new adventures 2020 will bring. I’ve got some exciting plans and think it’s going to be a good year!
Before jumping ahead to my goals for 2020, I’d like to reflect on 2019 and share some of my favorite moments – so many things happened! Beside being the Career China digital marketing coordinator, I’m involved in many other groups and activities here in Beijing, as well as writing and developing my own brand with Rachel Meets China 😉
In 2019 I revisited old friends in my first Chinese city, and also traveled to many new Chinese cities. I had some trips with friends, had many solo trips, and also went on several of my first promotional events and travel experiences.
I feel more rooted in Beijing, in the community and friendships I’ve gained here through work, my volleyball team, Instagram (so many friendships from here!) and other events I go to like trivia night (and just plain ole good nights out). I think my word that describes this year is community, and I feel so grateful for all the people here, the people who have supported and encouraged me and have made this year so spectacular.
Here are some of the highlights of 2019 for me.
Two friends from Hengyang, Rachel and Amy, visited and we went to the Forbidden City. We also had a big spring festival party with Career China and TAL and celebrated the new Year of the Pig.
For Spring Festival I traveled to the Philippines and met up with many different friends from Hengyang, Guangzhou, Beijing, and even Instagram friends!
- The Best Things To Do in El Nido, Palawan
- A Guide to Coron: Palawan, Philippines
- 5 Reasons to Visit Port Barton
- Living in Beijing vs. Guangzhou
I hiked Jinshanling Great Wall, played lots of volleyball, and had a great St. Patrick’s Day!
- A Guide To Hiking Jinshanling Great Wall
- 10 Tips For Your First Trip to China
- A Typical ESL Lesson For Young Learners In China
During April it seems every week had something new. There was a volleyball spring pub crawl, my little sister and her husband came to visit Beijing for a week, I went to Nanjing for a work trip, and then I celebrated my 26th birthday in Hengyang, the first Chinese city I lived in.
In May there was a special camping event called Dragon Burn that I went to for 5 days, then I went on a solo hiking trip to Huangshan Mountain, a gorgeous mountain in Anhui province.
- A Guide to Huangshan: The Yellow Mountains of China
- A Three Day Itinerary for Hiking Huangshan
- The Ultimate 7-Day Beijing Itinerary
- Dragon Burn 2019: Burning Man in China
Summer was both wonderful and sad – lots of goodbyes for friends who graduated or finished contracts and were leaving Beijing. There was the Yinyang Festival at the Great Wall and also a really fun Volleyball beach trip to the coastal city of Qingdao.
I was invited to attend my first Travel Experience Press Trip with Ctrip. We traveled in Zunyi, Guizhou for 4 days and it was incredible!
August was one of the busiest months of the year! I went to the Forbidden City (again), was invited to attend the Huangshan Promotion event in Shanghai and met up with two of my Instagram Friends there, Caleb and Becky. Straight from Shanghai I started my two week solo trip through southern China, where I went to Fenghuang, Xijiang Miao Village, Lijiang Old Town, Tiger Leaping Gorge, and Shangri-La. Honestly one of the best trips I’ve ever done in China.
- A Guide to Visiting Lijiang in the Yunnan Province
- A Guide To Visiting the Forbidden City
- 10 Popular Chinese Songs You Should Listen To
In September my bestie Lauren (Lauren’s China Life) moved to Beijing, volleyball season started again, and I met many new wonderful people, including Nathan Williams with whom Eleanor and I started a podcast! We have some exciting plans for growing our podcast and planning more episodes. It’s a new media platform for me so it’s been fun to research and learn more about.
- Shangri-La: The Mystical Paradise in China
- A Fascinating Night of Huangshan: Ctrip and Shanghai Tourism Department Promotional Event
- Where To Travel For The National Holiday in China
- The Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village in the Guizhou Province of China
- Furong Ancient Town: The Magical Waterfall Village of Hunan, China
During the National Holiday in October I went to the Great Wall twice – first to Huanghuacheng section, then to a wild section to go camping on Great Wall. It was freezing but epic! There was also the pizza festival, a Career China team building event, Halloween parties with Tigers and friends, and other social events going on.
- Camping on the Great Wall of China: Mr. Chen’s Wild Wall Section
- Where To Travel In China: China Travel Quiz and Best Destinations To See
- Huanghuacheng Section of the Great Wall: Lake Views and No Crowds!
In November I visited the Badaling Great Wall to catch the fall colors, spoke at the Zunyi Promotional Event in Shanghai, traveled to Pingyao and Mianshan in Shanxi Province, saw my old student Mervin, then celebrated Thanksgiving with lots of friends!
- Pingyao Ancient City Travel Guide
- A Fascinating Night of Zunyi: Ctrip Promotional Event for Zunyi in Shanghai
In December I was invited to join a Lost Plate Food Tour Media Event, planned and went to our Volleyball Charity Gala, met up with my friend Sharon, hiked the Great Wall in the snow, then finally flew home to the US for the holidays!
- Best Foods to Try in China: Food Tour with Lost Plate Food Tours
- Snowy Sunrise at Jinshanling Great Wall
Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020
It’s hard to sum a year up and include everything, but these were some of my favorite memories I wanted to share! I’m excited for 2020 and have some goals and travel plans lined up, and I can’t wait to see what new adventures this decade brings!