After resigning in 2020, I left Beijing and basically never worked again. At first, I wanted to rely on some savings and travel around. When we are young, we often fantasize about wandering, right? In the long-term oppressive work environment and monotonous rhythm of life, there is a constant impulse for adventure, travel, and wandering flowing in our blood.
The farthest place I have been to is Jiuzhaigou. It is a well-developed tourist destination, and the journey is quite convenient: airport pick-up service for a starting price of 50 yuan, a total of 300 yuan to the hotel I booked; a 5-minute drive from the hotel to the Jiuzhaigou ticket office, starting at 10 yuan. However, mature operations are a double-edged sword: the marketing chain is interconnected, and people tirelessly try to sell you things. The driver who picked me up kept talking to me along the way, promoting the saffron she grows, the hotel her friend runs, the bus tickets she distributes, and so on. Even if I put on headphones or pretended to sleep in the seat, it was useless. She, and others, kept pushing, offering me raincoats, and giving me accessories made from yak teeth, leaving me exhausted.
After living such a life for only two years, I realized that I couldn’t become a modern-day Sanmao, let alone write “Stories without Sahara”. At the same time, I also realized that what truly matters in travel is not how many places a person has been to or where they have been, but the ripples that arise within their heart as they walk along the road. That is what sets them apart from their past selves and other travelers. And I discovered that I didn’t have much curiosity about distant places.
On the contrary, I am more inclined to cultivate patience and warmth in everyday life. Besides, unless one keeps traveling, they still have to come back and face reality after wandering. Last summer, I arrived in Guangzhou. On the one hand, my savings were running out, and on the other hand, I was captivated by the local customs and decided to stay.
Compared to budget travel, I would choose a humble abode. I am willing to admit my cowardice, especially when I travel alone to remote areas where transportation is limited. During the journey, I feel lost and anxious, fearing that something unexpected might happen to me and that I won’t be able to escape.