One train, two cabs, two planes, and three shuttles later, we’ve found ourselves transported from the US to China! We started in Seattle, had an overnight layover in Incheon, South Korea, and then we had a choice between flying straight into Nanjing, or paying half the price to fly into Shanghai and take a train from there. We went with the latter 🙂
Most of the time I had my hands full with luggage, etc, so I’ve taken very few pictures so far and I feel like a really bad travel blogger. I took a few photos of the Shanghai Railway Station, though.
Overall, the travel experience getting from the airport in Incheon, South Korea to Shanghai Pudong Airport to the Shanghai Railway Station wasn’t too scary, even for a girl who doesn’t speak Chinese and has never been to Asia. I think I could have done all this solo, it would have just taken a bit longer and piqued my anxiety a few times.
The most intimidating thing was the cab drivers who followed us around as we were trying to exit the airport. By the time the last person had gotten in my face I looked right at him and said “NO!” with my scary Mom face that I give Abe (our dog) when he’s done something bad. I have to say, that was very effective! Pro tip: Don’t accept a ride from these people – head right to the line at ground transportation marked for cabs. The prices are standardized and they’re less likely to run you around in circles because you’re the newbie in town.
This trip has been exhausting, but I know it’s just a matter of time before I catch up on sleep and calm down a bit.
My Travel Coping Mechanisms
My main methods of survival during these last 2 days of travel were as follows:
We had some seriously excellent coffee in the airport in Korea, and I’m from the Pacific Northwest so I don’t throw around these comments lightly.
Listening to Snoop Dogg remixes on my nice headphones was a great temporary relief, but the best coping mechanism during the last leg of the journey was reading Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Here’s a little snippet to give you an idea of what this book is like:
“Most people don’t go out into the woods to catch armadillos so that their father can race them professionally. …there is nothing like seeing your father down on his hands and knees with five other grown men, screaming and slapping at the ground to scare their respective armadillos into crossing the finish line first. And when I say, ‘There’s nothing like it,’ what I mean is, ‘Holy shit, these people are f***ing insane.'”
I’m not about to post a picture example, but I think it’s important to share that I’ve cried about 12 times in the last 2 days. It’s important because, for people with anxiety, I truly think this is just part of traveling. I don’t speak Chinese and I’m an extrovert, so the lack of human connection lately has been getting to me. I know that this will pass and I’ll settle into a routine in time. For now, I’ll just let myself cry when I need to – so basically whenever I’m tired or hungry.
Thanks for reading! Talk to you soon 🙂
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