In 2006, I used to work for a Chinese travel agency, FlyChina. When I graduated from college, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. My career path was unclear and I spent a few months trying to figure it out. One day I saw an ad for travel agent job. I applied thinking that it was unlikely they would hire me. They called that same day, I had an interview and was hired.
Within three months of working there, they offered me an opportunity to go on a fam trip or familiarization trip. It's basically a trip that travel agents can go on to familiarize themselves with the country they are trying to send tourists. This trip was for five days to Beijing. Included in this trip were flights to Beijing, five-star hotel accommodation, transfers from airport, tours everyday and all meals. The total cost for this trip? $300. How could I say no?
I was able to go with another agent from work and we had a great time bonding. We spent those five days going all over Beijing. We visited every tourist attraction possible. We saw The Great Wall, The Forbidden Palace, Temple of Heaven and more. The best part was that we didn't have to plan a single thing. Every minute of the day was planned. Usually, I don't like that sort of thing, but who am I to complain for such a cheap trip?
It was my first time in Asia and I was surprised at how much I loved it. It was crowded and full of people that looked like me, it was perfect. My trip to China was my first taste of the Eastern world. I was amazed at how different it was from everything I knew. I spent the next 5 years plotting a way to make it back to Asia.
|Great Wall of China|