Ayla Travels The World, Part 8: Beijing And New Friends

After Tanzania, Ayla flew to The East. Beijing.IMG_20160402_222118

For about a week, she soaked in the usual–and the unusual–of China. The Great Wall? A Temple? You bet. But also scorpions on a stick and a police trolley car. 

It’s China. Expect the unexpected. 

One more pleasant surprise for Ayla was how many great friends she made–young adults from all over the world hanging together with the bonds of exploration!



My favorite thing about my world trip was that it was so diverse. Each place I traveled in a totally different way. In Malta I was with old school friends; while in Tanzania I stayed at a school. In Egypt I stayed with a local family; while in Beijing I was in a hostel. Here I really got to live the backpacking life: sharing stories, going on adventures, and meeting people.

Arrived in Beijing! The difference couldn’t be bigger! From a small village in Tanzania to hyper-modern Beijing.

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In the taxi going to my hostel. Felt so VIP leaving the airport and finding a man holding my name card.
My new home!! Going out to find something to eat with my roommate Rena from Chicago!
My new home! Going out to find something to eat with my roommate Rena from Chicago! There are eight people living in my room, so it’s pretty social! The vibe is just sooo amazing.

New country, new friends!

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That’s my roommate Rena from Chicago with her new German friends Dominik and Jakob. We first went to Temple of Heaven Park. Dominik is our self-declared tour guide. He studies in Shanghai, and Jakob is visiting him.

Together we also saw the Great Wall:

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Standing in line for the Great Wall
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The wall was great! Tiring! You can get fit from this.

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With hostel buddy Francisco from Chile, I later saw the Lama Temple:

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I don’t think I would go to these places if it wasn’t for my hostel friends.

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I’d also go out to see the streets of Beijing:

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What the…!?

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And of course, we enjoyed the foods!

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Luis and Rena ate SCORPIONS!?!?
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Donkey sandwich!

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Those scorpions where alive on that stick before you bought them, and they grilled them for you. It’s on the list of things I refuse to taste.

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Last Chinese meal with hostel buddies! Mark from the States, Chad from Taiwan, and Francisco from Chile

China is one of the places on my tour I have the most memories from, just because of all my new friends! What’s funny is that when I was in Europe I heard all the amazing stories of Clem, Jasmine, and the others. I was just amazed by their stories and their life. Suddenly in China I found myself telling my stories to people in my hostel and getting the same reactions. Now I was the crazy world traveler in the room!

Enjoy my video of my China adventures and discoveries!

I’ll see you next week from my next destination on my journey: South Korea!


Ayla is a 20-year-old Norwegian who loves to learn new things and study new cultures. She’s Christian, and in her more normal life (when not eating donkey sandwiches in China and taking trains across Italy), she does dancing and karate. For any questions for Ayla or about travels, please comment below. 

And if you’d like to share your story on The Periphery, please email me at Brandon@ThePeriphery.com. We’d love to hear all about your adventure.

What say you?