The one peculiar and frustrating thing about the incredible experiences and memories you have and create when travelling is returning home and trying to explain them to others. Your loved ones will never understand, no matter how well you describe it, the joys of experiencing a new country and culture. We are pack animals, it feels more natural to share our happy moments than to experience them alone. Therefore, the more people you share those experiences with, the richer they feel. We had quite a big group during the China adventure, there were about 15 of us from age 18 to 28. This meant, to this day, I still have plenty of people to reminisce about the exciting things we did.
The friendships made during travelling with a group are intense and develop very quickly. When you are sharing those kinds of magical once-in-a-lifetime experiences with people, the bond you form is very strong. This, combined with hours and hours of train journeys and bus journeys, and every night and day spent together, you become close very quickly! I now have friends dotted throughout the world, from Japan to America, who I know will be friends for life.
Travelling can be tiring, and things can go wrong. During the China adventure I hurt my ankle very badly, it was sprained and there was some muscle damage and torn ligaments. The day after this happened we were due to climb The Great Wall of China, and there was no way I was going to miss it. The support from the group took away my fear, and encouraged me to keep going. They knew how excited I was for the Great Wall and so they ensured it would happen. From finding various sticks I could use as crutches, to taking it in turns to carry my bag, to even offering to carry me parts of the way. If I was alone, this would not have happened and I was so thankful to have a group of fellow like-minded travellers around me.
Travelling a country like China takes a huge amount of organisation. Without it being organised by The Dragon Trip it would have been very difficult to have the experience we had. All our travel was booked for us in advance meaning we were taken to each station and told exactly where to go and how to get there. We had an incredible jam-packed itinerary, from kayaking in the Chinese countryside to a boat cruise through Shanghai. Without The Dragon Trip’s connections in the industry and experience we could never have pulled off such an incredible adventure!