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Movie lover. Growing Capoeirista. Space enthusiast. Dedicated craftsman. And best of all, homegrown Los Angeles native. Wait, how in the hell did I end up in China!?
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When it comes to traveling, everyone outta’ have one time in their life where they just flat out say, “Fuck it.”
That’s right, save up some cash, step away from that soul crushing 9 to 5, and go explore any and everywhere you’ve wanted on God’s green Earth before you settle down, have kids, or inevitably kick the bucket. In short: Experience the world, replenish the spirit, and leave no regrets while you still can.
Hell, that’s exactly what I did. In fact, I even dubbed it “Don’s ‘Fuck It’ World Tour.” Not bad, right?
I was 31, teaching English in China, and all it took was overhearing a couple of colleagues—a couple from New Zealand—sharing glorious tales of saving up, taking a work break, and spending 1 month traversing the hell out of South Africa.
*Que SFX* Dun, dun, DUN. Shit, “I could do that too!,” I thought. Heck, I was freshly single, the money was there, it was May and I was only a month away from completing a teaching contract at some shitty English training center, and my Chinese visa didn’t end till’ about 4 months later in October, which meant I could spend at least 3 months doing whatever the fuck I wanted until I needed to find a new job. Talk about perfect timing.
And as it turned out, 3 months was all I needed to take on 5 incredibly awesome adventures that spanned 3 countries. Yep, ‘fuck it.’
So there I was, free to roam the planet. I can go here, there, maybe this country, possibly that continent—believe me, having those types of options was a blessing.
Adventure #1? I’d catch my very first space rocket launch in China. Cool right? That’s something you don’t hear every day.
It’s been a life-long mission of mine to watch a real NASA rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, so I figured seeing one much more ‘closer to home’ in China would prove far more of a convenient and yet still, epic adventure.
And so it came. On July 5, 2017, I, surrounded by hundreds of locals, caught China’s Long March 5—the largest rocket ever built at the time—blast off into space from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island.
I came, I saw, I conquered, and it was one of the best travel experiences I ever had. Now that’s how you kick start a ‘Fuck It’ World Tour!
Next on the list was a highly anticipated trip back to one of my favorite places in Asia--Hong Kong—and with a Chinese friend.
It was her first time out of the Mainland, so we did it B-I-G. Victoria Harbour, the promenade, Peak, Hong Kong Big Bus Tour, Repulse Bay, Kowloon, shopping markets, a harbour cruise, and hell, we even ventured over to Macau, the ‘Las Vegas of the East.’
Hong Kong just blows my mind. It’s people, cityscape, harbour, nightlife, activities. I could’ve skipped it—I’d already been 3 times prior—but it’s that kind of place that just keeps drawing me back. You have any place in the world like that? (By the way, at the time of this writing I’ve since been a grand total of 6 times!)
After Hong Kong I wanted to go far, and somewhere ... different. It’s common for expats in China to venture over to nearby places like Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Singapore—regions I had already explored by then—but I wanted to go where everybody wasn’t. So how about India? You know, to see the great Tahj Mahal? Fuck it.
Roundtrip tickets to New Delhi. Check. Hotel stay for 4 nights. Double Check. The last thing I needed was ... a visa. Shit! Can you believe I got all the way to the airport in Shanghai and forget to look into whether I needed one? What a dummy, I know. And not only did a normal visa need at least 4 days to process, but there was no expedite e-visa or visa-on-arrival, too.
Hey, shit happens, but this was my ‘Fuck It’ World Tour, so there was no way I’d let some big or small wrench in my plans ruin my trip.
Here was the plan: For my trip to India, I had a layover in Hong Kong. Hmm … how about I hop on the layover flight, and while in Hong Kong, simply buy another flight out to someplace that was cheaper to reach from there than Shanghai?
A couple hours and a hellish immigration screening check later, guess what? Sydney, Australia here I come. Fuck it!
Man, what a beautiful and super awesome vacation. Over 5 days I lived in a capsule hotel in Koreatown, paid a visit to Sydney Opera House, toured every major part of town via Sydney Big Bus Tour, overlooked all of the city from Sydney Tower, explored Sydney Harbour from aboard a ferry boat, chilled at Bondi Beach, went whale watching, and most exciting of all, took a 15-minute ride on a seaplane 500+ feet in the air above Sydney.
My trip to Sydney was every bit of the ‘Fuck It’ World Tour I imagined: A failed start to one destination, but since money and time weren’t an issue, I was able to adapt, change plans, and have the time of my life in a part of the world that I never thought I’d explore. This was my chance to live, and live I did. And even after all that, I was only just getting the party started.
And now, a quick question for you: Know the name of the tallest building in the world? Better yet, you even know where it is? ... 3 ... 2 ... 1. That’s right! It’s the Burj Khalifa in Dubai—of the United Arab Emirates—and for my next destination, not only was I going to see it, but I planned to walk on top of it. And here ... we ... go!
A ‘Fuck It’ World Tour is not complete without an extraordinary trip to an unordinary destination. Let me repeat: A ‘Fuck It’ World Tour is not complete without an extraordinary trip to an unordinary destination. For me, that was Dubai in a nutshell; after all, the Middle East was just that culturally foreign to me, and that proved all the more reason to take on such a grand escapade.
Everything stood out. The traditional Muslim garbs. Stunning mosque. A sprawling city in the desert. The world’s biggest mall and tallest building. Pictures of the president plastered across buildings. Camel rides, falcons as national symbols, and the hottest beach water I’d ever swam in. No kidding, I was sweating just standing in it!
I learned and experienced so much about Dubai that I left feeling like one of those accomplished adventurers. The ‘Fuck It’ World Tour wasn’t just about seeing the sights—it was also a chance to discover new cultures in exotic regions of the world. And that combination, readers, is the best way to travel.
And finally, on to the last leg of my ‘Fuck It’ World Tour (I know, too bad it couldn’t last forever!). It was early October—Golden Week holiday in China to be exact—and I’d carry out an adventurous natural escape in the country’s Yunnan Province. Ah, nothing like being surrounded by forestry, mountain trails, roaring rapids, blue lakes, snow, and plenty of space out of the city to reinvigorate the soul and get some good thinking done.
My friend and I visited Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest gorges on Earth. Its mountainside was the largest and most beautiful natural creation I’ve ever seen on this planet. We stood at the bottom of the gorge too, where there laid the murderous rapids of Jinhe River, an offshoot of the Yangtze River.
Later, we’d also pay a stop at Lijiang Ancient Town and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to cap off our trip with a little bit of culture and more picturesque scenery.
And well, that, my friends, marked the end of my illustrious ‘Fuck It’ World Tour. Grand, ain’t it? It was everything I wanted it to be: I got a chance to see the world, experience different cultures, create long-lasting memories, and most importantly, it was the pivotal moment of my life that allowed me to venture where I wanted, and when I wanted, without giving a flying fuck about everyday challenges dealing with time or money.
What do you think? Are you up for your very own ‘Fuck It’ World Tour? Well, what are you waiting for!?
Safe & happy travels!
Travel Blogger. ESL Teacher. Optimistic Millennial Adventurer! -->