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Book Your Group with CIE Tours with $0 Deposit

CIE Tours 2021 Zero Deposit Deal

Book a 2021 CIE Tours Group Now and Enjoy the Perks!

NO MONEY DOWN at booking – Zero risk for you!

  • Up to 5% off with our Early Commitment Benefit
  • Earn up to 3 FREE places when booking a full coach. Earn
  • 50% off the 10th passenger, or 1 free at 16 passengers

Pre-Set Itineraries

Shared Group Vacations
Take our best-value choice for traveling with friends old and new. You can travel with family and old friends while making new ones on our Shared Group Vacations. It’s our best-value choice for group travel. Just choose an exciting preset itinerary from among the many choices on our website, and request a group block on a shared coach. Then there’s nothing left to do but enjoy your vacation! The accommodations, most meals and activities are included – plus the expertise of our top-rated tour directors who will bring your vacation to life with local stories, legends and lore.

Private Group Vacations
Choose from our preset, locally crafted itineraries and enjoy the intimacy of your own private coach. Most of our regular preset itineraries can be taken as a private group. Your group will travel on your own private coach, after
choosing from over 30 amazing itineraries with fixed departures dates. These itineraries include quality accommodations, most meals and activities, and your own expert guide, at a great value.

Custom Itineraries

Custom Private Group Vacations
We’re experts at building special trips to suit any need. If a Shared Group or Private Group doesn’t meet your needs we can partner with CIE Tours to develop a custom private group tailor made to your interests. We’ll help you explore your ancestral roots or create an itinerary perfect for history buffs, sports enthusiasts, or culinary aficionados. Just choose
departure dates, meals, hotels, attractions and locales and we’ll provide the expertise and the local insight of your own private guide!
NOTE: Promotional offer not valid on custom group tours.

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EXTENDED! Save up to 70% on Resort Vacations

destination anywhere sale

NOW EXTENDED! Save up to 70%!

Booking window: 6/5/20 – 7/9/20

Travel window: 6/6/20 – 4/30/21

If you’re anything like us, you’re itching to go somewhere—anywhere. Well, anywhere not too far away. And with a beach. Or mountains. Or water. Or wide open lands and bright blue skies and just a beautiful view that isn’t the one out of their living room!

The good news is, we can help. Find just the change of scene they need at a rate they can’t afford to pass up with our Destination: Anywhere sale.

BENEFITS: EVERYWHERE

Exactly where you want to go may be up in the air. But a sure thing you can count on is deep savings on wherever you decide to go! Destination: Anywhere gives lots of fantastic options!

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The All-Inclusive Crystal Experience® – Crystal Cruises

Senior Couples Travel

Book Now Savings, Plus Our Agency’s Exclusive Distinctive Voyages Host, a Private Welcome Reception and Exclusive Shore Event or Up to $500 Shipboard Credit per Stateroom

Discover fascinating cultures. Explore historical landscapes. Fulfill bucket-list adventures. Crystal’s renowned Crystal Experience® represents the epitome of luxury and value, with an unmatched standard of services and amenities, including:

  • Michelin-inspired cuisine in up to 10 venues
  • Specialty Dining, including Umi Uma® by Chef Nobu
  • 24-hour in-suite dining
  • Enrichment programs
  • Enthralling nightly entertainment
  • Open bars and lounges, with complimentary fine wines, champagnes, spirits, and specialty coffees
  • Pre-paid gratuities
  • Complimentary, unlimited Wi-Fi

Booking Period: 5/1/2020 – 6/30/2020

Travel Period: Select 2020 sailings

Vacation Code: 5323

Cruise Quote Request

  • When do you want to go?

  • Trip Details

Dream now of future travels, for soon the world will be open once again. When that day comes, lean on our expertise to guide you to the right itinerary, the safest destinations, and incredible offers such as this one. We can secure your place on these sailings now, and then easily change the booking later if plans change.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Fares are cruise only, per guest in U.S. dollars based on double occupancy for the first two full-fare guests in suite and do not include taxes, fees and port charges which vary by departure. Fares listed include Book Now Savings for select categories on select voyages only, are correct at time of printing, and available on new bookings when booked between May 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020. A cruise deposit, an amount which may vary by departure, is required at the time of booking regardless of voyage length. Book Now Savings are per guest, capacity-controlled, subject to availability and may vary by category. Solo Traveler Fares apply to select categories, are capacity controlled and subject to availability at time of booking. All itineraries, fares, programs, promotions and policies are subject to change at the discretion of Crystal Cruises and additional restrictions may apply; ask for details. Crystal Cruises reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares, fees and promotions without notice. Visit CrystalCruises.com for the most updated Terms & Conditions. ©Crystal Cruises, LLC. Ships’ registries: The Bahamas.

Exclusive Amenities: Sailing dates and amenities, including hosted sailing and exclusive shore events, are current at time of printing and are subject to change without notice. Amenities apply to 1st and 2nd passenger only. Cancellations, refunds, and penalties are imposed by the individual cruise line. Distinctive Voyages amenities may be substituted if a minimum number of guests are not confirmed on any given departure. Combinability varies. Guests must be booked in a featured group departure to receive amenities. If group space has been recalled or canceled by the cruise line, amenities cannot be applied.

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Travel Insurance Protections

When you travel, you can protect your travel investment from financial loss by buying travel insurance.

Travel insurance covers a wide range of situations, and whether you’re planning a trip for business or pleasure, it’s essential to focus on the details. For example, if you want to cancel due to a “fear of traveling,” that probably won’t be covered.

Chances are if you booked travel recently, your insurance policy won’t cover changes and cancellations related to the coronavirus now that it’s become a “foreseen event.”

All policies have limits on what they cover and how much they’ll reimburse you. Most travel insurance policies have to be purchased when you book your trip, or before you make your final payment. While your credit card may provide you with some coverage, travel insurance will typically be more extensive.

Here’s a rundown on different types of insurance policies that travelers can purchase for business or vacation.

Cancellation and interruption policies cover specific reasons that will keep you from traveling or cut short your trip. Those issues commonly include illness or injury, unforeseen weather delays or natural disasters, a family member’s medical emergency, or if you have to change plans for a business-related emergency. Under some policies, you’ll only be reimbursed for the portion of the trip that you didn’t complete.

Emergency medical and dental insurance can help cover costs associated with illnesses and injuries during your trip. But check on restrictions for preexisting conditions. Also, check with your regular health insurance company to see what kind of coverage you have while traveling. You may want to get a supplemental policy for deductibles and expenses your regular insurer doesn’t cover. Evacuation insurance will cover the cost of transporting you to a medical facility for treatment if there’s no adequate hospital locally. Some policies include the cost of transportation back to the United States as well.

For maximum flexibility, consider buying “cancel for any reason” coverage that will reimburse a portion of prepaid and nonrefundable costs. This is usually an add-on to a basic policy. The time frame to buy the coverage and cancel the trip, as well as the amount of the reimbursement, will vary by the insurance company and sometimes by state laws. For example, until recently, residents of New York were not able to purchase this type of insurance, known as CFAR, but state regulations have been changed to allow it.

Insurance that covers lost or delayed luggage can be especially important. For example, if your business suit or swimsuit is in checked baggage that doesn’t arrive, you may need coverage to buy new clothes.

For help planning a trip, contact your travel advisor or connect with one through WorldVia at worldvia.com.

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The Value of a Travel Advisor When You’re Staying Home

Along with just about every other aspect of life, travel for business and pleasure across the country and around the world is being affected by the coronavirus known as COVID-19.

Travel has come to a crawl, and no one knows for sure when things will return to normal. Some people are optimistically booking plans for later in the year, while others are taking a wait-and-see attitude before planning a trip.

Amid all the uncertainty, local travel advisors are fielding questions from their clients about the impact on honeymoons, destination weddings, family reunions, summer vacations, tradeshows, conferences, and business trips.

The majority of travel agencies are small businesses, with owners and staff who work on commissions that are paid by suppliers—like airlines, cruise lines, hotels, and tour operators—after a trip is taken. Even though their business and livelihood are at stake, at this unprecedented time, travel advisors remain committed to responding to each client’s concerns and handling cancellations. The safety of their clients is the top priority for WorldVia advisors.

The value of using a travel advisor—having a person who cares on the other end of your email or phone call—is readily apparent at a time when travelers don’t know where else to turn.

If you’re wondering who to talk to as you work through canceling or rescheduling or planning an itinerary, consider these five reasons to use a travel advisor, even if you didn’t initially book your travel with one.

One point of contact for customer care. A travel advisor is your single point of contact for your trip, handling all arrangements with airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, hotels, and ground transportation companies.

Expert knowledge. Travel advisors work closely with industry groups and government agencies to ensure that you’re getting accurate and up-to-date information about anything that could affect international or domestic travel.

Good value for your money. Travel advisors have built up relationships with suppliers over many years, giving them in-depth knowledge of everything that goes into a trip. They work hard to provide the very best value in the market, with exclusive rates for the world’s top hotels, cruise lines, airports, and tour operators.

Greater trip protection. When it comes to travel insurance, it can be challenging to figure out what you need. Travel advisors can recommend options that will help you protect the financial investment you’ve made in your trip, as well as suggest policies that cover situations like an emergency medical evacuation.

Emergency contact while you’re traveling. The job of your travel advisor doesn’t end once you leave on your trip. No matter where you are in the world, travel advisors are available to answer your questions. Rest assured that you will always have the comfort of knowing that there’s someone who can offer you expert advice.

For help navigating any travel plans, contact your travel advisor or connect with one through WorldVia at worldvia.com.

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The Great Outdoors: America’s National Parks

America’s national parks are one of the country’s greatest treasures, filled with wide-open spaces offering plenty of room to roam, cultural and recreational activities, and breathtaking vistas.

Visits to national parks exceeded 300 million in 2019, for the fifth year in a row, according to figures from the National Park Service. People genuinely love being outdoors at our National Parks and other natural areas, monuments, and historic sites administered by the Park Service that are found across the country.

The top five most-visited national parks in 2019 were the Great Smoky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains, Zion, and Yosemite. The National Park Service has modified its operations on a park-by-park basis following the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health authorities. While most facilities and events are closed or canceled, some of the outdoor spaces remain accessible to the public.

Here is a look at some of these parks.

Great Smoky Mountains. Straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is renowned for its diverse plant and animal life, the beauty of its landscape, and the remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture. Blooming wildflowers can be found in the park nearly year-round. Cades Cove, a broad green valley, offers some of the best opportunities for spotting wildlife. An 11-mile one-way loop circles the cove. Currently, the park is closed except for the Foothills Parkway and the Spur.

Grand Canyon. Carved by the Colorado River, the immense and colorful Grand Canyon, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep, is truly one of the world’s most inspiring places. The canyon’s South Rim, about four hours from Phoenix, affords panoramic views. Scenic drives include Desert View, a 25-mile trip east along the canyon rim that’s studded with breathtaking overlooks and home to the Tusayan Museum, which highlights the stories of the region’s Native Americans.

Rocky Mountain National Park, in northern Colorado, has more than 300 miles of hiking trails for every age and ability level, wildflowers, and wildlife such as elk, moose, and bighorn sheep. Trail Ridge Road, the highest road in any national park, covers 48 miles. It crests at just over 12,000 feet, affording a sweeping view of the Rocky Mountains. Fishing is permitted in many of the lakes and streams, and the park’s waters are home to four species of trout.

Zion National Park, in southwestern Utah, has been used as a location for numerous films, including “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Noteworthy features include the expansive Zion Canyon and spectacular natural rock arches. Zion Canyon is the most visited part of the park, with hikes for all levels of ability. Some of the best views are along the 3½-mile round-trip Pa’rus Trail. It’s paved, handicapped accessible, and the park’s only trail that allows both bicycles and pets on leashes.

Yosemite National Park, in California, is known for its waterfalls, grand meadows, and massive sequoias. Yosemite Valley’s Tunnel View provides a picture-postcard vantage point, the spot where three of the park’s most famous natural features are visible together—the granite El Capitan and Half Dome, and Bridalveil Fall. Mariposa Grove, near the south entrance, is the largest sequoia grove in Yosemite and is home to more than 500 mature trees.

Before visiting any park, check with the individual parks regarding changes to their operations. If you choose to visit a national park, please ensure that you follow CDC and state and local guidelines to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and practice.

For help navigating any travel plans, contact your travel advisor or connect with one through WorldVia at worldvia.com.

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Celebrating 400 Years of the Mayflower

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the historic voyage of the Mayflower, which departed England in 1620 as Puritans sought religious freedom in the New World. Several events that were planned for May on both sides of the Atlantic, with participation from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the Wampanoag tribe of Native Americans have been postponed due to travel concerns related to COVID-19. We still can acknowledge those early travelers and the impact it had on our country.

Plymouth, Massachusetts, where the Pilgrims settled, naming the town after the port city in England from which they sailed, has a strong connection to the Mayflower’s maiden voyage.

The residents of Plymouth, which is located about 45 minutes south of Boston, look forward to visitors flocking to see the Mayflower II. The full-scale replica, built in the 1950s, was a gift to the United States from the British people, in recognition of friendships forged during World War II. For the past several years, the ship, a popular tourist attraction, has been undergoing a multimillion-dollar restoration.

Other attractions to see in the area include the Pilgrim Hall Museum, which tells the story of the Plymouth Colony and displays items that Mayflower passengers brought with them, including William Bradford’s Bible and a sword that belonged to Myles Standish. The Jenney Museum holds programs like “Conversations with a Pilgrim” and walking tours that explore Plymouth’s history. And of course, Plymouth Rock marks the spot where the Pilgrims disembarked in December 1620. In Boston, the New England Historic Genealogical Society is planning four exhibits commemorating 400 years of Mayflower and Wampanoag history, on display through December.

When you’re able to travel to England, you can explore the port city of Plymouth, on England’s southwestern coast, about 4½ hours from London. Several buildings from that era remain, such as the Island House, where some of the Pilgrims are believed to have stayed before their voyage. The Mayflower Steps, flanked by British and American flags, mark the final English departure point of the ship and its 102 passengers.

Plymouth, England is also opening a cultural and heritage center, The Box, in honor of the anniversary. The first exhibit, “Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy,” will include artifacts that tell the story of the Mayflower’s passengers, including their relationship with Native Americans. Pictures and stories of about 1,200 living Mayflower descendants will be displayed on a wall of the gallery. Plymouth’s Mayflower Week, from September 14-20, includes a visit from a replica 15th-century tall ship and a ceremony on Sept. 16 marking the date the Mayflower set sail.

Before leaving for the New World, the Pilgrims sought refuge in the Dutch city of Leiden, 40 minutes from Amsterdam, where they lived for 12 years. The city’s American Pilgrim Museum, in a beautifully preserved 14th-century house, tells their story. A walking tour explores the city’s Mayflower heritage and here you can learn about Native American culture.

For help navigating any travel plans, contact your travel advisor or connect with one through WorldVia at worldvia.com.

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REAL ID Deadline Extended to October 2021

While non-essential travel is hold, for the most part, we have all experienced presenting a driver’s license or other identification at airport security checkpoints. And frequent fliers know that REAL ID approved identification will eventually be needed to fly domestically. To allow travelers and states a chance to comply, the deadline for implementing the new REAL ID policy has been extended one year, to Oct. 1, 2021, due to the coronavirus crisis.

But eventually, every air traveler age 18 or older must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license or another acceptable form of identification to fly within the United States. Even if you have TSA PreCheck, you’ll still need a REAL ID or other acceptable identification to board a domestic flight.

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, is designed to improve security and prevent identity fraud. It establishes minimum standards for the design and issuance of driver’s licenses and state-issued ID cards. Federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration, are prohibited from accepting identification that does not meet those standards.

Obtaining a REAL-ID compliant license is a more involved process than simply getting your current driver’s license renewed. While each state is handling things a little differently, there are a few basics to have covered when the time comes for you to obtain your REAL ID:

You’ll need to present documents proving your age and identity, Social Security number and address. That usually means a valid passport or original birth certificate, a Social Security card or tax form, such as a W-2, with the entire number visible. You’ll also need two proofs of address, such a utility or cellphone bill, a bank statement or mortgage bill. If you’ve changed your name, a legal name-change document might be required.

The best, most up-to-date source of information is your state’s department of motor vehicles. To avoid a rush when travelers once again on the move, check with the DMV and start collecting the paperwork.

If you don’t want to get a REAL ID-compliant license, alternate forms of identification are still acceptable to the TSA for domestic flights. They include a passport, passport card, trusted traveler card issued by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Defense ID, including those issued to military dependents, or a permanent resident card.

Some states, including Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota and New York, offer REAL-ID and state-issued enhanced driver’s licenses, both of which will be acceptable to airport security when enforcement goes into effect. Washington state only issues enhanced licenses. Enhanced driver’s licenses are marked with a flag. REAL ID-compliant licenses are marked with a star at the top of the card. States are allowed to issue compliant and non-compliant licenses. So even if you renewed your driver’s license recently, check to make sure that it complies.

Remember that any child under age 18 isn’t required to provide identification to board a domestic flight if they’re with an adult, although the companion will need an acceptable form of identification. That provision doesn’t change under the REAL ID Act.

If you want to apply for or renew a passport to use as your REAL ID, know that most passports are not being processed right now due to public health measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. The U.S. passport agency announced that currently it is only offering service for customers with a qualified life-or-death emergency and who need a passport for immediate international travel within 72 hours.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (e.g. parent, child, spouse, sibling, aunt, uncle, etc) that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours, or three days. You must provide:

  • A passport application with supporting documents
  • Proof of the life-or-death emergency such as a death certificate, a statement from a mortuary, or a signed letter from a hospital or medical professional. Documents must be translated or in English.
  • Proof of international travel (e.g. reservation, ticket, itinerary)

Even if one qualified for essential international travel, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel at this time due to the global impact of COVID-19. Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions.

For help navigating any travel plans, contact your travel advisor or connect with one through WorldVia at worldvia.com.

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How to Rebook My Cruise Using a Future Cruise Credit

With so many cruises canceled due to COVID19, many people are wanting to know how to rebook their cruise using the Future Cruise Credit (FCC) offered by the cruise lines. Don’t worry. It is effortless to apply the credit to another cruise.

You want to contact your travel agent as soon as you know when and where you want to go. They can handle everything necessary to use your credit, as well as let you know about some of the fantastic deals currently available.

Unfortunately, some agencies have gone out of business. If that is the case, don’t worry. You can transfer your booking to another agency. Please contact one of our WorldVia travel experts, and we will help you plan your next cruise and use that credit.

Give us a call (888) 709-6753 or click here to reach out online.

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The Diary of a Karate Kid

Shaolin Students

My interest in martial arts was always radiant. I remember when I was a kid, I always looked up to idols like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li. I used to love their movies and aspired to be as good as they were. I began my martial arts studies when I was four years old, but I was never serious about the sport. Karate classes became more like playtime with my friends instead of learning. It wasn’t until I was in the seventh grade when I became more serious about training to become like my idols. I would stay at my local dojos for extra classes because I was eager to learn more. I even received a black belt from the local schools, but it wasn’t enough. I still wanted to learn more.
So, the summer after my freshman year of high school, my parents sent me to China.

The Shaolin Temple

I landed in a small city in the Henan province named DengFeng. It is home to the famous Shaolin Temple, where monks train in the traditional martial arts, Gong Fu. Not familiar with the term? You are probably more familiar with the term Kung Fu, which is the westernized form of the Chinese pronunciation Gong Fu.
diary-shaolinThe Shaolin Temple is a monastery located in the mountains of Dengfeng. It is a place where traditional Buddhist monks would go and practice martial arts. The temple is rich in history as it has been through many wars and has been rebuilt numerous times. There is a story behind almost everything there. Some of my personal favorites include the room where monks would stomp the ground to create dents as they trained, the tree where monks would train finger strength by punching the trunk with one finger, and the bathrooms just because they were mere buckets.
On tour, we had the chance to walk on a prestigious path where only the grandmaster—or ShiFu—would walk. It was a great experience to see the strict disciplines that monks in training would follow. The Shaolin Temple has also been featured in several Chinese films; several martial arts celebrities have crossed its paths. Most notably, Jet Li filmed a movie here that increased the temple’s popularity. It was really cool to walk in a movie set! In addition to the temple itself, there were several other attractions. One of the most interesting attractions was the Pagoda Forest. It is a collection of tombs for the different monks that have passed and is structured to exhibit a monk’s status before passing. The higher the tower, the higher a monk’s ranking was.
After the tour, we went to watch a Gong Fu performance. The purpose of the performance was to showcase an introduction of Shaolin Gong Fu. It introduced the various “Quan” or forms that are native Shaolin Gong Fu, the weapons used, and the applications of the movements in combat. The fun thing about the performance was that they picked audience members at random to come on stage to learn some of the movements. I remember sitting there practically jumping out of my seat because I really wanted to try! Sadly, they didn’t pick me.

Tagou School of WuShu

After the tour, we went to tour the most notorious martial arts school in China. The Tagou School of WuShu is a boarding school for martial arts as well as an educational institution. This school has produced many of China’s most well-known fighters and performers. They have students attend national competitions and even students who competed in the Olympics. Fun fact, Jackie Chan performed with one of the performance teams from this school. How cool is that? At first glance, I got ridiculously excited because I saw my favorite movie scene in real life—hundreds of students practicing martial arts in sync. It was the highlight of my life to find out that it was not just a scene in a movie. My mom told me that this is where I would be staying for the summer, and I couldn’t have been happier.
diary-tagou-school-viewThe school is gigantic. It’s so big that they had to split the school into two separate campuses. They have the old campus located next to the Shaolin Temple and the new campus at the foot of the mountain near the city of DengFeng. I chose to stay at the old school near the Shaolin because I loved the mountains, and it sounded way cooler to train in the mountains versus the city.
Students of Tagou School of WuShu come from all over the world to study there. Some native Chinese students even use the school for their primary education as well. The school offers intense training sessions and education levels from kindergarten to high school. It was completely different than what I was used to in the states. The students have a crazy training schedule. The students started the day at 5 a.m. and were not done training until almost 10 p.m., six nights a week. I thought that was insane coming from the U.S. where I take an hour-long class three days a week.

Lifestyle as a student of Tagou

Before I agreed to start summer school at Tagou, I honestly did not know what to expect. I thought it was going to be a summer camp-like experience, but it was more of a culture shock and a humbling experience. Before becoming a student, I never realized how privileged I was to be living in the states where we have access to machines that help accomplish chores or technology for entertainment. There was a lot that I had to get used to as a student. My body had to get used to a new diet; my brain had to learn how to cope with limited to no internet. I also had to become less lazy and actually do chores by hand.
diary-canteen-foodI remember my first year going; my diet consisted of eggs and bananas for the first few weeks because I was not used to the food in the cafeteria for the students. I don’t remember what about it made me so sick, but my body eventually adjusted to it, and I was fine by the end of the summer. I was not used to the way you had to grab food. There was not an orderly line to the different chefs. It was a fight to who can swipe their card first to get their canteen full of food. Yes, you read that correctly: a canteen. We did not have bowls or plates to gather our food; we had to stuff a canteen full to carry food. Of course, you could go back and get seconds, but that costed more money, and you would probably have to shove your way back to the front of the food line.
As a millennial, I live on the internet. I love surfing the web to see what the latest trends are, watching YouTube videos, and seeing what my friends are up to on social media. Having limited to no internet killed me. It was already annoying that China blocked a lot of sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Google, but you are able to get around that with a VPN. The thing that was troublesome was that, since we were in the mountains, internet from the town was not that great. Often, the internet would go out in my room and I couldn’t do the things that I wanted to do. Honestly, though, it was the best thing that happened to me. It forced me to get out of my room to explore the campus, talk to some of the locals, and hang out with my classmates. I learned so much about the diary-laundrydifferent cultures in my international group and I learned fun games that the locals play to entertain themselves! My favorite game that I learned was called “Duel the Landlord” and it was a very competitive game once you got the hang of it.
After my first couple of weeks there, I remember struggling to find clothes since I burned through most of my clothes. I was asking around trying to find the closest washing machine or laundry mat just to find out that there wasn’t one. I was challenged to actually wash my clothes by hand. I was not happy about this. I am so used to throwing everything in a washing machine and calling it a day. Additionally, there were no dryers either, so I had to wring the clothes out and let them air dry. It was not a fun thing to do, but it became a part of my daily routine that I got used to.
The one thing that I got used to quickly was the training regiment. I was sore for the first couple of weeks. The workouts were really intense, but I learned a lot from the coaches. The coaches are very strict and everything we did had to be perfect.
Honestly, it was tough. It is not made for everyone, but I’m more than grateful that I had this experience. After the first year, I went back four more times to relive the experience. It’s something that I hope I get the chance to do every summer.