Travel Update: Life in China and Plans for Summer

Busy Bees

We have not posted anything for a while recently as our travel/work schedule has been extremely tight. We are currently overloaded with duties at the kindergarten here in Dalang, Dongguan (especially 4 weeks before the first semester comes to an end), tried to catch up with our friends and families overseas and we’ve been working on our freelance business (WordPress and Social Media management).

A girl is sitting at the laptop working
Work, work, work…

 

It is a lot of work to do if you add everything up and 24 hours are not enough to deal with everything. We have also purchased new phones (finally) and joined the Instagram (etramping) so feel free to follow us and we will follow you back :). We try to share photos on a regular basis and we’ve been enjoying that a lot. I’ve noticed the food took over the Instagram and I keep getting hungry when I check it out! (At least I know who to blame when I put on weight:)).

Anyways, we are back to blogging right now and here is what we have been up to for the last two weeks.

Life in China

Kindergarten experience continues

In terms of work, there have not been many changes. We’re still working at Bowen Kindergarten in Dalang. There are days when we feel like we love the kids and this job and there are days when we just want to give up (it’s typical I guess). Over two weeks ago we celebrated Children’s Day. For this occasion, all classes have been cancelled and we spent a great morning at the flea market playing around and eating a lots of food. We felt like 10 year olds… again… and you know what? It felt awesome!

Chinese girls are jumping
Our workmates

 

Here are some photos from the Children’s Day we would like to share:

A guy is jumping on the ball
Cez and his favourite activity
Chinese sitting on a pavement
Parents enjoying the weather
Our students purchasing some toys
Kids purchasing some toys
Two Chinese girls are posing for a photo
Workmates posing
Fish balls on a stick
My favourite fish balls!
A Chinese girl wearing traditional Chinese clothes
Beautiful princess
Chinese boy dancing
Cutie!
Egg tarts
Egg tarts
Chinese students smiling
Our lovely students

 

New friendships

We have also met amazing expats here in Dongguan, Dongcheng, who we spend every weekend with. We usually meet for a dinner, grab some drinks, go clubbing and chat a lot. It’s a great feeling not to be surrounded by Chinese, for a change. The guys are from India, Italy, Korea and Ukraine.

4 people are enjoying a Korean food
That’s us enjoying our Korean dinner. From left: Cecilia, Lisa, Cez and me (Instagram picture)
A couple eating a Korean food and smiling
Us enjoying the evening (Instagram photo)

 

We really enjoy dining out and going out together. We have been introduced to Korean cuisine last weekend. Together with our friends we went to a typical Korean restaurant and had an amazing dinner. We ordered JabChae– Korean noodles with sweet potatoes, BulGoGi – pork, onion in pepper sauce, KimChi pancake made of vegetables (mostly sweet potatoes) with a variety of seasonings and a lot of appetizers such as fried veggies and rice wine.

A plate of JabChae
A plate of JabChae (Instagram photo)
A plate of Korean Bulgogi
BulGoGi. So good and spicy (Instagram photo)
KimChi Pancake
KimChi Pancake. Cez is in love with this dish! (Instagram photo)

Korean food, in comparison to Chinese cuisine, is much healthier and less oily. Some dishes are steamed or served raw. The herbs and spices are also different, less spicy (from what we tried up to now). We honestly can’t wait to make it to Korea right now!

Summer’s in the air

Although it’s been raining a lot in Dongguan lately, it’s still hot and humid and we love the palm trees surrounding us. We try to get some tan (cycling). This kind of weather keeps us optimistic and positive!

A girl on a bike and palm trees
On my way to school (Instagram photo)
Beautiful sky on our way back home from school
Beautiful sky on our way back home from school (Instagram photo)

 

We also visited a picturesque Lake nearby our house called Songshan. It took us 3 hours to cycle it around, but the scenery was worth every drop of sweat.

Songshan Lake scenery
Songshan Lake scenery (Instagram photo)
Sunset at Songshan the Lake
Sunset at Songshan Lake (Instagram photo)

 

Plans for Summer

We are splitting up again this summer for 5 weeks.

Agness:

I am heading to Europe (most likely to Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium and still considering Portugal and Spain). I am attending Robbie William’s concert in Brussels in the first week of August with my Dutch friend and after that I will decide what to do and where to go next.

Cez:

Cez is most likely going to cycle Japan for less than $25 a day (100% certain when he buys the tickets). Exact itinerary is not set yet, but he will update you soon.

 

Our decisions were made and now it’s time to make it happen.

[box type=”info” size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]

If anyone will be around Poland/Holland/Belgium in July/August and wants to meet for a coffee or a glass of red wine (I am not a beer person:)), I would be more than happy to arrange a meeting. Anyone living in Amsterdam/ Brussels? I would need a place to stay in for some time so let me know if you can host me :). 

Same goes for Cez. Do you know of any off the path travel destinations worth exploring in Japan on a budget? Would you like to meet / host / cycle along? If so, let us know!

[/box]

Get insured

"It will never happen to me" said every person before it happened to them. Accidents happen at home and abroad. The difference is that they are usually more costly when you're in a foreign country. That's why travelling without insurance is a bad idea. There's just no excuse to put yourself in such a risk.

>>voice from the crowd<< Travel insurance is too expensive!

>>voice of the common sense<< If you can't afford travel insurance then you can't afford to travel.

Don't take chances and get yourself insured now. Check out our budget travel insurance page.

More from Agness Walewinder

Yellow Cabs, High-Speed Motorbikes and Hot Pot

  After reading this headline you should probably know where I spent...
Read More

57 Comments

    • Our students are cute, indeed and the food was way too delicious, especially our favourite egg tarts :). You should try them!

  • Thanks for the update!
    It seems like you guys have been having a great time in Dalang. I love the photos from Children’s Day…for our celebration here in Yangzhou, Nick had to go on stage and teach in front of 400 people! It was like a massive concert, too funny.

    The summer plans sound awesome! I’m sure you’ll have a great time in Europe and Cez will too in Japan :)

    Can’t wait to hear about your journey!
    Cheers :)
    ps, we’re still not on Instagram…officially the last 2 people in the world who aren’t! haha

    • 400 people? That’s insane! Hope he did well. Guys, you have to join the Instagram. We kinda regret doing it so late… it’s awesome!

  • Some exciting plans for the summer for both of you. As we mentioned already, we might still be in Europe by the time you’ll be around, if we are in the same area it’d be lovely to meet up! ;)

    Cez if you like art & architecture you shouldn’t miss Naoshima Island in Japan, we loved it. Also Nikko National Park is beautiful.

    • Many thanks Franca. I will keep that in mind. We are staying in touch so once I have my plans sorted out, I’ll guys do my best to meet you! Maybe somewhere in Italy hihihi. I’ve seen some photos of the Nikko National Park. That is definitely something Cez would love to explore. Thank you for sharing!

  • Really enjoyed this post, Agness. Hear you on “24 hours are not enough to deal with everything”. Same story here. Love the jumping photo! So much fun! And Cez looks happy doing his favorite activity too ;)

    • Cheers. I wish one day lasted 48 hours, seriously. I can see we are not the only ones who are super busy. Good luck with the website. P.S. The hard work pays off!! x

  • I’ll have to add you on Instagram, for sure! But loved getting this update… and I’m excited about your adventures for this summer! :)

    • Thank you Becky. You also enjoy your summer! I can’t wait for the wallet. Will take it with me to Europe :)

  • Awesome! We are going to Amsterdam in August and I would love to meet up for a drink or something. And no Germany on your list? You could couch serf with me and I wouldn’t even expect sex from you ;-). (I only say that because of your article on couch surfing

    • That would be amazing. Yes, I want to go to Berlin to visit my sister and my niece. I am not sure when exactly, but it’s on my list. Hahahah couchsurfing with you…. hmmm… let me think :) I’m in! HAHA Will contact you when the time gets closer. Thank you!!

  • Agness! Me, you, pierogi, Poland! PLEASE! :)
    On a serious note, I’ll be in Krakow and Warsaw for a week from 6 August, let me know!

    • Hey babe. Me + You + Pierogi = LOVE! I’m in !! Will definitely keep you posted. Will send you a message once I get there. Awwww so excited to meet you there. Never been to Krakow so we can explore it together :)

    • Hi Jess. Yes, we will send you an e-mail in a week or so :). Cez is so excited to finally meet you in person.

  • I know what you mean about loving teaching some days and other days not looking forward to it. I’ve recently started teaching at a few kindergartens in addition to my regular workload at the college. It’s been overwhelming! Looking forward to the summer holiday for sure!!

    Love all the Instagram photos! Haven’t joined the Instagram scene yet (thinking of purchasing an iPhone when I’m back in America this summer), but when I do I’ll be sure to follow you both. Have a great summer holiday!! Both of your plans sound awesome.

    • Hey Emily. I’ve read some of your post on teaching. It’s been a great experience indeed, but these kids leave your voiceless and exhausted at the end of the day. It’s worth it though. Thanks, we’ve been enjoying the Instagram so far. You definitely need to join us! You also have a great holiday. Hope you have already made some plans :), can’t wait to read about them.

  • awww i must have missed something here! you are working with kindergarten kids too! I can relate with what you say. They are just too cute, but sometimes can be tiring :) I’m totally in love with my little monsters here in Thailand!
    Oh, side note about Robbie Williams concert. You’re going to LOVE IT! i saw his show in London a couple of years ago (after 2 failed attempts to get the tickets!) so enjoy!
    Ps: pictures are amazing, love them, especially the one of the temple!

    • What? That’s insane. I wanted to teach in Thailand, but couldn’t find a good job offer within 7 days and I gave up. As for Robbie Williams, I know I will love it. It’s my first concert ever to attend and I know it’s going to be awesome. Plus, I am going to Brussels with an awesome guy who I guess will make this trip super duper awesome and adventurous :)!!! Thanks for sharing! x

      • That’s such a shame Agness! where did you look for the job? The thing is, i live in a very isolated place. As you can imagine, not many people wants to be in a secluded village. That’s why i found a job in 5 seconds,without even having the TEFL..
        Hey…what about this awesome guy?? can’t wait to read ALL about it! :) Enjoy! xxx

      • I stayed in Bangkok for a week and then sent a few CVs to local schools in Bangkok. I was in rush and I wasn’t entirely sure if I wanted to stay in Thailand or not or just go back to China. In the end I chose to fly back to Hong Kong, but I am not saying no to teaching English in Thailand :). It’s the same in China. If you agree to live in a secluded village/town, they will employ your straight away. I have done my degree in teaching and have my TESOL certificate so I was considering bigger cities and higher salaries :). Awesome guy is just an awesome guy, but we definitely need to catch up!! :) (private message LOL)

    • I’m still jealous of you going to New Zealand. It’s pretty cool and I know how much you want to be there right now. Thanks babe x Can’t wait to see some photos of you taking over NZ :)

  • What exciting plans! Japan is an amazing, beautiful country and Cez is sure to have a wonderful experience. It’s not super cheap, though, so I’m interested to see how the $25 a day plan turns out. There’s a good chance I’ll be in Budapest the first week of August. We actually considered Brussels but the plane ticket from Shanghai was too expensive. Will be sorry to miss meeting up with Angess in Europe!

    • Thanks! Budapest sounds great. I’m afraid I won’t make it there this summer, but wish you all the best !! I’m flying from Hong Kong :)

  • Great to hear about your summer plans. Looks like you both have a lot to look forward to! :)

    I’ll be interested to hear how Cez does with $25-a-day in Japan after my recent adventure there. I think that will pretty much be gone after a bed is paid for won’t it…? Looking forward to reading about it!

    Bet you’re excited about heading back to Europe too! I’ll be in Amsterdam 8th-11th August so drop us a line if you end up there at that time.

    • Hey Carl. He wants to cycle Japan so no need to spend the money on transport and he wants to live in a tent so we will see. He is so determined to do it very cheaply. I am also very curious about how he is going to make it. Keeping my fingers crossed for him :). Yep, I am more than excited to be back in Europe. Missed my friends and family a lot. That’s great. I will send you an e-mail when the time gets closer. Cheers! P.S. Are you staying in a hostel?

      • Cool! I’m not too sure where I’m staying yet. I’m actually going with a couple of friends for once, which will be nice, so we’re trying to decide where we should stay at the moment!

      • Cool. I am planning to stay in a small Dutch town located 10 km from Amsterdam at my friend’s house. Will keep you posted.

    • It took us some time to give it a try and you know what? I’m not surprised you keep craving KimChi! I hope to try other dishes before heading to Korea.

    • I can’t wait Jennifer. I love my life in China, but I am always homesick after 6 months and feel an urge to go home! Can’t wait to see my friends and family :). What are your plans for this summer?

  • Agness: “still considering Portugal and Spain”?! Make up your mind and come to my country, Portugal!
    I’ll be there the odd week in July and August (between other travels within Europe) and I’d be happy to show you around Lisbon if we coincide there on the same dates! :)

    PS: if you’re still not sure, let me tell you we’ve got the best egg tarts… even better than those in China! ;)

    • Hi Zara. Yes, I am still considering Portugal and Spain. If I really get bored of Poland and/or the Netherlands, I’ll come to Portugal, that’s for sure. Otherwise I will stay in Holland for a longer period of time. Thanks for that. I would love to explore Lisbon with you. I’ll definitely keep you posted on my plans x P.S. Egg tarts? Stop teasing me! So unfair! :)

    • Tak, bede leciec do Warszawy, potrzebowalabym noclegu na nocke lub dwie. Odezwe sie. Zapraszam na kawe!

  • Adorable little monsters! Almost makes my want to teach kindergarten again. Almost. Wiping noses and… such… didn’t really agree with me.

    Great post, very authentic and fun to read. I’m also a teacher in Taiwan (the bastard offspring of China), so anytime you feel like a same-but-different experience, swing on by here. I still haven’t made it up to the mainland (unless you cound Hong Kong, which I don’t), but I’m looking forward to a trip to Shanghai later this year.

    Anywhere else you think I should hit next time I head across the strait? I’m not too familiar with Dongguan, what’s it like?

  • Good luck with the freelance business. That’ll be nice to build up so you don’t have to teach.

    I hope Cez does the cycling trip in Japan! I’d love to read about that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *