We got fired from our jobs and lost our home all in the same week, watch our video about it here. We decided lets pack up and get out of China. Try some place new since we wanted to go there in the first place. Let’s do it!
In order to start the Korean E-2 work visa process in China, we had to go to Beijing since they actually do professional fingerprinting services. We siced our life and got a last minute plane ticket right after work through a friend(it was a whole process with many friends who saved our lives and helped us tremendously). We literally booked the ticket when we were at the airport, which was an hour before the plane took off. Sice Your Life! It was fun living on the edge. We made it past security and had a bit of time to eat before boarding the plane. The first day, we took care of business and grabbed a cab to the fingerprinting place to get fingerprinted. We met a cool guy from the U.S. who lived in Beijing, Steven. He found the place as well and was hoping this fingerprinting service worked as well since we had to send it to the U.S. for the FBI background check. Steven told us about all of the hot spots in Beijing and all of the great vegan restaurants to go to. He was right! He gave us a scratch paper with many notes of the hotspots. That paper was our roadmap! Thanks Steven!
First stop was to the Veggie Table! They had such great options compared to back at home in Dalian. Sidenote: People kept asking where we were from and many times we said Dalian. They said oh, you’re from Dalian! First time we really said we were from Dalian and not the U.S., its been our home for 2 years! Anyway, back to the yummy food. Our favorite was the mushroom burger ahh amazing!
Everything was so fresh and plant—based. As we stuffed our faces, we had a taste of what digital nomad life is like. Look at the picture below. We thought, we could live this life. Going from place to place not knowing where you’re going to lay your head for the night. At least for this day we loved this. haha
We had to stay close to wifi and send our new fingerprints to the U.S. by way of DHL pickup service. That service is amazing btw. We ordered many more dishes to not feel like we were using up there space and wifi, plus the food was a freakin plus! Yum Yum! We looked up homes to stay at for the night on CTrip, Qatar and AirBnb. We found a cheap place. After we sent our package off with the very nice DHL man seen below, we headed off to find our way to the hotel by way of Google maps.
We arrived! The place seemed nice, but it wasn’t very nice. No one knew English so we had to take out our handy Google Translate (it works when it wants to). So we translated some things, paid cash and headed to our room. We went to the room and it was ok on the surface. The next thing you know, there was a lizard that fell from the light. Ahhh who knew lizards were even in Beijing?! We both didn’t want to stand on the floor LOL. We couldn’t wait until the night was over to leave. We left the room for most of the night to hang out with a friend from Dalian who moved to Beijing Teddy. Teddy showed us around to some live music! We love great live music even if its not a concert. We hung out and saw how much more mature and more open-minded people were from there. It was a breath of fresh air. Great night thanks to Teddy the Strings man!
Morning, we spend most of the day looking for a new place to stay. Every place we went to said they were booked. We booked an Airbnb and confirmed everything, just for them to tell us at the last minute (in the taxi on the way) that they booked someone else. Ugh!! So unprofessional and a big waste of time. So we hunt for hours, walking and drenched in sweat. On the bright side, we just had small book bags on our back. We stumbled upon the hostel our friend Steven(from the fingerprinting place) recommended to us! There were many foreigners here and it had a digital nomad feel. We were sold. Finally, after spending the whole day looking for a place. We settled in and saw they offered tours to the Great Wall! We siced our lives again! Figured why not? We are here lets check it out! That night we met some other nomads from other places in the world and had dinner. It was great meeting like-minded people! Including our friend from Germany-Moretz who offered us to stay at his farm! We vibed well.
We take a tour with some other foreigners early that morning with a tour guide. The Great Wall was great, its so old and its amazing how long it really is. What a great experience! After lunch at the Wall, we boarded the bus on our way back. We got a few miles up when Yan realized he forgot the GoPro at the restaurant! They turned the bus around and we went back. He can tell the story…When we arrived I ran in to the bathroom where I left it and it was gone. I asked some foreigners if they saw a small black camera and they asked the janitor. She pointed to the front desk. I went there and there it was turned in. I took it and ran back to the bus. Meditating about the whole potential tragedy that could have happened I realized my lesson from this.
Earlier while climbing the wall I found someone’s digital camera they had left behind. I moved it just a couple inches to the side so it would be harder for someone to see and steal but the person can find it if they return. I learned not to touch it at all. It was good I got the GoPro back but it would have been easier on the nerves to find it the first time right where I left it. So if nobody at all touches it the person can find it. Good thing about where we live in China and most places we visit in China is that people don’t steal at all. Back home in PG or DC that camera would have been wiped clean and sold in 20 minutes for 5 dollars. Here, it’s good to know people aren’t trying to steal and are honest for the most part.
Moving along, we had a horrible and racist experience at the hostel. Read about it here. The next day we met up with our friend Bright our cardiologist friend who just moved to Beijing from Dalian. Super intelligent guy who is a native Mandarin speaker. He is a very wise and kind man from Ghana. We ended our trip with some West African food and amazing vegan food from Juice by Melissa. The trip was a success, we got business taken care of, saw friends and got to see the Great Wall! Awesome trip. Sice Your Life!